Thursday, 9 September 2021

Crosby

In intermittent showers I aimed for Crosby, getting rather wet on the way from Lime Street to Central.  Once at Crosby I headed first to the "Barbie" which I expected to find closed and it is, with a For Sale board on the front:

Next, on to the Royal Oak:

A well maintained interior with multiple rooms partially knocked through to create a comfortable pub, pretty much unchanged since my previous call in 2004.

Last time I had real Boddingtons, this time no real ale and the lone hand pump looks like it hasn't been touched for some time.

Only one other customer at half three, he was concentrating on the golf on the telly, so I wandered to a different part of the pub to drink my lager.  Shortly after, another customer came in, making three.

The Beatles were replaced by the Stones, perhaps a little loud for an empty place.  About half way down my pint, the music gave up and I was treated to that rarest of pub soundtracks; total silence.  

I sank my lager at a leisurely pace since my next target opens at four (I hope).

I arrived at the Corner Post at 16:03 but I wasn't the first in.

A rather fine shop conversion this, and clearly popular;  another two customers came in before I'd consumed more than an inch of my Liverpool Brewing Cascade, and then another a couple of minutes later.  All were regulars who chatted to each other and the landlord.

I checked the weather radar and there were some nasty cells around, would I get soaked later?  It's a long walk to the next pub!

The Cascade ran out as I finished my pint, the last but one pulled was excellent which I think indicates skilful cellarmanship and a good turnover.

The rain continued so I had to deploy the umby[1] on the longish walk to the Liverpool Pigeon:

This hasn't changed much since my last visit in 2014.  My guide entry from then is rather telling:  "Branded as a "Micro Pub" this place is a former shop in a parade."   Of course, the micro pub was a new concept back then and this was the first one in Liverpool, so it was all a bit new to me.

Anyway, here in 2021 it was ticking over nicely and my lovely pint of White Rat (It gets everywhere!) was in an oversized glass, so that plus hasn't changed either.

I considered heading for home, using the weather as an excuse for curtailing my researches, but as the time to move approached the rain eased off, so I headed on to Stamps:

This quirky place doesn't seem to have changed since I was last here.  "Only" four real ales this time, I resisted the White Rat, and chose one I'd possibly never had before, Abbeydale Deception, which was lovely.

Quite a few customers in at six in the evening, but plenty of room for more.  The background music was mainly drowned by chatter.

My grumbles about the weather were put to shame by the discovery that Wirral train services were disrupted due to flooding!  Lucky I didn't do Rock Ferry this week!

There's one more pub around here last visited in 2014, so it would be daft to miss the George:

Unwisely, perhaps, I requested the only cask, it took two staff and a visit to the back to decide whether it was actually available, and I was asked to taste it to check because neither of them knew whether it was on or not.  To be fair, it was a spot on traditional bitter so 10/10 for ale, 0/10 for bar staff knowledge!  One decent cask ale is enough, but your people need to know!

This classic interwar pub (I guess) has retained some original features, which are somewhat marred by bunting and other brewery publicity.

It was surprisingly empty for a Thursday evening, I was expecting to find more people here.  I get the feeling that some big company is losing money, there were more staff than customers.

Across the road is the former Exchange, last ticked in 2002, which according to the signs is soon to reopen as Suburb 24, I'll have to come back and tick it in due course:

By the way, some of today's ticks were last done on one of my early blog entries in 2014, why don't you boost my stats and read that next?

[1] For non-locals, umby is Scouse for umbrella.

Pub of the day: I can't choose between the Corner Post or the Pigeon
Maybe coming soon: St Helens
Miles walked: 2.8

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Classic Boozers In Rock Ferry

Under the river again, this time to Rock Ferry.  Across the road from the station was the Rock Station which I first visited in 2003 and more recently in 2015.  My internet researches had led me to expect it to be closed, in fact it's completely demolished, with only a sign frame and a cache of kegs/casks remaining (Aren't the aluminium kegs valuable and stealable?)

Next, down towards the river.  Annoyingly I'd forgotten that the straight road from the station to my next destination has an impassable break where it crosses the bypass, so I had to fire up Google Maps and take a diversion.  Eventually, I reached my next target, the Refreshment Rooms:

Happily, this place is unchanged since my previous visit, in 2015.  It's mainly oriented towards food, but welcoming of drinkers as well.  Table service only - I was soon allocated a table (Reserved from 4.30) and enjoying a pint of the house beer, HMS Conway, a rather good "ordinary" bitter brewed by Lees.

The maritime themed decor (But they've also got a model Liverpool tram for some reason.) is pleasant and at two on a Thursday afternoon there were a fair number of mostly dining customers, keeping the chatter level up.

I must say the food arriving at the next table looked and smelled good, scouse, fish and chips, bangers and mash etc.

Next, a short stroll to the Derby Arms:

Places like this are getting rarer, here's a classic pub with beautifully cared for decor, and lots of regulars enjoying their local at three on a Thursday.  Many of the denizens were older than I, but there were younger ones as well, a good cross section.

No real ale, so I parked myself in a side room with a pint of Carling.  Conversations and the click of pool balls were louder than the music.

The first time I came here, three years ago, I was somewhat startled to find it open, hidden as it is up a side street surrounded by new housing.  I was less surprised this time, because I could see then that it was a great local pub, with enough regulars to keep it going as long as the people running it maintained the standards.  They clearly have.

Next, continuing to circle around Rock Ferry station, I headed to the Rockvilla while the formerly grey weather changed to bright sunshine.  Not visited since 2003, what will I find?

It's been done up since I was here, rather good rough wood and bare brick decor.  Again doing a good trade on a Thursday afternoon, although the loud drunken noise of one group made it sound busier than it actually was.

The Rock, as they almost certainly don't call this part of Wirral, is clearly the place for traditional boozers, in both meanings of the word.  Another classic, this.  And I've got another two which I expect to be similar to try before I go home.

About 50% of the regulars, and also the excellent barmaid, headed to the door for a smoke while I swigged my Carling.

Still circling round the station, I aimed for the Lord Napier:

Another traditional pub, unchanged since I was here in '18, but sadly deserted, none of the lively custom of the last two ticks.

I could see one other customer in the other side of this two sided boozer, but apart from him it was just the barmaid/landlady and I.

The only sound was "Now 80s" on a telly in the corner of the well cared for lounge side.

For a change, I had a Guinness here, there was a handpump but with a blank clip;  I've got a feeling that was the same last time I was here.

The bloke in the other side, ordering another pint, caught my eye and called hello across the servery.  Was he just friendly or did he mistake me for a regular?

Time to aim towards home, but I've saved the pub by the station for last, for bladder comfort reasons.  So, in to the Bedford:

It seems to be also known as Luke's now.

My 2015 notes described this as a plain well cared for multi-roomed boozer, and in 2021 it's exactly the same.

My pint of Carling was extra cheap because it's happy hour on Thursdays!  

There were enough customers to fill the room with chatter, but it wasn't packed at five o'clock.

Yet another "down market" pub doing good trade at a non-peak time, just like the others today, clean, tidy and deservedly popular.

Pub of the day: Refreshment Rooms for the ale.
Miles walked: 3
Maybe coming soon: St Helens, Woolton