Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Golden Hind

There it is in all it's glory as photographed on Saturday lunchtime just before the Burnley game.

Everybody is welcome including away fans, there is a Lounge and a Saloon Bar. Both have Big Screen TV Sport and the Bar has a pool table and dart board.

What can I say? It's a good safe option for any body any time. The boys and I have been going there pre-match for years and years and one occasion apart I have never witnessed any bother and on that occasion the culprit was probably bladdered and deeply regrets his actions (or at least I hope he does).

The GH serves almost perfectly for football goers of all types. It's a relatively short walk to Home Park and it can be achieved by most able bodied people in less than 30 minutes and if you get a good yomp on then in considerably less time than that (there's even a public toilet halfwayish!!). These days our preferred option is to get a cab up to the ground. It costs about £4 and the journey takes no time at all. It also maximises pre-match drinking time and that can't be a bad thing although we have developed something of a cavalier attitude to actually seeing a kick off. Mind you if you get lucky then you get an Eastern European cabbie then there is added sport in trying to see just how close to the turnstile you can get him to go. On one occasion we were a little late and the cabbie took us all the way down to the late turnstile (needless to say he got a good tip).

The GH (or "Brass Ass" to some) serves pretty well on other criteria too. It has a fairly sizeable car park around the back so parking is usually OK, it is far enough from the ground not to get too packed pre-match but it is very handy indeed for the slip road off the Parkway for those travelling from outside the city. It serves food, which is not terribly exciting (we're talking pub grub and not a la carte here) but is adequate and reasonably priced. Kids are allowed during the day but there may be a later curfew in the evening which is inconvenient for evening kick offs. The GH is also on a well-served bus route and is readily reachable from all points north and just about everywhere else too.

It's not especially pricey either. A pint of guinness will set you back £2.82 which is not half bad but the beer tends to be uninspiring and if you like standard beers, lagers and the like then they are well kept and perfectly drinkable. You won't get any fancy real ales though so don't go looking for any Whistlebelly Vengeance type beers because you won't get them here. The GH has always fared rather well in the cleanliness stakes, too. Even the urinals in the Gents are kept in good order and the loo has a door that locks, a seat that is perfectly functional and bog roll aplenty and I bet I won't be able to say that for every pub we go to!!

It's a good old boozer with plenty of pluses but it does not inspire and is a little bit dull. It can take ages to get served and there never seems to be enough barstaff working. There is also a rather extravagant turnover in the landlord department. It's hardly worth getting friendly with the landlord as he never seems to last very long and getting a table to sit at can be difficult because the pub does get lots of plastics watching the early game which can annoy.

The GH is a bit like a relationship that has run it's course though. I think we are all a bit fed up with each other and we need a break. We need to find ourselves. What'll follow will be a Thelma and Louise style trawl around our fair city's licensed establishments but here's hoping that we don't end up driving off Jennycliffe!! We will be fearless in our quest and no pub shall be beyond our scope. I'll let you know where we are going next and we might get more than one pub done if there are some close together. We have examined the list and have decided to roughly alternate between City/Stonehouse/Devonport and elsewhere but there will be a random nature to where we choose and we'll go for the more scenic ones when the weather improves!!

The cast of characters may change and indeed there may even be people who want to join in (and they are welcome to if they want). The whole idea may well get abandoned if Argyle's results take a turn for the worse but we are up and running.


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