Saturday, 4 June 2022

St Helens

I headed away from St Helens station in bright sunshine and a cooling breeze for a long distance mopping up operation.

After a slight delay while I got lost in Tesco's car park, I reached the Glass Horse:

We know what to expect in a Hungry Horse, don't we?  This is a massive example of the chain, the interior seems to go on for ever!  Partly hidden behind a sign on the counter were two handpumps offering Greene King IPA; I ordered with some trepidation but it was spot on.  One cask is enough!

The place was doing a good trade at one on a Saturday, although there were still plenty of empty tables.  The room was filled with the happy chatter of families dining.

One new tick to start the day's research, let's see if we can get any more...

One again I got lost.  This time the fault of my database, which had the Glass Horse at the wrong roundabout.  Once I had corrected my mistake, my next target I was certain would be closed, and indeed the New Inn has been an electrical supplier for some time.  One that got away, but at least I've got a picture now:

On to the Pickled Egg:

To be honest, this place was on my "probably closed" list for many years, and I saw some streetview pictures that showed it looking rather dilapidated, but more recent researches suggested it was much improved, and indeed I found a rather fine free standing building which contains a well cared for pub, which has been knocked through to create a pleasant U-shaped room around the counter.

The music was very loud, Pretty Vacant, as I entered and there were about half a dozen regulars all sitting at the counter and chatting with the barmaid, who quickly served me a pint of Carling.

The pub is surrounded on all sides by building sites, so in another few months there should be a lot more customers from the new housing they're constructing.  Or perhaps the sort of people who buy brand new houses don't spend much time in the local boozer.

Another new tick for me, I seem to be doing pretty well recently, but I don't think I'll get any more today.  My next target was first visited in 2004, and more recently it spent a long time boarded up, but purely by chance when I was checking the Pickled Egg on Google Maps I noticed it popped up.  Could it have reopened?  The Bowling Green:

Here I found a very well done two sided boozer.  I entered the quiet side, where there were just two other customers, but I could hear quite a hum of chatter from the other side.  There was also a barbecue going on in the front yard. 

No one was serving and I was quickly advised by the customers to stand at the other end of the counter where staff can see me from the other room.  Do I need to wave my arms, I asked?  No need, I was quickly served another pint of Carling.

One of the bar staff dropped a glass, and I was pleased to hear the resulting cheer.  Last time this happened while I was in a pub there was no reaction at all and I had wondered if it was no longer politically correct to applaud such an accident.  Clearly there's no such problem here.

The room I was in was covered in football memorabilia, Liverpool and Everton.  We must be close to the border where Man Utd becomes the favourite, but clearly we're on the right side of the line here.  There's also a lot of Saints stuff, but I know even less about rugger.

That's the main targets completed, but I need at least one more before the train home, so I selected the Vulcan:

I think I exhausted the supply of Star Trek references at the other Vulcan Inn back in 2018, so we'll skip them this time.

I entered the rather crowded bar side and bought my Carling and then nipped through the door to the quieter and larger lounge to drink it.  I remember last time I was here the lounge side was occupied by a wake, and I contemplated but wisely and rightly resisted pinching some of the buffet, and stayed in the tiny bar side.

The decor here is plain but very well done, a classic local boozer.

One more before I go home?  Given the post-COVID half service we currently have to put up with, and the fact that there's a train in a few minutes and it's neither cancelled nor late, I think I'll catch it.

Pub of the day: Difficult.  The Glass Horse had the best beer, but the other three were all "proper" boozers.
Miles walked: 3.8
Maybe coming soon: To be honest, I've no idea.

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