On to the Boundary:
Oddly, as I was about half way through my Guinness, a group of four or five lads came in and formed a noisy group at one end of the bar. The incumbent older clientele promptly left en masse. Aggro? I don't think so, everything was amicable and some of those leaving called "See you later" to the lads. It was more like a shift change.
Next, just a short distance down Smithdown Road took me to the Newstead Abbey:
A very elderly bloke struggled to leave, hardly able to walk with his stick, and immediately one of the regulars helped him and carried his shopping out. I hope I have a local like this when I'm that old.
Off down a side street to cut through to Earle Road, and the Earl Marshall:
I notice a skillful salesman has sold them some of those "retro" lightbulbs, there were various bulb shapes with spiral or zigzag filaments all suspended from the high ceiling.
A small amount of original decorated glass survives around the porch, but the majority of the decor is plain and recent. Customers were about ten, all male except one, and the background noise was quiet conversations and Sky Sports News.
The Earl Marshal or Earl Marshall, an hereditary title held by the Dukes of Norfolk, is responsible for organising major state occasions such as the State Opening of Parliament.
Next, further along Earle Road to the Ashdale Inn:
A handful of regulars were chatting with the barmaid or playing pool, and here the background noise was mainly a music channel on the TV.
My next target was the Waldeck:
Wellington on Picton Road:
Behind the splendid ceramic exterior is a pleasant plain knocked round one bar boozer. A few original features remain, particularly the wood and glasswork of the porches, but most of the place is comfortable modern plain. The customers were a few blokes (four including me) and a couple of young girls whose main interest seemed to be programming the juke box.
There were a couple of handpumps on the bar, one with a turned round Doom Bar clip, but I bet they haven't done real ale for some time.
Contradicting my comments in previous blog entries, I can report that all the pubs today were comfortably warm inside, despite it being another chilly January day.