Friday 8th September 1989

Hassrale Logo

Now you have all been inveigled aboard the coach, it is time to open the sealed instructions and discover the day's itinerary (I can hardly wait myself either).

Dependent on traffic conditions we should be arriving in Bristol around about 11.30 to 12.00. Because of this uncertainty I have not given fixed times for the following except for two milstones which are :

a) visit the Smiles brewery at 14.00

b) assemble at the coach pickup point at 18.45

All being well the coach will drop us off at the first venue which is the high spot of the trip (literally). It is:

1. The Highbury Vaults - 164 St Michaels Hill [39]
Smiles Best and Exhibition

Excellent traditional public house now owned by Smiles. Bare floor boards, well wooded and with bench seats (if you're lucky?). Two fairly small bar areas, but plenty of seating. Popular with the student community. Down the hill to ...

2. The Robin Hood - 56 St Michaels Hill [77]
Courage Best and Directors

A most welcoming pub (especially if attempting the ascent rather than descent) with convivial landlord and landlady who have the presence of mind to be on holiday when our trip takes place! Look out for the splendid collection of miniatures (not for sale) including unusually, beers. Thoroughly recommended, this has a good range of food all at less than £1-80 with sandwiches less than 80p. Turn left, obey gravity and head down to ...

3. The Scotchman and His Pack - 20 St Michaels Hill [80]
Davenports Bitter and Wem Special

Try and put the brakes on to stop here otherwise you will collide with main road. This establishment is a nicely timbered one bar pub, no doubt originally two bars. Comfortable with loads of seating and also the prospect of food. Down to the end, then left

4. The Seahorse - Upper Maudlin Street
Smiles Best and Exhibition, Ind Coope Burton

Tap room for the Smile's brewery, the head office is directly opposite. A most convivial and popular place. Pasties etc available, quiz and fruit machines too if your teeth are up to it. Coffee and tea if you want the hard stuff. Also an obscured jukebox and a baked potato machine. Don't bank on finding seats though unless you vivit the upstairs garden (50 seats). At this point our elected (and probably unwary) leader will have negotiated our trip round the brewery which is likely to comprise two parties. The second lot can remain while the first goes round then in the fullness of time we can descend on the rest of Bristol to look around the sights possibly taking in some of the following which we sampled on the trial run.

5. The Horn and Trumpet - St Augustines Parade [18]
Wadworths 6X, Marstons Pedigree, Courage Best

Formerly Cannon's Brasserie, this is now a pseudo-Nicholson's pub. Huge, indeed used to boast a 94 feet long bar, but chopped now. Very popular since not many places open in the afternoon, however Fridays may be better than the Saturday of the trial run.

From here on the itinerary is flexible, but and heading towards the floating harbour takes us to King Street and also near the coach pickup point along Anchor Road behind the Watershed and the Exhibition Centre. (Don't forget after 18.45 the coach will depart with or without you!).

6. The Jolly Cobblers - King Street
Sam Smiths OBB & Museum Ale, Shipstones Bitter

Splendid large pub with walk through to Queen Square. Masses of seats and tables. A carvery and food bar. Another traditional well-wooded pub with ship's timbers. Pleasantly cool, but may not be required on our trip. Open throughout the afternoon (fingers crossed!).

7. The Naval Volunteer - King Street
Smiles Bitter, Bass, Marstons Pedigree, Wadworths 6X

Next door to number 6 (no, not the Prisoner). Should stay open in the afternoon. Also along King Street you may find these open:

The Bunch of Grapes - Courage Best and Directors

The Llandoger Trow - Free House

The Old Duke - Courage Best & Directors (Trad jazz pub)

8. The Hole in the Wall - The Grove (off Queen Square)
Ushers Best, Bass, Ruddles County

Large multi-bar pub, may have a visiting coach party (us?).

9. Fleece and Firkin - St Thomas Street
Smiles Exhibition, Burton and Rainbow Bitter ("Bruces")

Huge cavernous ex-Bruces pub and typical of his style. Does 2 pint take-aways. A bit off the beaten track however so time may mitigate against this one.
No doubt by now we will have split into separate foraging parties so I will leave you with the attached maps and let people get on with it. See you in court!

John Wright

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