2012: A working life? Website management and field research.

14th April 2012

This week I wrote on Facebook and Twitter:-

Sunday 8th April

Richard Stedman added a new photo. Piano is home. Thanks to Helen Lowe and Mark Lowe at gorgeous giggles for looking after it so well.

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2012-04-08 Piano is home. Thanks to Helen and Mark for looking after it @gorgeous_giggles

Richard Stedman likes Hops – Belgian Bar’s post. Happy Easter everyone. The Easter bunny has left the following cask ales for today: Townhouse Enigma 3.5%; Acorn Yorkshire Pride 3.7%; Mobberley Barn Buster 4.2%; Redwillow Wreckless 4.8%; Raw Dark Peak Stout 4.5%.

Monday 9th April CREWE

Richard Stedman updated his status First beer in Borough arms with Dave Carter

2012-04-09 Oakham KGB to start in Borough Arms

2012-04-09 On to Kings Arms, 2 excellent beers from Beartown, both 5% though

2012-04-09 Never mind Steve, in Hops Bar now. Top beer from Mobberley

2012-04-09 Mobberley Barm bitter the best of the day @HopsBelgianBar stonking!

09/04/2012 Crewe A 0-3

Tuesday 10th April

Richard Stedman updated his status. Crewe pages updated on Stedders Guide app

2012-04-10 The Crewe pages updated here

Wednesday 11th April

2012-04-11 RT @HopsBelgianBar: Todays cask ales: Townhouse Enigma 3.5%; Merlin’s Spellbound 4%; Otter Ale 4.5%; Acorn Magnum I.P.A. 5%; Raw Dark Pea …

Thursday 12th April

facebook log updtaes

A day of updating Stedders Guide – android market

Friday 13th April

Richard Stedman likes The Isis, Sunderland’s post. Today’s Ale & Cider Board Jarrow Rivet Catcher 4.0% Jarrow Swinging Gibbet 4.1% Jarrow Bitter 3.8% followed by Jarrow McConnell’s Stout 4.6% Bushy’s Shuttleworth Snap 4.0% Mordue Workie Ticket 4.5% Hop Monster Warlock Black IPA 4.4% Durham Kuruvinda 4.0% Temptation Imperial Golden Ale 6.0%

Richard Stedman likes The Buccaneer Inn’s post. The Buccaneer Inn Yesterday This Friday we have The Grumpy old Gits playing live at The Buc, fifties, sixties rock and roll band, very good. We look forward to seeing you all.

Saturday 14th April

2012-04-14 Starting day with Zak’s big breakfast in St Nicks Market.

2012-04-14 Today we start at the Bank,

2012-04-14 Glastonbury Golden Chalice @banktavern

2012-04-14 Milk Street Zig Zag to follow

2012-04-14 On for some Butcombe on the reopened Three Sugar Loaves

2012-04-14 And on to the Welly

14/04/2012 Burton Albion H 7-1

2012-04-14 Good to chat with Burton friends post-match in the Welly. Cheers Colston

exeter away

 The chaps on the Exeter away trip of 2012

This was the 2012 Stedders.

The piano couldn’t come with me to Colne. It is a reconditioned beauty, made in the 30s and bought as a present to Fiona way back in our MK days. Helen played, and I was more than happy that she and Mark should use and look after it while I was in the pub. Now I was permanently back home it was time to collect it on the Easter Sunday and drive it home by big white van. I am not quite sure how Rose and I manged to get it through the door to the house but it did involve removing two doors.

I was maintaining the app by trawling webpages, Twitter and Facebook feeds every day and updating the app online. I was watching the Rovers and updating visits as and when I could. In this week there were two games and I called upon friends to come and play. Steve was a Crewe contact who had offered comments on the pubs in the town. He didn’t make the meet so I did the walk around on my own. Dave Carter, a.k.a Desperado, was doing his own thing and had arrived under his own rail travel and was ticking off pubs in his own way. It was one of those evenings to forget as a football fan. Rovers lost 3-0 and did well to keep it down to 3.

The next day I concentrated on updating the Crewe pages. For the Borough Arms there were minor changes and a larger emphasis on the beers on the day. For the Kings Arms there was a significant rewrite and the Hops Bar was a totally new entry. The pages were updated on my systems and copies sent to the Landlords to comment on should they wish. The versions are given below.

Borough Arms

A breath of fresh air has blown into the Borough Arms and all is changing for the better. John has taken over and while continuing the brilliant beer policy he is also in the process of developing the massive potential of this renowned ale house. The plans are something very special and the entry of the Borough into the guide certainly shoots Crewe up the league table of real ale towns.

The pub was being redecorated when I visited but there is no intention to change the cosy nature of the place. It has small rooms off a central bar and a range of ales that Rachel, the bar supervisor, is quick to recommend. John, the Forest supporting landlord, has such enthusiasm and it was with great relish that he talked about opening the downstairs rooms so that the cellar and brewing plant could be seen by beer lovers as they tick away. My evening was spent with John, Henry, Kerry and Matt, talking about real ale, the Alex and how good the pub is. The quiz teams were due to arrive as I left; this is really a community local that will soon have a national reputation. Belgian ales are the next new offering to be found on the list The Never be Hinde is the first of the home pub brews, the name paying homage to the previous pub brewer.

