The first watering hole, the Duke of Lancaster, was a boozer I was reviewing for my weekly beery column in the Lancashire
Telegraph. To be honest, the pub exceeded my expectations. Not that I was expecting it to be a disappointment.
It was a cheery, friendly pub. Staff were most pleasant, chatty and helpful. Ale was in good nick - and at £1.85 a pint, it was happy days.
The regulars at the bar were exchanging friendly banter with the staff. It was a hostelry you felt totally at home, as soon as you entered the building. A thoroughly enjoyable couple of
hours that brightened up a wet, windy day in East Lancashire.
However, dark clouds were set to return, as I commenced my journey home. A straightforward trek. A short bus ride to the neighbouring town of Nelson. Then a connection that finally takes me back to base camp.
The timetable told me I had a twenty minute wait for my little
bus. And that told me it's time for a swift half in Amber Taverns "sister" drinking den, the Station Hotel, directly across from my bus stand.
The Station Hotel has one of the most impressive interiors in the area - no argument. It's another of Amber Taverns cheap and cheerful establishments. Well, it's cheap - and on this particular visit, anything but cheerful.
The pub was ticking over nicely for a Tuesday afternoon. The three cask ale pumps are bang in front of you, as you walk through its superb, half glazed, double doors and mosaic tiled entrance.
One of my favourites was on, Bank Top, Port O' Call. The young lady served me my half. However, she wasn't as cheery
as the staff at the previous boozer - but never mind.
I started to slurp my quality quaff, when suddenly this most
obnoxious specimen came up to the bar,(not the geezer pictured) leaned over, and commenced a foul mouthed tirade of abuse at the young lady. Perhaps that's why she didn't look too cheery!
I was shocked at the verbals by this cretinous being. And there
was a group of four blokes behind him saying and doing nowt to stop this verbal abuse. Just felt totally surreal, that in the space of twenty minutes, I had experienced two totally different Amber Taverns.
Well, it certainly was a swift half! I was going to say summat, but thought better of it. The young lady appeared to take it all in her stride. As if it was a regular occurrence.
Blimey, talk about a differing experience of two Amber Taverns pubs, in the space of such a short time!
Well done Duke of Lancaster. However, the Station Hotel, on this occasion, was a very unpleasant experience. Amber Taverns please take note.