Contrary to the poor weather forecast I left home in bright sunshine. It was raining gently by the time I reached Kirkdale. My first target, the Knowsley, was shut, I think permanently:
The keg bitter was not one of the common three - Tetley, John Smiths or Worthington. Instead they've got Trophy - I didn't know it still existed!
Not surprisingly, I was the only customer at two on a damp Tuesday afternoon. Two different racing channels on the TVs and Smooth on the wireless, both at low level, were the only sounds as I sat in the peaceful well maintained bar.
Next, the New Halfway House:
Unlike the Saddle, there were a number of customers in here, so quiet chit-chat was the dominant sound, with muzak in the background.
By the way, for non Liverpudlian readers, Dickie Lewis is the nickname for a "well endowed" statue located over the entrance of Lewis's department store in Liverpool. (He's also the "statue exceedingly bare" in the song In My Liverpool Home.) A bar across the road took this as its name, and later a chain of down market pubs all over Merseyside became Dickie Lewis's. I think the chain has gone now, and all the pubs have lost the name.
The Fountains Abbey was shut, although it looks like it might be an operational pub still:
A handful of regulars were making plenty of noise, banter and chit-chat drowning the background music. Good grief, is that the Bay City Rollers? I think it is!
There's a tiny stage in the corner of the front room, just enough space for karaoke or a singer, but not a band.
Bradley's (formerly the Pacific) looks to be closed:
Two more locals came in while I drank, keeping the pub ticking over.
A sign advertised cask ales, and there were two handpumps on the bar, but they were clearly out of use. Perhaps on match days?
I've got a guilty secret fondness for over the top country music, and Coward of the County followed by You Picked A Fine Time To Leave Me Lucille was the best music of the day!
It's a long time since I've seen a Guinness and black served in a pub.
Apropos of nothing, I was thinking I never get any stares when I'm writing on my tablet in these pubs. This seems a bit odd, as I occasionally got a reaction when writing in a notebook years ago, including being accused of taking notes for "the social", in a pub just up the road from here. My theory is that most people have a child or grandchild or nephew/niece or whatever who spends lots of time playing with a tablet, so it's just "normal" and they don't see it as a threat, unlike a notebook.