Well, as the nation moves into another month of
pub bashing lockdown from Thursday…
…I thought I would carry on with my ‘unretirement’ and discover a new ale trail.
The Horninglow Mile is, as far as I know, not on Burton & South Derbyshire’s CAMRA’s must visit destination boozers.
I reckon there are five pubs well worth a visit on this route and with the Coach and Horses apparently due to reopen around Christmas – lockdown permitting – then this is well worth a walk.
(Even the car garages are named after beer)
You first port of call is The Navigation, which I visited on my ill fated cycling trip down the Trent & Mersey Canal back on March 2019.
That sold cheap as chips Bass and was a cracking local and pretty much sums up all the boozers on the Horninglow Road.
It looks like there were a couple more in times gone by and the latest round of furloughs and forced pub closures might finish a couple more off but they’d be a sad loss.
Take 604 – The Victoria Inn DE14 2PT for example. It was around 2pm when I popped in here on Friday and it had the obligatory scooter outside and was a pub Alan would have approved of.
(Are cobs substantial?)
Dart boards, fruit machines, Darts on the big TV screen if you look right and Now 70s if you look left (Squeeze and Village People in no particular order).
A pint of Pedigree (Marston’s) was as good as I’ve had in a long time and at £2.90 inkeeping with the prices on this ale trail.
The barmaid was in great form and enjoying the banter with a group of lads in the corner who were enjoying #publife.
One of the topics was that “if you keep drinking apparently you can’t catch the corona virus!” This brought a lot of laughter with the shout of “Woody hasn’t got it” as vindication of this statement…
Another bloke left and was getting pelters about a new job but it was extremely friendly with people making a point of saying hello and looked to me like it was just warming up for a lively Friday.
I zipped past The Navigation and headed towards the renowned Wyggeston Chippie handily placed next door to 605 – The Royal Oak DE13 0SL.
This was quieter although looked like a grand old building with just two other punters in apart from me.
I had a pint of Pedigree (Marston’s), which came in at a whopping £2.95 and the barmaid responded to the shoud of “Oi wench” from the old boy who wanted to attract her attention.
“If you’d have said Oi B**** I’d have responded quicker,” she replied with acerbic wit and the other feller was trying to convince her to store some food in the freezer!
I know these kind of exchanges aren’t for everyone but clearly there was a long standing relationship between a member of staff and regulars that has built up over time and no one was remotely concerned.
(there’s the scooter)
A longer walk now towards the sixties style shopping precinct…
to the final pub on Horninglow Road, which was 606 – The Plough Inn DE13 0SZ.
Clearly a boozer of some repute
as this place hosts the 2018 BDDL Tuesday Darts League Summer champions and there is a cracking picture
along with a handy guide to the amount of beer Stafford Paul drinks on a BPF Big Day Out.
There were a group of five blokes in having laugh and settling for the day I reckon as well as a few couples and a big thumbs up the landlady.
I tried a Wainwright’s, which was pure vinegar, I took it back, and she was more than happy to change it.
(not as good as it looks)
“If it’s not right, then it’s not right…what can I get you instead?” she said as she turned the pump clip round.
A Hobgoblin Gold (Wychwood) was spot on and another friendly boozer with lots of nooks and crannies to hide behind. I always think pubs that change a pint with no quibbles should be applauded and definitely so in this case.
I stopped off at Calais Street on the way back to have a killer Bass in The Wyggeston and this was a top-notch afternoon on the outskirts of Burton in pubs that are often overlooked.
Will they all be here when life returns to normal on December 2? Will they all have to start selling ‘substantial’ cheese and onion cobs to open up for Christmas?
(All roads lead back to Burton town centre)
Will they all survive or will this post be the last note for some classic boozers. You won’t find them in the GBG but all well worth a visit.