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The Great Derbyshire down (and up) Dale pub run

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The Great Derbyshire down (and up) Dale pub run.


Some time ago, there was an entertaining thread on here, called:


The Great Sheffield down Town pub run 1960-80ish.


The thread was started by Sam S Song, who fondly recalled his memories of pubs on the great run. I enjoyed reading the thread, and was pleased to note that a few of my favourite SF posters had posted.


Anyrooad across, I also recall being part of a ‘great pub run’ at a very young age. I wasn’t old enough to drink alcohol at that time, but I did manage to down 20 bottles of Vimto (with a straw) on that fiine day. Some may question the veracity of my rememberances of that day, but as we dwam in a democracy (still), each is entitled to their own opinion. ‘Left is right and right is wrong’, and all that jazz.


The Great Derbyshire down (and up) Dale pub run.


My Dad, and my Uncle Jack, had decided to give me a surprise birthday present, a present I wouldn’t ever forget. They were right too. It had been decided that they would treat me to a day-trip in Derbyshire, by train. This was to be my first ever journey by train. At the time, I didn’t know that Dad, and Uncle Jack were big, big drinkers of beer.



Me and my Dad were to meet Uncle Jack in town, outside J.B. Eaton’s men’s wear shop, on Angel Street. Eaton’s also had a shop on nearby Fargate. Uncle Jack was late coming from Deepcar, so Dad and me had a wander about. We left a little note stuck to the shop window to inform Uncle Jack we’d be back in short.


Having peered in the window of H.HB Sugg sports shop, I badgered Dad into promising to buy me a large Kum-Bak tennis-set for Christmas, which was a few months distant away. On returning to the J.B. Eaton shop, Uncle jack still hadn’t arrived. We left the note stuck to the window (no litter bins), and made our way to Bridge Street bus station, to meet Uncle Jack’s bus. On the way down, Dad and me called in at Bank Street to have a quick gander at the three-piece-suites and other furniture, through the window of Tate’s. Tate’s had the finest selection of furniture in the district, and the most generous terms… claimed they. I thought a better furniture shop was, Johnson & Appleyards, on Leopold Street.




Uncle Jack had arrived in Bridge Street, and we three then marched (me in the middle) smartly in the direction of Midland Railway Station. On reaching the relevant platform, I could see the train warmed-up, and patiently waiting for us. The train number was 9291.


After a wonderful exhilarating train journey, we arrived at our destination… Hope.


The next birthday surprise for me on this warm day, was the hiring of cycle bikes. Close to Hope Station, a Mrs. Gratton hired-out bikes as a sideline. She was a part-time teacher, her husband, a full-time teacher. Dad wanted to pay for the bike(s)-hire, but mrs. Gratton didn’t have the change for such a large note he had proffered. She kindly took us on trust, with the view to us paying when returning the bikes later in the day.


2 bikes, 26” wheels.

1 bike, 14” wheels, were mounted.


We rode to our next destination, Castleton. In Castleton, I received my next birthday surprise… A visit to the Big Cave. We had a guide to show us around the Big Cave… Cassie. Cassie was a charming pretty red-cheeked local girl from the locality nearby.


A verse came to mind:


A she-native of the place

Leads us on forward with a gentle pace.

Handsome enough and girl enough she was,

Who with her steady foot and accent clear,

As guide emboldens us with her shapely rear.


On leaving the Big Cave, I reluctantly said goodbye to Cassie from Castleton. I thanked Dad and Uncle Jack for having brought me to the Big Cave. They showed their gratitude of my gratitude by buying me a big, creamy tasting ice-cream.


Having cycled around Castleton, and not having found a pub that stocked the favourite beers of the two adults, we cycled back to Hope. In Hope, a pub was found where Dad and Uncle Jack enjoyed a stiff pint. I had a bottle of Vimto, with a straw. We drank our drinks outside, because I wasn’t old enough to go inside. We needed to guard ‘our’ bikes too.



Us three spent the next hours of the warm day cycling through the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. We went along straight roads, curvy roads, updale, down dale, across stiles, upfield, downfield, across bridges, s-bends, z-bends, doglegs, hairpins, cattle grids, and so forth. We slaked our thirst in 19 pubs along the way. Dad, and Uncle Jack saying how nice it was that the country police turned a bind eye... or both, to the pubs staying open longer than they should. We enjoyed drinking with the policemen.


All the pubs visited served the favourite brews for the adults. Dad supped Porter because he was a stout-fellow. Uncle Jack supped ‘Ale because he was ‘ealthy and robust. I supped Vimto because I had vigour, and energy (vim) to-o.



If you appreciate a really Good Beer





The pubs visited:


Woodruffe Arms – Hope

Bull’s Head – Bradwell

George Hotel – Hathersage

Station Hotel – Hathersage

Bull’s Head – Foolow

King’s Head – Tideswell

Angler’s Rest – Miller’s Dale

Red Lion – Litton

Bull’s Head – Wardlow

The Lover’s Leap – Stoney Middleton

Grouse Inn – Stoney Middleton

Devonshire Arms – Baslow

Monsal Head Hotel – Monsal Dale

King’s Arms – Bakewell

Red Lion – Bakewell

Castle and Commercial – Bakewell

Cross Scythes – Totley

Grouse Inn – Totley

Abbeydale Hotel – Beauchief.


Feeling saddle-sore and famished, we freewheeled onto Fargate. We turned left into Exchange Gateway, dismounted, ten ditched ‘our’ bikes behind the bins of… Maison Marshall-Ladies Hairdressers and Artistic Hairworkers Ltd. The owner lived in Sharrow.


Uncle Jack, in his usual small bamp way, uttered something about ‘stuffing’ Mrs. Gratton, and her expensive bike-hire palaver. I had my doubts about this though. It didn’t bother me that Mrs. Gratton would be feeling let down, like an airless inner tube… but that her husband, Mr. Gratton, would be displeased, and would take it out on his pupils next week, at Prince Edward School, at Manor Top. It was well known city-wide, that Mr. Gratton had a torrid, terrid temper.


Climbing the steep staircase up to the Victoria Café and Restaurant, at Davy’s, I could smell the smell of cooking. We were in time for evening dinner.


Having carefully plonked our tender backsides upon dining chairs at a dining table set for three, we ordered food.


A young looking Mr. Otley, who came not from Totley, promptly brought our evening meal to the table.


We had ordered:

Thick crusted rabbit pie,

Myxt vegetables, carrots inclusive,

Roasted potatoes, and

Stachelbeeren sauce.


To wash down the food, the adults each had a pot of Sheffield Tea. I had … a bottle of Vimto with a straw.

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Gratton the masochistic, goose stepping , I spy beating pith artist .

A day spoilt by memories of a badge ripping , stick whacking,swimmer drowning bar steward .

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