Sunday, 15 November 2015

WILL THIS HEFTY INVESTMENT PROVE A SHREWD MOVE?

   SAM SMITH'S TIM BOBBIN,BURNLEY

It's not often you witness a pub being renovated back to its original layout. However, owner, Sam Smiths decided to do this, with one of the few pubs they owned in East Lancashire.

 The Tim Bobbin on Padiham Road, Burnley, dates back to 1701. The pub's name being derived from the satirical poet, whose real name was John Collier. It is also one of only three pubs of this name. The others being situated in Milnrow(Rochdale) and John Colliers birthplace in Urmston.

The pub had been closed for approximately six months, undergoing a major renovation. This included demolishing extensions on either side of the original building. And restoring this historic hostelry back to its original layout of four rooms and centrally located bar area. This being last witnessed in the late sixties.

To be quite candid, the pub had badly needed a revamp. It had looked tired, rundown and shabby on my last visit. And the news of the one million plus improvements, were very welcome and eagerly anticipated.

Did I say improvements?
An understatement in the extreme. Wow, what a transformation. The Tim Bobbin now rewound back to its  design, last witnessed in the late sixties. Stone flagged floors( reclaimed from the cellar) and open fireplaces in each of its five, yes, five rooms.
It also boasted a swanky mosaic tiled flooring, that led to the impressive split level beer garden, adjacent to the pub. Oh, and the disabled toilet(above). I think that's why the door is open - but I will stand corrected on that 'ruling'.

All five rooms have their own purpose and individuality. Each one fitted out with comfy dark oak furnishings, ornate lighting - and having many pictures of old Burnley adorning the walls.
My favourite space was arguably the games room. Traditional darts board , pool table - and a serving hatch to order a beer - a nice traditional touch indeed.

Which tees me up perfectly for the beers on offer. It's Sam Smiths beers all the way here. Either you like it or lump it. For the ale 'connoisseur' your selection is limited. Just the one cask on offer. Yes, you've guessed it. Old Brewery Bitter. Malty, lightly hopped and a tad sweet. A refreshing drop, in excellent condition - and at £1.80 a pint, it had my beery amigo, Arthur Brydges, rubbing his hands in glee - top tipple.

I was a little disappointed they didn't have the Sam Smiths Extra Stout. It's a belting keg beverage.
It's so popular in one pub I go in, the Bridge Bier Huis, Burnley, that they have jettisoned the Guinness in preference for this far superior, more flavoursome and better value stout( just about to drink one, above). It's about 80p cheaper too!

I'm sure the new mine hosts, Joey and Debbie Robinson, will have this delicious stout available soon - by popular request.

Worry not, there's a whole range of keg beers available for its patrons. And one that appealed was Taddy Lager, at 4.5%. A blend of malty sweetness and soft lemony flavours. A decent thirst quencher. One of the friendly and witty characters milling around the bar commented: " It's stronger than it tastes. I think it used to be called Heinerbrau. But some customers couldn't pronounce it after two or three pints. So they renamed it Taddy Lager".

This friendly, humorous soul, epitomised the relaxing atmosphere of this welcoming watering hole. There was a real buzz at the bar. Including lots of friendly banter - most of it aimed at me! One commented: "You are not one of them CAMRA lot, are you? Them who ask for two or three tasters. Then only have a half, the cheeky monkeys!" Err...no, I would not do that, I replied.

I could identify the patron who made the comment. He maybe pictured below. But then again....😂

Old man Humphrey Smith, the owner, must have been very satisfied, when he checked up on his investment, on its third day after reopening. Sam Smiths have done a 'reight' good job restoring this pub. It was most transcending - exceeding my expectations, no argument. A refreshing change to some of the Pubco refurbished, money-grabbing drinking dens, that are now 'shells' of their once glorious past.

Hear, hear to exciting times and popular patronage for the 'new' Tim Bobbin Hotel in Burnley.