Today was the day I feel as though normal service was resumed in the pub world.
The signs were all there…Birmingham City not wining for ten games of the season draws to a close…
England struggling to reach 204 against West
Bromwich Dartmouth Indies…
Birmingham City replacing their manager with four games remaining in order to try and stave off relegation (again)…
(it’s open here…one way system)
It was all falling into place and the final piece of the jigsaw arrived at the 558 – Railway Inn NG10 3AP in Sawley.
This is one of these gloriously overpubbed Derby suburbs, alongside neighbouring Shardlow and Long Eaton, which seem to have a never-ending supply of boozers.
New rules in place mean social distancing is quite rightly being observed but this place had the most punters I’ve seen PPL (post pub lockdown).
Maybe it was Rishe Sunak’s decision to boost the food/pub sector next month (this looked pretty much wet led to me) or maybe it was the fact people are starting to emerge from the gloom, but either way there was a crackle about this boozer I’d not heard in a while.
It’s a brick built standalone pub from the early 1900’s and has an impressive four rooms although the snug was closed.
(beer patio in June? Too cold!)
The lounge had a good crowd of about ten punters in and the bar had around six or seven too, which might not sound like many but the pub humour was in full swing.
I had to sign in, sanitise my hands and that was as restrictive as it got as this glorious cask renaissance continued with a cracking drop of Hobgoblin Gold (Wychwood).
The barmaid referred to me as a youngster to give you some idea of the age range (!) and reckoned she was only getting grief off the old blokes!
However, it was all good fun and questions like “If I can’t sit down what happens when I go to the loo?”
“Why can’t I play dominoes? But you’ll give me change so can I play halfpenny shove tomorrow?”
A coupe more near the knuckle lines were floating about but the barmaid was giving as good as she got and had razor sharp wit clearly honed by dealing with the regulars.
She said the pubs were shutting at ten and maybe half ten on a weekend which upped the ante as it brought a roar of disapproval and lots of comments.
The topic turned to social distancing in Asda and Tesco compared to the pub and how much stricter boozers are although apparently Tesco are winning that particular battle of the supermarkets,
Pints of Pedigree, mini bottles of red wine and lager were all being drunk and it just felt like pub life had returned to almost how it was in March.
Bar staff should, of course, be respected as they are working overtime, but this was all good humoured and if this is the future then I reckon it will work!
Sawley is definitely one of the top drinking destinations in Derbyshire and let’s hope places like this thrive… As for Birmingham City…..