Tuesday 13 November 2018

Countryside and Urban

Two trains took me to Kirkby station, from where I headed off in bright sunshine, almost immediately getting lost in the back streets.  After a bit of doubling back I recovered my bearings and reached Melling and the Horse & Jockey:
I entered by the bar door to find a comfortable room with bench seats round the walls and tables and chairs in the middle.  Cream painted matchboarding below the dado and fake ceiling beams give the room a comfortable plain feel.

No-one in apart from the barmaid, and with no sign of any handpumps I had a half of lager.

Peering through the door it looked like the larger restaurant room was also empty.

Next, a long walk in the sunshine along country roads, to the Pear Tree:
A Greene King chain dining place, this, with rather good restrained decor in the opened out interior.  I guess the colour of the woodwork is probably known as taupe or mushroom, but I'll call it grey.

Just two other customers were visible, finishing their luncheon, while the barman tidied up behind the counter.

The two handpumps were out of use, so it was lager again for me.

Another deserted pub, I guess we're in the mid-November doldrums before the Christmas rush begins.  Actually, I went to what was described as a Christmas beer get-together with some friends on Saturday in Glasgow, so technically it's begun for me!

Another long walk, initially in the countryside and then in more urban surroundings got me to the never visited before Windmill:
Oh dear, at first glance it looks closed, but no, the door at the far end was open and I entered a large open very tidy room occupied by just the barman and one other drinker.  I purchased my lager and sat down.

I could hear the occasional clack of pool balls, so I concluded there were at least two more customers in the other side.

I looked round with my architectural eye:  How much is original in here?  I'm guessing the matchboarding and the plain carved wood counter front, but I suspect the layout of the room has been altered and some walls knocked down.  Still pretty much a classic 60s estate boozer, though.

More pool players arrived as I finished my pint.

Not too far to walk to my next target, the Farmers Arms:
If any of today's pubs were going to be closed it was this one, but I thought it was worth going to photograph the remains.  Streetview showed it looking very tatty and standing in total isolation, surrounded by scrubland.  But when I arrived I found it looks tidy outside, and there are lots of new houses.

Inside I found one plain well cared for room with the most customers I'd seen so far today, about six.  The landlady was playing pool with one of them, while the rest chatted.

Surprisingly, there was a handpump on the counter with a Doom Bar clip, but I wasn't going to risk it, so it was Carling again.

Next, I caught a bus back to the railway station, for my last two ticks.  Continuing today's theme of nobody about, I had the bus to myself initially.  Annoyingly, I got the one that goes the long way round, and then when it finally reached the station I pressed the bell too late, and had to walk back from the next stop, but eventually I reached the Carters Arms.  It was much too dark for a photo by now, but luckily I'd snapped one a few hours ago, when I arrived:
I entered the pleasant room to find it quite busy.  For the first time today a gentle hubub of conversations mixed with the music.

I used to come here regularly twenty years or more ago, and apart from a good redecoration it doesn't seem to have changed much here in the lounge side.

No real ale, my half of Carling was served in a glass from the fridge, as if it wasn't cold enough already!

Finally, the Railway, again photographed earlier today:
Only a few yards from the Carters, but still managing a decent level of custom on a Tuesday evening, and once again the music was mixed with lively chatter, and an awful lot of swearing (Until the Scotsman went home.)

The two-bar interior is partly knocked through, but there's still a separate side room where I sat alone.

Unusually, they don't seem to have Carling, so I had Fosters for a change.

I glanced at the telly at the end of the room.  CHELMSFORD HAS BEEN ABANDONED said the large caption.  What, the whole city?  Where have they all gone?  And how will I tick the Wetherspoon's now?  Time to go home!

Pub of the day: Difficult.  None of them stood out, but all were good.  I think perhaps the Farmers wins, because I only went there to photograph a closed pub!
Miles walked: 5.3
Maybe coming soon: St Helens, Bromborough

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