I knew it was going to be a Sunday service, but hadn’t bothered checking the timetable, after finding out that waiting for the bus would make it touch and go to whether I would catch the train I’d got advanced tickets for, I decided to walk into town, it wasn’t like it was raining, or even going to. As I reached Sheffield, I got texts of Darrell and Jinksy, they were under the misconception that I was going to Rotherham for the Blues game, much as I quite like a trip to Rotherham, I’d made my mind up to do Chorley at Spennymoor, once it was apparent that something was going to be hanging on it, and nothing on the Blues game, also, I had been wanting to do Durham for an ale trail, for a couple of years. I touched down in Durham on schedule, and was pleased to see that The Waiting Room, was open, I don’t ‘do’ Facebook, and although I’d tried, and failed, to find out if the place was going to be open, with it being a Bank holiday, guessed it wouldn’t be. Sometimes, it’s nice to be wrong.
“When waiting is a pleasure”
It was the owner who informed me that he’d posted the Bank holiday opening times on Facebook, and although it didn’t really induce me to join it, talking to him, about how well he was doing with the place, does make me wonder whether it really is worth it. It felt more like a traditional pub, than a micro pub, and definitely somewhere that I could’ve seen me using, if I lived in Durham. After the enjoyable conversation, and the bonus of it being open, the next place wasn’t as good, Half Moon Inn
“Great Beer Garden, shame about the range of beer”
“Lovely pub, shame about the range”
According to the ‘Whatpub’ site, the Dun Cow was supposed to open at 11 o’clock, 12 o’clock according to the licencee, it was too early, I changed my itinerary about, but on the way to the Victoria, I caught sight of the Court Inn, a pub that I’d deemed too out of the way, the Dun Cow’s loss, was the Court Inn’s gain, I may not have found out what the Dun Cow was like, but the Court Inn was superb. I’d been warned by Darrell, that the Victoria was not to be missed, and not only didn’t I miss it, but I’m extremely grateful for the recommendation,
“A step back in time”
“One IS amused”
“Puts Arkwright’s till to shame”
It may not quite be as spectacular as The Cafè Royal in Edinburgh, or as grand as the Black Horse in Preston, but the Victoria is right up there in must visit historic pubs, it’s beautiful, it’s got that working class, back street feel to it.
“A bit of tourist photo taking”
The lovely Bank holiday weather, brought the tourists out, I couldn’t help myself as I weaved in and out of them, as I ale trailed, I took a couple of photos, as I soaked in my surroundings. I might have been impressed with the Victoria, but it was Ye Old Elm Tree that was to be my favourite of the day, it was an eclectic mix of all kinds of things, but it works, and it made it enjoyably comfortable. I started chatting to one of the regulars, and was still chatting with him, when Dave, my nephew phoned, and then found me, after a pint, we moved on, but not before I’d commented to the woman who along with her other half, ran the place, that the pub was brilliant. On the way back to where Dave had parked up, we dropped into the Green King owned Market Tavern, only having a half, as none of the beers truly inspired
After travelling the six short miles to Spennymoor, we parked up near the ground, and paid to get in.
Half the crowd were Chorley supporters, though with Spennymoor’s home colours also being black and white stripes, the untrained eye needed to listen out for differing accents, what they made of two people in Chorley shirts, with a Brummy and London accents, I’m not sure. The Mags struggled against a good Spennymoor team, and had the better of the chances, nerves evidently getting the better of the lads from Lancashire, end of season games can be painful to watch, especially when you’re desperate for the outcome to go your way. 0:0 half time, Stockport were winning, the importance increased.
“Not a penny less”
We moved round after getting a burger, and Dave getting a couple of programmes, second half brought more of the same, Mags players not moving as fluidly as they had earlier on in the season, passes going astray, crosses being over hit, Spennymoor hit the woodwork, we breathed a sigh of relief, they hit the woodwork again, it was getting uncomfortable, Chorley won a penalty, the Spennymoor goal seemed to shrink to five aside size, to the normally reliable Adam Blakeman, it must’ve shrunk to Subbuteo size, the ball, table tennis size and weight, had the Chorley support been able to will the ball into the back of the net, then the Spennymoor goalkeeper might as well have gone and got himself a cup of tea, as it was, he saved it, it wasn’t the worst effort I’ve ever seen, it wasn’t like the home goalie could’ve walked off, carried a deck chair back on, sat down, and waited for the ball to reach him, but he saved it easily, and they got it away, sometimes in football, you know that it’s not going to go your way, that it doesn’t matter how much you want something to happen, how much you hope you’re wrong, and you’ll get a slice of luck, you just weren’t expecting, I’d took to hoping for a 0:0 draw, time was running out, sometimes in football, not only does football not go your way, but it can be cruel to you, Spennymoor deservedly scored, stuffing was knocked everywhere, at the final whistle, Marcus Carver, who’d won the penalty, slumped to the ground, he wasn’t the only one, the deflation was palpable.
Getting back to the car, we drove back to Chorley. There was no football talk, feelings were too raw, we actually talked about everything and anything but football, it helped with driving through some spectacular scenery, and quaint, cute little villages and towns. Getting back to Dave’s, Steph had cooked a roast dinner, those wonderful roast potatoes, lifting my mood, before we chatted the evening away.