Solid Estate Pubs #1: The Fairham

New readers to this blog might be wondering exactly who Alan Winfield is?  He is often mentioned in reverential tones on LifeAfterFootball and with some justification, as he is the doyen of #pubmen.

You can still read his wonderfully gritty blog here whereby he would go on legendary all dayers, often with Mrs Winfield in tow, and take a picture of every pub and give a minimalist no nonsense account of no nonsense boozers.

He actively sought out pubs that many people would swerve as they might be a bit edgy but Alan knew that these kind of boozers are by far the best.

Friendly punters (usually), the occasional lively encounter, acerbic humour, industrial language, funny stories, p*** taking, banter with the staff and the feeling that the pub, rather than the beer, is the most important thing.

That’s not to say beer isn’t well kept or there aren’t some good cask ale pubs out there but, even if it’s keg only, people will go for the atmosphere and not the latest trend.

Paul WME also visits many boozers off the beaten track and his excellent blog can be read here as he has taken on the Winfield mantle of backstreet boozers.

Unfortunately, Alan is no longer with us but if you’ve never read his blog then I suggest you settle down with a pint and trawl through some classic pubs, many of which have long bit the dust.

As a Nottingham lad, I know Alan would have approved of 623 – The Fairham NG11 8LT in Clifton. 

One of those suburbs in Nottingham which anyone who has driven into the city on the A453 (everyone from Birmingham) will have seen The Crusader pub on the main A road and then turn right and you are in Clifton.

A few supermarkets, a school and a shed load of chimney pots later you come to The Fairham, which is a classic friendly pub.

Food van in the car park, punters outside having a laugh, paint splattered clothes and Hi Viz jackets rather than suits and pizzas were order of the day but at least half the people on the beer patio said hello and the gaffer/barmaid was top notch and couldn’t do enough to help or make you feel welcome.

It had that nicely chaotic feel that you will only know if you’ve been to a pub like this and John Smith’s Smoothflow is THE drink for 2021 – according to Martin – and it did the trick here in the absence of any cask.

Clifton FC is just over the road and loads of chimney pots in the other direction so I reckon – come next Monday when you can sit inside – this place will be a hive of activity.

Considering it was just later 1pm on a Thursday it was doing brisk trade. Despite a less than complimentary view on Pubs Galore – read here – I thought it was a cracker and the sort of pub everyone should visit to get a taste of proper #publife.

It was so chilled the bloke with his dog wasn’t fussed when I told him I was taking a picture of the front of the pub and I thnk a few were starting to settle in for at least the afternoon as the weather was holding out well.

Alan really was the estate pub king of the East Midlands if not all of Britain and he’d be pleased to know The Fairham on the Farnborough Road is ticking over nicely.

16 thoughts on “Solid Estate Pubs #1: The Fairham

  1. BB following on from the less than complimentary review on Pubs Galore I foolishly only scan read a review on Facebook and picked up on the terms local girl and needs a facelift. Closer examination confirmed this wasn’t advice for a Clifton female so she could be more aesthetically pleasing. The review actually read ‘Great local run by a lovely local girl who puts her heart and soul in for the locals, the pub needs a facelift’. Can I apologise for my dreadful error !!

    The pub looks a good one but I think we all agree it’ll be nice to be back indoors rather than in our winter clothes in a pub car park. Not long now Beermat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So it isn’t a review on Sandra from Stondelph or Gloria from Glascote and there impending lifts? That’s a bit disappointing but I’ll settle for a good pub review as compensation!
      Tamworth and its suburbs must have plenty of these and I’ve been to a couple in Fazeley already…
      Actually, that FB review is spot on as the Gaffer is great and even had hanging baskets up – the soul of the boozer felt good!
      Yep, I’m getting bored of having sit outside now as Derbados is not Benidorm weather wise and the option of sitting inside with a pint is ever more appealing…see you for one in Tamworth this side of Christmas!

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  2. “He is often mentioned in reverential tones on LifeAfterFoot”

    (nods)

    “Friendly punters (usually), the occasional lively encounter, acerbic humour, industrial language, funny stories, p*** taking,”

    That sounds like almost every BRAPA outing. 😉

    “and the feeling that the pub, rather than the beer, is the most important thing.”

    Martin says the same thing.

    “but, even if it’s keg only, people will go for the atmosphere and not the latest trend.”

    (nods) 🙂

    “Paul WME also visits many boozers off the beaten track and his excellent blog can be read here as he has taken on the Winfield mantle of backstreet boozers.”

    Blimey!

    “Unfortunately, Alan is no longer with us but if you’ve never read his blog then I suggest you settle down with a pint and trawl through some classic pubs, many of which have long bit the dust.”

    He definitely had a style all his own. (and the pints he could put away!)

    “One of those suburbs in Nottingham which anyone who has driven into the city on the A453 (everyone from Birmingham) will have seen The Crusader pub on the main A road and then turn right and you are in Clifton.”

    Well, the next right, rather than just leap off of the roundabout willy nilly into Gardendale Avenue. 😉

    “and a shed load of chimney pots later ”

    Aye, aye! Good indicator that. 🙂

    “Food van in the car park,”

    I’m starting to think my darling wife and meself should have taken her lunch truck to the UK and continued to do business. 😉

    “and John Smith’s Smoothflow is THE drink for 2021 – according to Martin –”

    Seconded!
    (on Martin’s ramblings) 🙂

    “Clifton FC is just over the road and loads of chimney pots in the other direction so I reckon – come next Monday when you can sit inside – this place will be a hive of activity.”

    Agreed!

    Considering it was just later 1pm on a Thursday”

    I’m guessing ‘later’ should have been ‘after’?

    “and the sort of pub everyone should visit to get a taste of proper #publife.”

    And raise one for Alan!

    “and I thnk ”

    Aye, aye! 🙂

    “Alan really was the estate pub king of the East Midlands if not all of Britain and he’d be pleased to know The Fairham on the Farnborough Road is ticking over nicely.”

    Nice way to end the post. (thumbs up)

    Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Beer wise there was (unsurprisingly) nothing of any merit “says the chap on Pubs Galore; he ought to pop in there and tell the locals their drinks have no merit and get them to drink a Mango Sour DIPA.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Visiting Sheffield pubs at random this last month I find I’ve enjoyed the non-cask pubs more than the cask shrines, and felt more welcomed by the locals. Unlike Alan, I’ve been happy with the John Smiths Smooth ****, and can tell you it benefits from care as much as Doom Bar, but more research is needed !

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That’s actually true!!! I remember going to the Waterfall in Derby and the barman poured a point of Creamflow and said it looks off…he changed the barrel and lo and behold the next keg was marvellous….
        Don’t get me wrong the cask pubs are terrific and I like them all but, as a general rule of thumb, lager/smoothflow/Guinness pubs are more amusing! Your Sheffield series is terrific – more please!

        Like

      3. I’m sure I’ve said this on my blog, but a pub which is “all about the beer” loses out on some of the key qualities of what a pub is a about.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Beermat, whilst it’s true I do like my estate pubs (extra points awarded for flat roof and a snarling Alsatian) I am very much still an apprentice when compared with Alan’s epic endeavours. I contrived to miss the Fairham on my only visit to Clifton but it certainly appears to have a down to earth quality judging by your evidence – keep them coming! Cheers, Paul

    Liked by 1 person

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