#Freedomday seems a long time ago now but there really were joyous scenes akin to Birmingham City finishing in the top half of the Championship that day.
Yes, punters really were that happy.
I thought I’d celebrate in the sun (it was sunny back in July if you recall) with a visit to Melbourne.
No, not the place currently in permanent lockdown with sunshine all year round but the place not in lockdown and with sunshine one month of the year (according to #pubmen).
That’s right, the south Derbyshire village that has kind of morphed into a town these days but I reckon has better pubs than its Aussie counterpart.
657 – The Spirit Vaults DE73 8EJ is a cracker and although not strictly a newbie, it counts as one in LAF rules.
This used to be The Bluebell and was a cracking backstreet local on Church Street. I have done this once before, having visited The Wagon and Horses in Digbeth (famous for being used on Man Like Mobeen) which was a lively boozer near Birmingham City’s ground.
This morphed into Dead Wax Digbeth (double the prices) so, in my book, if it is a different name on the same site then it is a different pub.
So, now I’ve cleared up all the blogging pedant rules I know Russ enjoy so much, I can talk about the pub.
It’s had a fair few quid spent on it, looks very smart, but, you’ll be pleased to know, is still basically a pub rather a gastro eatery.
Brewing it’s own beers on site (Morgan Brewery) it delivered a good choice and I plumped for the Deep Amber Ale (Reverend)
which was in magnificent nick.
Bearing in mind it was just after midday on a Monday then there were already around ten people in and the atmosphere was one of relief/disbelief.
The barmaid was delighted that people were allowed up to the bar and she was positively encouraging it.
A girl walked in and decided to celebrate by “ordering a cider from the bar, I’m quite excited.”
A chatty couple were outside ad enjoying the beer with a smile; whilst the pub is very bright, airy and modern, but still very much, a pub.
Melbourne is ever evolving with a growing population and pubs that shut are replaced by tap rooms and cafes.
However, it is good to see The Spirit Vaults has captured all of the pubbery The Bluebell possessed.
Built as a house in 1736, and battling against the Melbourne Estate who weren’t keen in it being turned into a pub in the late 19th Century, the Spirit Vaults have. packaged it – with reasonable prices – in a shining, gleaming new model.
It’s great to be able to go to the bar once again…