Jarek, Dave, Mike, Steve, Eva, Martha and I caught a train from Sheffield’s railway station just after 1400 on Sat 6th September, for ye, we were bound for Chesterfield and its fine hostelries. On the train I asked young Eva if she knew where we were going today. Steve had obviously apprised her of the day’s proceedings as she immediately responded with the jubilant words: “PUB CRAWL!”.
The day started under the shadow of the town’s famous contorted spire in The White Swan, a Raw Brewing Co. pub, where the attendant bibbers (Mike was having a day off) did partake of the ale and cider on offer. Eva kept the energy up by insisting that everyone draw pictures of a variety of animals for her amusement; Dave’s rendering of a dog was very much in homage to the surrealist movement.
After a few Aussie Gold’s and formidable ciders, Hannah arrived to shower us with her scouse charm and, of course, provide more surface area for Eva’s stickers. But, time enough had been spent in one place and the party boldly strode forth to the Chesterfield Arms whereupon we found ourselves in a beautifully fitted public house that was apt to serve us with some awfully tasty American Pale Ale from Brighton’s Dark Star Brewery. Naturally, everyone accrued more stickers as Eva discovered more and more unopened packs thereof.
Departing the Chesterfield Arms via the chip shop took us to the Chesterfield Ale House and at this point Hannah took her leave as she had a pressing engagement with friends to celebrate the inauguration of the new X-Factor series. The Ale House is terrifically small pub with an unwavering dedication to real ale and was appreciated by all in attendance. Drinks were drunk, stickers were stuck and banter was… banted? And before long we realised we had run out of time to get to The Tramway Tavern so we headed instead for the station to return to Sheffield and all those to whom the matinee did not make for a realistic option.
In the Sheffield Tap Adam and Verity joined us, as did Andrew and Ben. Now this was peculiar because Ben wasn’t joining us for the badders club social but just happened to be out at the same time in the same place. I think he just wanted make sure we were OK. He does look after us all terribly well.
Unfortunately, this is the point where Eva and Martha’s crawl ended and everyone lamented the drop in sticker acquisition rate. Steve took them home and re-joined us at the next site of refreshment.
After a few crisp pale ales from the Tap’s own Tapped Brew Co. we resolved to up and away to the Three Tuns to enjoy the inimitable Kikorangi Red, a beer that was so good that even Mike dropped his guard and engaged in a few draughts. The Tuns also saw us joined by a number of other stalwarts viz. Gerry and Manou. We were now at critical mass, however, and that could mean only one thing… arrers at Shakespeare’s!
Now this is where my memory gets hazy. I don’t remember the beers, the brewers or much of what happened in the darts. I do, however, recall is Jarek’s rather unorthodox approach to darts which was to throw the three darts at the same time and walk away from the board leaving us all to count up what he’d thrown. It was as though he wasn’t taking the competition seriously at all!
Of course, Dave had been telling me all day that, given the opportunity, he’d be quite able and willing to give me a sound thrashing at darts. He came to rue his bold words though as succumbed to my barely adequate double-hunting.
Things wound up at around 0100 with those of us who’d been out all day feeling rather proud of the fact that we were still standing. All in all it was a fantastic day out and a served as a model to be relied upon for future jaunts.
For more pictures, see here