I had an appointment in Shropshire on a dank cold Sunday, so what better than the bohemian delights of Bishops Castle?
I had rather forgotten how challenging the roads from Shrewsbury could be, so it was with a sense of relief that I slid the car to a stop opposite this classic.
The pub and the adjacent brewery have been in separate hands for some time, but I was surprised to hear that the pub is now held on a lease from Star Pubs. Fortunately there is an agreement permitting the sale of Three Tuns beer , so I was able to enjoy a XXX rather than Doom Bar or Deuchers.
There were four Three Tuns cask brands available and the lunchtime crowd (or at least those over 25) were almost exclusively plumping for the local champ.
In all honesty some of the furniture had crossed the fine line between authentically shabby and in need of repair, but there were still come classic sights which even my photography can’t entirely negate.
Suitably refreshed I headed down the hill towards the other historic local brewpub, the Six Bells. On the way I passed the Crown & Anchor Vaults, whose A board claimed an opening time of 4PM.
One of Martin’s most frequent laments came to mind as I took this photo at 4.10;
Looks like a heavy Saturday night.
On to the Six Bells, an old school two bar pub with attached brewery. The Noggin (3.8% golden ale) was refreshing if a bit raw, which was the perfect accompaniment to a similarly raw anecdote from the sole local, who was telling two bemused visitors of the prelude to his borstal sentence decades ago, when the Crown solicitor on questioning the theft of a bottle of milk, allegedly showed him a porn mag and asked if he masturbated………
He finished by calling “come back and visit us any time” as the other customers nervously shuffled out.
As I was the only other patron, I drained my pint more quickly than was sensible and, pausing only to commiserate with the barmaid who had conveniently discovered a leak in the kitchen, sidled out.
Stymie Si would have treated this as a perfectly normal event, but I’m still relatively new to this sort of thing.
Still slightly thrown by the last conversation, I took the wrong turning and ended up in the Cluns ( Clun, Clinton, Clunbury ) but unfortunately didn’t have time to call in Clunbury’s Crown, an example of a doomed village pub rescued by its local community, most of whom were apparently huddled in their front rooms rather than enjoying their local.
So passed another quiet Sunday afternoon……..