Thursday, 26 July 2012

12 Waldron

Visited on 22 May 2012
Here's the photo ...
... and here's the map

This is a pub visit that I was expecting to be a cursory look at the kind of pub that wasn’t really my style. Oh ye of little faith!

The Waldron is a Smith & Jones pub, one of a chain of around 160 dotted around the UK. It’s reused the building many still call the JobCentre, but which those of us of A Certain Age will recognise as a Labour Exchange. And Labour Exchanges had none of that poncy carpet. The staff were incapable of smiling. They were cold and draughty in Winter, and it always seemed to be Winter when you had to go there.

The floors were routinely worn down, and the pens, especially if they worked, were kept on a very short lead. The position of the chairs was uncomfortable? Tough luck, they had been, as Dad’s Army’s Private Fraser might have put it, scroo’ed doon. So there would have been plenty of work needed to make the place attractive. Just laying beer on wouldn’t cut it.

One very pleasant surprise on arrival is the Cask Marque sign by the front door. So there’s cask beer on, then. Indeed: the part of the bar opposite that door has on prominent display a mini-blackboard saying “Ask for cask”. So among all the partying folks downing shots is some decent ale. And this evening it’s Jennings Cocker Hoop and Morland Bitter, oops, sorry, Morland Original.

So that’s a pint of Cocker Hoop, then. Which is bloody good. On top of that rather pleasant surprise, the manager is more than willing to chat about how the pub moves plenty of the Morland (at a niggardly £1.79 a pint I should hope so), and that it’s more than worth the effort to put a cask option on. Hello, all those licensees who think it’s too much trouble? Listen up.

What else do you need to know? They do food, you can hire a table for your party (heck, you can even hire the whole pub, but you’d need a pretty damn big gathering to justify it), there is tea and coffee available at lunchtime, and of course there are party offers, like jugs of, er, not so mildly alcoholic stuff. There is also plenty of comfortable seating, and pub games too.

All of that adds up to another example of how new entrants to the Crewe pub market demonstrate that IT’S NOT BLOODY ROCKET SCIENCE. And that if other town centre watering holes nearby don’t keep their own offer sharpened up, punters have an alternative.

This is an OK pub if you’re looking for somewhere that has something for everyone. So don’t be put off by the thoughts of partying hordes, especially midweek. It’s OK.

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