Or alternatively: Out with old, in with the new
Transport to game.
Rose gave me a welcome lift to B.T.M. for 7.30. The group gathered as usual in the bar on platform 3 and waited for the departure platform to be confirmed. The initial band included Andy, Ron, Bob and Phil. Martin joined us on the train. Peter and Geoff were going by Megabus and we would meet them later. The train left at 8.20, the earlier than usual time explained by the route of the train being indirect, i.e. via Bath, Warminster, Westbury and then back to the main line at Reading. By luck of the ticket booking my neighbour was Martin. The others were split apart and conversation therefore became difficult. Martin was in full chewing gum mode so I instantly went into ear protection function. I had my phone and my you tube play list to keep my sanity.
My morning playlist was as follows.
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies: Orkney Wedding with Sunrise
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies: Lullaby for Lucy
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies: Farewell to Stromness
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies: Mavis in Las Vegas
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies: Ebb of Winter
This was all very good for me at the time but lack of conversation has its consequences. Martin was under this illusion that we had and agreed plan of action. At Paddington we all went to the Mad Bishop and Bear, the usual venue for early arrivals in London. Three decided that their breakfast was their priority. Phil the Lion and the Real Lord Powell wanted to move on to what was apparently the agreed first location and the the breakfasters would catch us later. Martin and I were bound by our two together rail card and the prospect of a pint or two in a brewery tap seemed attractive. The pub is relatively easy to find as there are plenty of maps to follow from the station along Tooley Street and in to Druid street and the railway arches that are home to several breweries of the London Beer revolution. We even glimpsed some proper tourist alternatives of the HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge.
Southwark Brewery Tap
Over the next hour or so the gang of three swelled to one of ten. First, the Megabus crew arrived, even Peter joined us as he was on the false apprehension of the pub being in a more touristy location. He had been hob-knobbing it with famous, unnamed actors over his café breakfast. One of our friends celebrated his 18 thousandth new beer, all safely recorded in his notebook but for today recorded on a sheet of paper. Scargill passed the pub, thinking it was just a mail sorting depot but couldn’t escape and the Lion chased him up the road. Conspicuously absent were the usual three. Calls were made and messages left. The replies came through they were in the Shipwrights. another pint then? Half an hour later, another call, They couldn’t find the pub. Now we were on the fifth beer of the session. When they arrived it would be rude to move on without them having the chance to sample the excellent stuff on offer. So it was that for the first time in ages I sampled a full beer list in a session in a pub.
For my record the beers were:-
Southwark Brewery Porter, Citra, Harvard, India Ale, Gold, Bermondsey Best
The pub was full by the time the group was fully assembled. The Rugby at Twickenham had brought in those who watch England at the end of a town session. Bearded and flat capped, they represented the hipster end of the egg chasing fraternity. Every beer was in great nick and the simple bar set a very high standard to follow. I decided to tell everyone the route to the next pub. Up the road, first left and along to Long Lane, turn right and the pub is on the right. I needn’t of bothered. No one was listening so I followed them up the road as they took the long way to the next pub. I had to stop the crawl and redirect them but for the second time they went their own way to the pub. Two stayed with me as we arrived first to the pub. By now I was in a grump.
Simon the Tanner
The somewhat unfocused beer list
In comparison this pub was a relative disappointment. Had we visited it first it would have stood up fine. It had seven beers, an interesting choice and with space to sit and chat. I settled for an excellent Hammerton Pentonville. Having wasted valuable time waiting for others and at risk of not getting back to London Bridge on time I explained the quickest route back to the station as we left. At last they followed that route and we caught the 2.15 to South Bermondsey.
Rovers to the left of me, Rovers to the Right…..
Millwall 4 Bristol Rovers 0 Attendance 9,645 (1,018 Gas)
The score looks far worse than the performance merited. Even Rovers wouldn’t come back from having a player sent off and then quickly going one down. In years past the team would play for a heroic one nil defeat but this is the new Rovers and they kept with two up front, went on the attack and eventually had to suffer the breakaway flood that comes when it is realised that they are not invincible. The goals conceded were bad ones, one on ones with central defenders who for once couldn’t cope plus a not so classy cross penalty area pass by Linesy for their fourth. The highlights looked as if it was one way traffic. The reality was that the direction was one way but the goals were not in that direction of play. The team were applauded off the field, a sure sign that their efforts and tactics were appreciated and not unnoticed.
Entertainment Value 4
Man of the Match: Kelle Roos
After the game was when things went really bad.
This is my version of events. Their version will need to be given by them.
At the station we had to catch separate carriages in the full train back to London Bridge. When this happens we usually gather together on the platform before moving on. Geoff, Phil and I did so but the others obviously did not. We decided to go via the escalator to the concourse which has multiple exits. No sign of the team there either. We now started to speculate as to where they might go next. Options were a) the nearest pub, b) Lancaster gate, a common past match venue or c) Paddington. At 10 past 5 I gave up on the speculation and made for option c. The others had gone to the Market Porter, vaguely option a. Geoff made his way to Victoria to be nearer to the Megabus, leaving me with the vague hope of being contacted by the others later. I decided on a pint in the Mad Bishop and Bear and waited for a call. No call came so I got some food, played the results game on my phone and resigned myself to some peace and quiet for an hour or so.
Mad Bishop and Bear
Fullers Brown Riot
The view is good from the outside seats. The beer was not, the fish definitely was.The beer was left unfinished, it was that bad.
The train journey home started with a frankly embarrassing argument over who was to blame for the non-meeting of minds. The Lord copped most of it. Resolutions were made as to the next trip. I retreated to my musical shell and an attempt for ignorant bliss.
The evening playlist included recordings by:
T Bone Blues Band
Christine and the Queens
The Specials with Amy Winehouse
The Thunderkatz at the Rodney
Don’t know them? look them up.
Rose picked me up at B.T.M. and yet again I was more than glad of her doing so
We meet again next week at the Barley Mow in Bristol. From now on I am going to let them know exactly where I want to go and will go for it. Should others wish to join me then that will be fine,. If not, then so be it. The experiment to not be beer hunting leader has failed miserably and I now declare it dead and buried.
So next week this is the plan.
Rovers V Milton Keynes Home
Before the game: Meet 12 at the Barley Mow. Move on around 1 to either Moor Brewery Tap. If time allows go next to the Volunteer but more likely get a taxi at 2 to the ground.
After the game go to the Drapers Arms then catch a bus to town for pubs to be decided at the time.
Next away game
Before the game: White Swan, Rutland Arms and an early taxi to the Beer Parlour.
After the game: Chesterfield Alehouse before the train home
Back to today:-
Pub of the Day: Southwark Brewery 13. (N.B. Best of the year so far)
Beer of the Day: Southwark Porter 8