Friday, 11 April 2014

Ye Olde White Horse, Spalding, Part 2

So the evening wore on, the company was excellent and the refreshment likewise. Squeak (who's really named Peter) (I remembered to ask) ( I also asked why they called him Squeak and he told me but see below) knew loads about the pub. He told us about the bricks coming from the old prison (or the ruins of the abbey, or was that the bridge? Buggered if I can remember.) and who built it, and all the time the Organic Pure Brewed Lager was flowing. So much so that I have a confession to make. I can hardly remember anything he bloody told me!

Normally on these visits we find a prominent table and park ourselves. This way we can talk to most of the punters, write down what they tell us (in my own shorthand which, on this occasion, even I can't understand), keep an eye on the doors for interesting looking people coming in and be close to the bar for eavesdropping and refreshing our glasses (eavesdropping because it's surprising how many people, once they know why you're there, start reminiscing with their mates or telling stories to each other. We've picked up a couple of gems in this way).

But on this occasion we met Squeak.

Me and the legend that is Squeak

 And Squeak was glued to a bar stool. He was sat there when we arrived and was still sat there when we left, in fact, I don't even remember him getting up for a piss!! When we first started talking to him I was holding my little briefcase thingy with one hand and trying to write down what he said with the other and trying to grab a drink whenever I got chance. I must have looked a right muppet so after 10 minutes of this I thought "bugger this for a game of soldiers", abandoned the notes and just enjoyed listening to the old fella talk.

 All throughout the evening we were mingling with the locals and staff, this was a cracking pub. The barmaid, Terri, showed me an old, bookworm riddled leaflet called "Bayards Leap". It depicted the story of Bayard the horse, a local tale of a knight on his trusted steed, Bayard, who vanquished a local witch by rearing up and landing with such force, he sent the witch flying, and the remaining hoof prints have been cast in concrete in the town. Don't know when this Witch was around though, maybe the Friday night before we got there?

Bayard's worm-ridden leap!
After a few beers, (which I need to talk about in great length) I met quite a colorful gent who showed me his trick wallet, where you place a note in the wallet, close it and open it, and its miraculously tucked itself in with the rest of the notes (I believe he knew I was intoxicated, and obviously saw me as easy prey). You probably have to see it to know what I'm on about, but just Google "magic wallet". Due to my level of inebriation, this clearly put a befuddled look on my face, and it bought much merriment to the whole pub....


Now I need to talk about the brewery. I had never heard of Samuel Smith breweries. I have heard of John Smiths, largely due to me watching too many action films on telly and coming across an ad or two for John Smiths ale. So I was surprised to hear about Samuel Smith being related to John Smith. Squeak did tell me a marvelous tale of a bitter rivalry between feuding brothers, to which I imagined the left Twix and right Twix factories, but alas, the truth is nowhere near as glamorous. John Smith gifted his first brewery to his nephew, Samuel. End of. (Bloody internet, took the mystery out of that tale! Always a bit of a downer that, in the old days, someone in yer local, like Squeak, would tell you a great tale like that, and you would all lap it up... now, we check Wikipedia...) So this was my first "Sam Smith" pint. and it was lovely. I looked for Stella, but didn't find it. Couldn't see Carlsberg, or Carling, or John Smiths for that matter...

There was no branded beer at all. Nothing. Zip. I asked Terri about it, and she told me that you can have any drink that you can get at any other pub. You just get the Sam Smith version. The Organic Lager me and pops were supping.... Sam Stella. My missus would've ordered a Bacardi and Coke (double)......... well have a Sam Smith White Rum!...... with Sam Smith Cola... and it didn't stop there. Every Beer, Lager, Spirit, Soft drink, Cordial, even packet of crisps, was a Samuel Smith replacement (can I say copy?) It might have been the organic hops running through my system, but it blew my mind! enough to get some pics at least! 

Some Sammy Smith Spirits....
And Some Sammy Smith Snacks...

Yeah, it was a bit strange at first, this insistence that everything must have his own name on it, but then again, It's his pub chain, he can do whatever the hell he likes........and good luck to him!!

Throughout the night we chatted to lots of people, Ray, Julie, the guy with the magic wallet, a couple of young fellas outside while I was having a smoke, four retired couples sat round one table in the lounge and loads more. The trouble is, we were having such a good time I forgot to take pictures of most of them and didn't get their names either! (Damn that Samuel Smiths Organic Pure Brewed Lager!!).

Ray (one picture we did get)

But the main point is everyone we spoke to was friendly and seemed interested. No-one seemed put out when we barged into their evening and all were ready to chat

Later in the evening we were joined by a couple of friends of our own, Tom and Tracey who had traveled down from their home in Lincoln just to take part in our little project. This didn't help our sobriety much as they turned up around 9 o'clock and were ready to party and we'd been drinking since 5. And we just had to keep up with them didn't we? (Well, it would have been rude not to!)

Tracey, Tom, Terri, me and Clint

Eventually it got to the point where Clint and I (well, me really) had had enough to drink and were getting the munchies so we bade farewell to Sam, Terri, Squeak (who on several occasions tried to get me to part with the cigarette card with The White Horse on it) and everyone else and set off to look for a kebab house or other such establishment. 

And so our visit to Ye Olde White Horse, Spalding came to an end. More next time, Cheers.