Friday, 12 October 2012

The Bears Head Brereton, Summary...

Friday 12th October

Well it's been a few days (sorry about the delay but it's sometimes hard for us to get together due to work commitments) and no sign of the ghost so we'll have to just wrap up this episode of our mission.

While in Brereton we went a walk around the village to get a feel of the place. We'd been told about the totem pole in the village and headed in that direction but, we'd only gone about 50 metres (bloody metres..... I wanted to put YARDS but, being an old fart, my son reckons nobody will know what I'm talking about) when we came to an old gatehouse that had been converted into a pretty cool looking house. There was a sign saying CHURCH pointing through the gateway so I told Clint I was just going to have a quick look up the lane. So, off I went, thinking Clint was following....

But I wasn't! I could see the park was 50 feet away, and through e-mail correspondence I had heard that there was a totem pole (?) carved with all the local highlights, so I took a walk over and got some good pictures. (I would like to add, that as a tourist, I felt obliged to take pictures for this blog, but I got loads of funny looks from the locals) (I don't think that was anything to do with taking pictures, you get funny looks everywhere........ha ha!!). Check out the pics of the totem pole, and if you can see it, the bears head is on there.

I then took the path to the church, bumped into a local who told me that the old Brereton hall, which was up until recently a school, has just had a wealthy banker move in who spent a fortune on the hall and it is now a magnificent stately home, unfortunately, it's closed to the public, so no pics from us, so I have stolen one from another site.

Above: Stolen Brereton Hall Pic

Left: Guess what? Totem Pole!

Below: Totem Close up showing The Bears Head

 I soon realised Clint wasn't following but carried on regardless. I mean, The Church couldn't be far, could it? (I should point out that I live quite a sedentary life, I sit down all day at work and my idea of exercise is fetching a beer from the fridge). After about 10 minutes, (it seemed like half an hour) I came to a fork in the road with a sign saying CHURCH pointing right. I thought "how much bloody further?" But it wasn't far. I came upon a lovely church, very quiet, very picturesque and nowhere near any roads. I walked round the churchyard looking at the gravestones and some were dated early 16th century and some were that old they had weathered to just plain stones. I walked all the way around the church and as I came back to the front I met Clint who had eventually caught me up......

Yeah... So he was milling about the church, I thought, "sod this", tried the door, it opened, stuck my head in, then went all trigger happy...


Then a polite little "hello?" replied, it was a very nice lady named Alison who helped out in the church, I explained what we were doing in Brereton and she very enthusiastically gave us a tour of the church, which dated back to 1297!

So my son barged into the church and accosted the lovely Alison. Actually she was very helpful and told us all about the history of the church and the village, and a bit about the Breretons. She showed us around the church and we had a chat, at one point bemoaning the fact that the village no longer had a Post Office or shop, and that all they had now was the pub, the Church and a school. I pointed out that that was all a community needed, somewhere to sin, somewhere to repent and somewhere to learn the difference!


I want to mention a couple of things, very briefly, I am saddened how the the Bears Head is now just "generic eatery of Brereton", but also, I am very excited that we have actually done it! Back when we had this idea, drunk, in the back of my dads garden, we were wondering about the state of pubs today. My dad thinks that the one of the reasons that's hastened the  decline of the British pub is because of the smoking ban, Me, I have a different view...

While we were walking back from the church to the pub, we bumped into a couple of people, walking the dog, some girls on horses, etc, and as they passed, they kept themselves to themselves, one elderly couple passed us walking their dog, and they remained silent like all others we passed. I politely and cheerfully said "Hello!", and they, almost surprisingly, replied politely and we had a nice chat about the local area. What struck me, and what my original argument was about the decline of the British pub, is that people don't socialise any more.  With the advent of Facebook and Twitter, and the world in our pockets on apples, blackberries, or any other fruit, we don't need the meeting place of the pub any more. We are completely connected, 24 hours a day, so catching up with yer mates on Friday after work is not how its done any more. a persons social calender can be organised on-line for the foreseeable future without ever actually talking to anyone. Maybe the very thing that I am connecting with you now is the very reason I'm not enjoying a pint of mild with you at the bar....

So that's the first of forty. I have mixed feelings about it really. It's nice to get under way but it was disappointing in some respects. And then again I really enjoyed the experience. We met some new people, most of whom were nice (I have one niggle about one of the people we met but I'll keep that to myself, we're not doing this to slag people off), learned some interesting stuff and had too much to drink, which all adds up to a good night out.

The biggest disappointment was The Bears Head itself, not because the place was rubbish, but because it's not the place I wanted it to be. I, foolishly as it turned out, expected it be full of interesting old guys with stories to tell, but it seems the pub has moved more with the times than I have! I've not been disheartened by this and I shall be full of the same expectations on our next visit which we shall announce within the next few days. In the meantime keep your glasses filled and give a toast to our ancestors who invested the time and energy to develop the nectar that we all enjoy today (and wouldn't the world be a poorer place without it)!!!!!!!!!! 


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