With Garden Hermit lodging an early bid to be the ‘most frequent commentator’ on this site post lockdown then I felt as though I had to bow to his wishes.
“Nice blog but more beer pictures please,” was the general gist of it so, just to prove I listen, here is a picture of a pint on a beermat.
I thought beermats might become a thing of the past with the new regulations, but it was nice to see the benchmark of any boozer are still alive and kicking at 557 – The Cock Inn DE6 2GJ
This boozer is in the centre of Clifton, a village near Ashbourne, and on that long stretch of A52 that seems to run forever as you leave the A50 and head towards the home of Shrovetide Football.
It had clearly had a spruce up with new ropes and benches out the front and fair play to landlords and landladies. They are working their socks off to ensure pubs can open. One-way systems, hand sanitizers, social distancing inside and outside, new benches…the list is endless.
Of course, it is right and proper that this is done, but I hope enough people trust themselves and their publicans to visit pubs and make this viable.
Having ignored all advice from the self-appointed Twitterati medical profession yesterday and gone to a boozer, then I thought it was time to head in again and it was great to see the age old custom of ‘having a chat with the gaffer’ was still an option.
(chat from a ‘social distance’)
Perching myself on a stool, more than two metres away, I was able to have a chin wag with the gaffer who told me he had been paying full rent for the full three months of lockdown.
However, he did say by way of payback the landlords (Enterprise) had given the place a makeover out the front and inside, so it’s not all bad news.
(is there a finer sight than a pump/font/clip?)
He reckoned he took this place on 18 months ago when it had been shut for a while and has worked hard to get it back on track. Demographics mean quite a few punters in Clifton might choose not to risk coming out just yet, and he had built a room for gigs inside the pub that was closed at present.
(don’t panic – it’s a barmaid taking a food order)
Blues and Country were the main gigs of choice and he was optimistic that ban might be lifted soon in order to get back to some kind of ‘normality.’
The beer was excellent and I had pint of Pugin’s Gold (Peakstones Rock) that hit the spot and I think a place like this – out on a limb in the countryside really – will rely on ‘destination’ status and gigs and food will help alongside good beer and a friendly gaffer.
Three out of four isn’t bad and music will come back in time.
There were two other parties inside the pub – around ten people – and a further five punters outside so at 4pm on a Sunday it was as full as you could probably hope for. Although he said quite a few of the pubs in the ‘local’ vicinity hadn’t opened.
Older gaffers who were still concerned or gaffers who thought that it would be too much like hard work as their businesses were hanging on were the main factors stopping them and that is the caveat with pubs reopening at reduced capacity.
However, a village that has a cricket club of some repute and a pub as good as this deserves to keep its local and the adaptability of pub owners never ceases to amaze me!
Two pubs in two days post pub lockdown and no booking needed and no problem – what’s the fuss all about?