Control The Juke Box, Control The Pub

Another Saturday, another party. This time in the posh part of Radcliffe. Yes, there really is such a thing. Although usually the lure of free beer guarantees our early attendance, today we were a bit tardy. As the bus passes the New Inn, a pub I’d been hearing about for some time, we decided to take a little detour. Originally a Bass house, it had been for many, many years, something of notorious dive. Very dimly lit and downright dirty, it featured a hardcore of regulars who didn’t take too kindly to visitors. Not that you would want to visit, as the single-bulb bar only offered Guinness and warm lager.

However, word kept getting back to me that it has been done up and that handpumps could be seem through the windows. Indeed they could and it certainly was looking much better. Cleaned up and opened out, the windows were letting in a lot of natural light. And, most importantly, cask was back on the bar courtesy of Moorhouses. Premier was selling well-no doubt a result of the £1.95 a pint price tag, whilst Witch Hunt was faring less well at £2.36 a go. Quietly impressed, we stayed for a couple. A hot topic at the bar was why don’t we eat horses in Britain, as they do In France? Of course, French cuisine is one big con-give it a fancy name and our cross channel comrades will eat any old shite, but that’s another story. What I didn’t realise was that King Arthur had something to with it-you live and learn.

However, free beer doesn’t get drunk by itself (or does it?) and so we braved the cold once more. The party itself was an exclusive affair, relying more on quality than quantity. Phoenix Spotland Gold was the poison of choice and once I had the sparkler in place, we were ready to rock. The beer was good, as was the homemade chilli. Progress was good, with the firkin emptied shortly after 2000 hrs. I made that about a gallon or so each, although some people drank less and some people more.

Too early to retire, we were soon corralled once more in the New Inn. Here we were soon involved in a juke box war-not surprising at only 10p a tune- as we were taught the wisdom of the maxim “ control the juke box, control the pub.” Despite Pineapple Pete’s attempt at killing the party atmosphere with his selection of “Shut Up A Ya Face” a good time was had by all. Reluctantly the post midnight bus signalled the end of our festivities, but no doubt, like MacArthur, we shall return.


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