Wednesday 29 November 2017

Everton in the Cold

A cold and sunny day saw me on the bus towards Everton again, this time to May Duncan's:

This hasn't changed at all since I was here in 2004, one large open knocked through room around a u-shaped counter. Nicely decorated and very well cared for. A handful of regulars briefly all looked round as I entered, before resuming their chit-chat. No real ale so I had a pint of Canada's famous fizzy yellow stuff (Although I note the glass is branded Burton-on-Trent.). The whole place has a friendly, comfortable feel to it. I notice they do accommodation upstairs.

I was trying unsuccessfully to remember what it was like when it was called the Thistle. On returning home and examining my database I discovered this was because 2004 was my first time, when it was already May Duncan's

My next destination was just up the road, but unfortunately the Old Campfield was boarded up:
Continuing along Heyworth Street brought me to the Grade II listed example of "brewers' Tudor" that is the Mere Bank:
Another one that hasn't changed much since my '04 visit, a very pleasant half-timbered inside to match the outside. Just one other customer when I went in, one or two more came in while I swigged another Carling.

I resisted the temptation of pinching a free drink while the barman had a smoke break!

Intriguingly, just as I was finishing my pint three trays of sandwiches were delivered. I wondered if there was any chance of some free food, but they disappeared somewhere!

I headed eastwards in the failing light. The area where I drank in the Granton and the Waverley back in 1999 has been redeveloped out of all recognition, but further down Breckfield Road North things returned to 1910s architecture, and the beautiful ceramic frontage of the Grove was soon in view. (Too dark for a piccy, I'm afraid) The interior has been pleasantly modernised since I was last here, also in '99, but without changing the comfortable three roomed two-sided layout.
There were plenty of customers in both sides, at least one of which had brought an irritatingly friendly little dog - Once I'd convinced it I'd got no food it went to bother someone else. I later discovered there were three of them (dogs, I mean), and they probably belong to the pub.

I headed off in the bitter cold and darkness to the Midden which still looks like an operational pub, but wasn't open, so I continued through the maze of terraced streets to the King Charles, a fine traditional boozer with a tiny front snug served from a hatch, which has retained signage and other aspects of a 1960s refurbishment. (Don't you just love that font.) I don't mean to suggest it has an old tired interior, it has obviously been well looked after since then. Some of the regulars were tucking in to bowls of nuts and crisps, but I didn't get any!

Another place that was ticking over nicely early on Tuesday evening, I get the feeling pubs round here are still doing alright. On the other hand, none of the pubs I visited today was warm, I never took my coat off at all, so obviously all are economising on heat on what was admittedly a very cold day (for Liverpool.)

I notice I've got this pub listed under Anfield whereas all the previous ones were Everton. I really must decide where the line is and sort things out!

A short walk took me to Breck Road for a bus into town for a train home. Just think, when I'm sixty all this travel will be free! Hopefully.

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