Thursday 26 October 2023

St Helens

This time, a wander around St. Helens.  I started in Wetherspoon's Glass House:

It's not often a Wetherspoon appears in my list of pubs overdue for a revisit, but I was last here in September 2018, so here we are.

Quite a good choice of ales on and I couldn't resist favourite Wobbly Bob, which was sweet and lovely, as usual.  Actually, it looked a little cloudy, but tasted fine.

This nicely done and always popular 'spoons was doing well at one on a Thursday, mostly drinkers but also some food coming out.

In Liverpool I was in Blacklers and the Northwestern yesterday evening and we couldn't get a table in either, Wetherspoon's seem to be doing very well at the moment, although that isn't reflected in the value of my shares!

Next, a call at what was formerly another Wetherspoon's until they closed it in 2021.  The new operators have kept the same name at the Running Horses:

Not much change since the takeover, they've even kept the "Local historical figures" panels.  A number of pool and snooker tables have been added, I'm guessing they weren't here before.  I also noticed a DJ booth and a small dance floor with a glitter ball.  This was previously a Lloyds No.1 so they probably aren't new.

The whole place was covered in a surfeit of Halloween decorations.  As it's only a few days away I suppose I'll have to allow it.

Wetherspoon's handpumps stand forlornly on the counters but I don't think we'll get any cask in here any time soon.  I had Carling which was a mistake as I could have had a Carlsberg for only two quid, saving a pound.

Custom was sparse but not nonexistent, just a handful of drinkers in the place plus some pool players in the far corner.  The lone barmaid spent more time working on decorations than serving drinks.  (Not a complaint, she had dropped what she was doing to serve me the moment I entered the door.)

I wanted to check out the Sefton, where I'm told my favourite beer, Oakham Citra, is always on, but it wasn't so I skipped that one and headed on to an overdue visit to the Lamb:

A great pub this, last visited in July 2018, with a rather wonderful interior with a few bits of historic wood panelling and leaded glasswork.

A good selection of cask on the counter but I didn't look further than the wonderful White Rat.  Are you a CAMRA member, she asked.  Yes, I replied  and that was enough for a discount.

Gentle conversation mixed with a rather eclectic music video channel on the TV - I've Seen All Good People by Yes is not the normal currency of "Now 70s" or whatever the usual rubbish channel is called.

A steady stream of customers were greeted by the friendly barmaid as the place ticked over.

I looked around.  This really is an immaculately cared for pub, someone has put a lot of effort into creating a very pleasant space.

Next, back towards the station and can we get a new one?  The Little George Quarter:

Yes we can.  The ground floor of this new place, opened in February I think, is a tiny nicely decorated room with a counter at one end.  There's one handpump but the clip was turned round so I had another Carling.

No one else was in and I watched Sky News in splendid solitude.

There's another room upstairs but I suspect that's empty as well.

The modern decor in here is very pleasant, the whole operation seems well done.    I hope this bar does well long term.  One of the TVs was advertising live music, I'm guessing that would be upstairs.

Now I'm on this street it would be daft to miss a visit to the George next door:

More of a traditional boozer this one.  If you want cask you need the bar side, and I chose Hop Dancer from the two Wigan Brewhouse beers on offer, a rather fine hoppy pale one.

CAMRA discount again, and I had to show my card this time.  I forget what the price was but it was very cheap, under three quid I think.

Ticking over nicely at half three on a Thursday, the soundtrack in here was a mixture of rubbish piped music and cheerful chatter  with the clack of pool balls in the background.  The lounge side where I sat was very quiet.

The inevitable Halloween decorations in here were not over the top:  Well done!

So, a rather good pub survey reaches its end, I certainly did some good places today and now it's time for the train home. St Helens is struggling judging by the number of boarded up shops, but the pubs are really good.  No Oakham Citra, but you can't have everything!

Pub of the day: Lamb
Beer of the day: Wobbly Bob
Miles walked: 1.5
Maybe coming soon: Undecided


  1. Great write up. As you say, the real ale offering in St Helens has really improved in recent years.

    Wetherspoons pubs never seem to do very well when they change hands. I guess once you remove the reliable beer and food offering, most of the appeal is lost and they feel like big empty spaces.

    1. Big empty space is a precise description of the Running Horses when I was there.