Monday 17 June 2013
There’s a dartboard, its red foam surround pockmarked with many nights of games; the score from the last game is still up there, a survivor of a good night perhaps? 501 the game, ‘S’ was on 33 while ‘C’ finished off on 6, double 3. There’s a story there, the nights spent on the ochre, the old-fashioned pub game that possibly had its origin in the bowmen of the middle ages (or not). The bar is central, there’s a parquet floor and the tables and chairs have a school dining hall design; there’s a big telly and the game machine flashes on and off, urgent and epileptic. ‘I love you baby,’ says the woman at the bar on her phone; ‘he’s got 12 days leave’ she says to the barman after finishing her call. Next door, there are tables dressed for food. The Burton Bridge Porter is twangy and tweedy with a lambic like vinous character that suggests it’s spent a lot of time in the pipes. This is a friendly, very local, neighbourhood pub that stands in the middle of a row of terraces, picked out in cream. As I sit there more men come in with their wives and someone says ‘come dine with me’, while the pump clips continue their journey across the bare brick wall. Pub.