Kings Arms

The Kings is a deceptively large street corner pub on the road from town to depressingly popular retail park. It has five separate areas, the best of which are stunning in their classic design and decoration. The beer on offer may be different in being from Beartown Brewery and relatively strong in choice. I have yet, over the many years of dropping in, failed to get into a chat with the friendly folk who use the pub. Take a peep into the pool room to appreciate the wood panels and what is now somewhat old fashioned design. The pub has a blue plaque for its connections to Speedway in the past. Check out the pictures if this sport evokes distant memories of Phil Crump and the Kings. Every day has some sort of community activity from darts to Sunday football teams. The pub is lovingly traditional and deserves your support in trying the real ale route.

Hops Belgian Bar

I have often trekked from ground to town just wishing for a decent stopping off point en route. It is now here and what is even better, the Hops is a brilliant new addition to the Crewe real ale circuit. Opened in 2007 it has rapidly gained real accreditation, so that it was a worthy local CAMRA award winner in 2011. Mike is well known on the local real ale circuit and is patently up to date in recognising the trend for continental beers. I would defy anyone to have a more varied list of ales that maintains the range of a dark beer, lower and high gravity, light and traditional colours within an ever changing 5 ale rotation. There is active support for new micro-breweries. It makes for an excellent local as well as a destination point for the real ale tourist hopping off the train for a while. It is a single room with modern wooden floors and café style wall posters. The bar takes one corner of the room and customers use single church seats arranged around sets of small tables. The pub is quickly transformed when groups arrive and conversation is impossible to avoid. Mike offers discounts for CAMRA members. Do not think this is a wine bar. It is a pub in new pub style; airy, clean cut, well designed and geared to enjoying beer without pretence.

I have given a few of the twitter comments of the next few days for a few pubs. I tended to update one town a day and obviously I must have been at the Sunderland page.

On Saturday we were following a typical routine.

As is established for home games nowadays, we always nominate one pub in which to meet up at 12. Getting to the Bank involved a walk to the station at Severn Beach for 10.50. A train replacement bus got me to Avonmouth for 11.15. The train took me to Clifton Down Station from where it is a short bus trip on a “day rider” ticket to the Bank. I must have arrived early so could get a breakfast in St Nicholas market before the others arrived late. The people who regularly met, as was true this day, consisted of Ronnie, Bob, John and myself. Andy would join us later. After the visit to the Three Sugar Loaves John, “Our Dad”, would commission a taxi to the ground. On this day it was from the taxi rank with John as tour guide.

I had made contact with Colston Crawford before the game. He was the local reporter for Burton Albion games for a Derby based newspaper. Like so many of my new found footballandrealaleguide friends, he was more than willing to show off the pubs of his town. I would have liked to have done the same for him bit he had a proper job to do on the Saturday. As it happened his seat was a few behind mine in the East Stand at the Memorial Stadium. He was not going to be particularly happy to chat after this game as his team were stuffed 7-1. He was busy getting interviews as to how they could have played so poorly. His friends in the Welly after the game were perhaps more realistic in shrugging off the result and wanting to get into the beers to drown their sorrows.

The day rider came to play for the bus back in to town at 6. I didn’t record the pubs in tweets but we went via the White Lion in the City Centre. I caught a bus back up the hill to get the 9.25 train from Clifton Down and then a late night walk along the lanes to home for 10.30

In September I started work as a field researcher for Ipsos Mori. I was keen to get some work and thought it might be a good idea to do something that involved some exercise and some independence as to how much work I wanted to do. We had some training that involved some mock interviews and learning of a rudimentary script and then we were let loose on walking the streets of the West Country. They operate on a fairly archaic system. The head office identifies a tightly mapped area within which to knock on doors and find potential interviewees. I had to find various groups. I did the famous RAJAR interview that finds out people’s radio preferences.  I also started, but quickly abandoned, the survey that found shopping preferences. The problems came when they sent you back to areas that had obviously been surveyed by the company fairly recently. We had a quota of people to find and usually it took two visits to an area to get the fifteen to twenty people for that week. I met some really nice people and enjoyed most of the interviewing. The highlight was conducting in depth surveys that involved giving some folk in Bath DAB radios and seeing how they managed them and responded. The worst but was being given housing estates that had no means of entry to the tower blocks we were meant to get beyond. In general people were friendly and helpful. In the end though I stopped working when asked to do the same areas for the third time and finding only people who were rude and aggressive to being surveyed again.

Also in 2012:-

waverley 4 sepr

A brilliant day on the S.S. Waverley.

To celebrate a birthday what could be better than to get this steamship from Sharpness and travel to Ilfracombe via Clevedon?

severn beach beacon

To celebrate another event beacons were lit and the whole village took to the sea wall. A really good event for Severn Beach

Beach

ON THIS DAY:-

1963       Walsall H 2-1

1986       Southend A 0-3

1993       Bicester

1997       Colchester H 2-0

2003       Barnet A 1-1

2012       Burton H 7-1

2014       Hampshire

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