Saturday, 4 February 2023

Another Match Day

My recent successes at Anfield prompted me to try the other local team, so I headed out to Kirkdale.  The danger of going out on a match day is that you, dear reader, will probably have to suffer the opinions on football of someone who knows nothing about it.  Mind you, if you watch the coverage on the telly you'll be accustomed to that, and I don't get paid millions for my drivel.  I'll try and resist the temptation...

A good start:  Close to the station the Peacock and the Melrose Abbey, both of which I feared were long gone, are open.  I snapped photos and carried on towards the ground, saving these two desirable ticks for later.

Always a sign of disgruntled fans, a Cessna was towing a banner around the ground, I didn't manage to work out what it said. 

Down a side road is the impressive building that is the Medlock Hotel:

Last ticked in 2000, I suspected this one was out of action but no, and I was soon swigging a Carling in the comfortable lounge.  I can't actually remember 23 years ago, but it seems to roughly match my database entry from then, a two sided pub.  The lounge side may have been knocked through as it's now one room with nice wood panelling below the dado.

The match was on the TV in the bar side, with a handful of locals watching, I was in splendid isolation in the lounge.

I hurried my drink, hoping to get as many ticks as possible done before full time, and headed out.

I passed the Westminster, which I thought might be match days only but it was shut, and noted the Barlow was open, and then did a double take when I realised I'd walked past the Elm Tree but it wasn't there any more, having been replaced by new flats and houses:

Next, last visited in 2004, the Springfield:

Last time I wrote "A beautiful well kept traditional boozer with a small front bar and a very pleasant lounge served from a small hatch", and nothing much has changed.  It was nearly empty while the match was on despite it being on the telly, and the staff were enjoying their chippy dinners during the lull.  A friendly barmaid offered to move with her chips so I could have a better view.

The decor in the lounge side is very plain, with no pictures on the walls, but well maintained and cared for.

Carling again, knocked back quickly, and then on to the Winslow:

Another '04 one, this, so a third desirable tick.  I've only ever been in here previously post-match, so a bit hard to make comparisons.  It was surprisingly busy at half time, but I got the feeling that a significant proportion of the customers were staff from here or other local businesses, enjoying the eye of the hurricane.

Pundit whitter on the TV was mostly drowned by cheerful chatter in the end I sat in, I noticed there didn't appear to be any way to the other bar without going outside.

Memories of here a long time ago were evoked; it was dark, the music was loud and the room was jam packed with friendly Everton and away fans.  I recall being impressed to see the away fans treated well by the locals, with a little friendly banter but no aggro.

I bet this place is still popular after the match, they even offer free food according to the signs.

With the second half under way it's time to start heading back towards the station, hoping I can get another two ticks without too much overcrowding.

The Melrose Abbey:

The efficient and friendly barmaid apologised for the lack of fivers in my change, and then later came to see me to offer to swap one for five coins, I said it's OK, I'll spend it in the next pub.  She also pointed out the free food, not sure what it was but it smelled good!

I'm getting tired of saying this but once again the pub is plain and well looked after.  The match was on in the bar side, I resorted to the lounge where I sat alone and made my notes.

Oh dear, I've resisted well so far but here we go...  Everton were now winning, if they keep on to full time it will be a great result for the new manager.  Also, the bottom of the league is quite "compressed", so one or two unexpected wins could move them up quite a bit.

Finally, the Peacock:

Another one last ticked in 2004.  The historical interior I noted last time seems to have gone, but it's still a plain pleasant well cared for boozer, with quite a few locals watching the last few minutes.  Others fired up the pool table so clearly weren't interested.

The quarry tiled floor is rather unusual, contributing to the plain but well maintained space.  There was quite a lot of LFC decor, it's obviously not an Everton pub like the Winslow was.

Everton still winning with just a few minutes to go, can they make it?  I've managed five pints during the match, can I get to the station before the fans?

They did and I did, sharing the train with just a few early leavers.

Pub of the day: Too close to call, they were all good.
Beer of the day: Er, Carling.
Miles walked: 2.1
Maybe coming soon: Undecided.

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