Or: A win at home. A win at home. A win at home.
A bit of a carnival
Transport to game.
We were drawn to the 8.30 breakfast shift at the excellent Algarve Guest House in Weston Super Mare. The Weston Carnival had done its job and the talk across the tables was of the wind and the rain, the drunks and the destitute, carnival clubs and caravan camping. Not for me again. One sample of the flashing lights and thighs left me impressed with the Somerset enthusiasm but curiously under excited about the prospect of getting wet again next year.
My car had made the journey to Weston but had died and was now in a garage awaiting a Monday morning death sentence. We took the train to Bristol Temple Meads. I needed more hydrating / hangover diluting, tea at BTM. Then we took the chugger to Clifton Down and I left to take a No. 1 Bus to our arranged meeting pub in Westbury-on-Trym. I, of course, was now early. At 10 past 12 Ronnie, Bob and Martin the Lion arrived. No apology, just feeble excuses were offered.
The Post Office Tavern
Now more regularly called the POT at WOT, this is a quirky pub that has changed little over the years and by doing so still has something different to offer. Their Bass is always on my Radar. Those non Bristolians who read this may not know of the local predisposition to moan should there be even the slightest head on this particular beer. They call it Flat Bass hereabouts. Here they serve it straight from a barrel in the back room and it is as still as can possibly be. You get a full pint and knowing smiles as you take your pint to the table without spilling it and then lose the top to a wobbly table leg. They like a joke it seems. The pub has an indoor red telephone box, sheets of stamps as wall decorations and a closed up post box with clear instructions not to use as a post box. We did as we always do. We caught up on the trials of working for Rolls Royce, the latest pub news, made tentative plans for the rest of the lunchtime and admired Bobs new found dentistry. This pub is best when somewhat busier but for today it did the job being, as it is, easy to find from the bus stop.
Its enough to make your Bass flat
By now the rain was set in so it was a short hop to this pub rather than a hike along Stoke Lane. The Mouse has fantastic views from the garden. Today, instead of the sights of Westbury church and a distant Blaise estate was saw thick drizzle and red brick walls. We parked ourselves indoors and, to the backdrop of a Rugby League international, sampled a St. Austell Betty Stogs. It falls firmly in to the o.k. category of beers, as does the pub. Sports is a feature. It really should be noted as a possible place to cut to after a game when there we have a televised five O’clock kick off to watch.
We tumbled down the stream that was once Chock Lane and into the ever cosy Victoria. They never turn beer clips round and yet again my beer of choice was met with the Wetherspoons like response of “Sorry, have to change the barrel” I undertook the responsibility of taking the Wadworth Trelawney. I really like the pub. It is always comfortable and the beer generally well kept. Wadworth pubs are good when the landlord can get to the wider range of beers. I ordered the taxi for 2.15. The chaps were, it seemed, content .
They ventured in for a clubhouse bar pint. The steam spewing out of the misted windows suggested to me that the heaving masses of rain soaked Gasheads was a bit uncomfortable and so I went for some big match atmosphere.
Bristol Rovers 2 Carlisle United 0 Attendance 6,423 (353 Cumbrians)
Up to half time it had all the indicators of being another frustrating afternoon. The Rovers dominated from the start. Christian Montano supplied a stream of crosses. The ball dropped to players at the edge of the area and as always, that was it. Eventually Montano drifted inside to try his own luck as he too challenged the sturdiness of the tent end advertising boards. Unfortunately for the rest of the half he abandoned the wide birth and Carlisle were able to get in to the game. In the second half the pattern was resumed. This time it was Lee Brown rampaging down the left and Chris Lines through the middle. Eventually the goal came and the whole stadium relaxed. Rovers would win; we all knew that, but fancy flicks and over commitment gave a slight worry of a break away equaliser. Matty Taylor then shot through a players legs and it was 2-0. I am sure he read this blog last week and thought “now then Mr Stedders, It is possible to score by hitting it at defenders you know,”
Mark my words. THE CORNER HAS BEEN TURNED. This was the season changing result.
This lot are something special. I didn’t find old mate Mally in the Welly. I’m not sure if he went. There was a fine table of folk doing the real ale pubs throughout the day. They would have been thoroughly soaked if stood on the terrace. They would have been made perfectly miserable by the way the Rovers stopped them playing well. I hope most made a weekend of it rather than hauling their way back up the M6.
Entertainment Value 2
Man of the Match: Chris Lines
I am seriously at an end with this pub. The Dark Star Hophead had been chilled to within a degree of being frozen. There were no seats to be had other than the ten or so laid up for foodies and therefore frustratingly unused. The staff were busy and remarkably surly. I eventually got rid of my personal pub-induced hump by sitting outside in the rain.
Bus to town and:
The red glow of the Crofters is something now rather unique. It was warm and busy. The Chennai Porter was truly excellent. We were left with the stage seating and the amusement of counting so many musician carrying gear in to the back room. There would be a very large band playing later this evening. For the record the line-up was:-
FAT HAT PRESENTS
MR TEA AND THE MINIONS
BEAR TWISTS (DJ)
It had been a long day. Aah, bless!
By seven the Carnival had caught me up. I was not the only one struggling to keep going so I made my excuses and left them to the delights of the White Hart. I had Dr. Who and Casualty waiting for me to sleep through at home. Rose picked me up and the delights of a Fish lot at Henleaze was the home time treat.
Best Pub: Victoria in Westbury-on-Trym
Best Beer: Flying Monk Chennai Porter in the Crofters Rights
Next Up: Crawley away next Saturday. Lord Powell has sorted a route via Southampton that leaves B.T.M. at 8.22. May well meet up with good friend Mick as he is heading that way.