Having visited some stonking pubs on my recent jaunt to the Derbyshire Dales then I thought it was time to get back to the bread and butter of estate boozers.
The most endangered of all pub species, they are often maligned, often neglected and often frowned upon by the chattering classes.
In some instances these boozers are on their last legs and dying slow deaths, a bit like the newspaper industry, where they are hanging on but the tide of change is sweeping them away.
But, there are some stalwarts that are hanging on and thriving and bucking the trend. I don’t mean your country or village pubs but ones slap bang in the middle of a wedge of houses in a town or suburb.
Long Eaton is a prime example of a gritty town on the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire borders, although it is very much Derby territory with its blue and green county flags.
Its town centre was recently under scrutiny from some old boys in Breaston who reckoned the drinking options in Sawley and Breaston were far better than its bigger neighbour, so I thought I’d put it to the test.
(what’s the best pub town/village…?)
547 – The Wilsthorpe Tavern NG10 3LJ is on Wilsthorpe Road on the edge of Long Eaton and sandwiched between hundreds of chimney pots.
It’s a classic two-roomed local estate boozer built in the 1960’s but has had a cracking refurb and offers food as well as decent beer.
In true estate pub fashion Sky Racing was on the big screen and you can always tell a good working class pub if the racing is on.
The barmaid/landlady was friendly, keen and busy at work which is always a good sign and the place was positively gleaming.
(old school bench seating)
The toilets were clean, the pub looked like a place on the up and my half of Wainwright’s (Thwaites) was excellent and I love estate pubs that deliver good cask.
There were a couple of people in the dining side of the pub whilst there were around four or five other people in the bar along with me which, at 2pm on a Thursday is decent enough.
A dog came in (with its owner) and was a source of conversation for a lively couple and it seemed that all was good with the world.
I’m not sure if Paul WME – who is the Black Country king of estate pubs – has ventured this far east (Midlands) but he couldn’t fail to be impressed with this classic of the genre.
It just goes to show that with a bit of TLC and investment estate pubs can do more than just survive…someone should tell pubcos that investment and supporting the gaffer means that pubs actually attract punters!
Who’d have thought it eh?