HASSRALE VISIT TO SALISBURY - Saturday 30th September 1989
This excursion takes us to the Wiltshire city of Salisbury which apart from a large and varied selection of drinking establishments has a thriving market and boasts a cathredral.
Trains are at 15 minutes past the hour from London Waterloo, but due to ill-timing the 9.15 arrives at 10.38 (opening hours are from 11am) so I would recommend a lie-in and catch the 10.15 arriving at 11.45. Pub leaving times are denoted .
The first pub is un-missable from the station (!) and can be reached by turning left then after a few yards across the road is
1. The Railway Tavern - South Western Road [12.35]
Gibbs Mew Wiltshire, Premium, Salisbury & Bishops Tipple.
Comfortable sparsely populated pub, over 300 years old and originally 2 cottages. The only Gibbs pub in the city to sell the full range; the Salisbury Bitter is rarely found and worth trying. A two-bar pub where one has to ring for service in the lounge bar which is appointed like a front room. For the hungry, the fish tanks are conveniently located by the sauce bottles. In keeping with the railway theme there are prints of aircraft on the walls. On leaving turn right down to the main road and right again. On the opposite side of the street is ...
2. Deacons - Fisherton Street [13.15]
Ringwood Old Thumper; Gales HSB; Wadworths 6X; Boddingtons.
The above range may have changed since April; certainly Ma Pardoes and Hopback Bitter were promised. Unusual bistro-like establishment. Bare floorboarded, convivial "woody" pub. Two drinking areas, one with restaurant-style tables (where the restaurant is). Beers in good condition and the place was not overly busy. Turn left from here and continue down past the Fisherton Arms then turn right and down to the end towards ...
3. The Haunch of Venison - Minster Street [13.45]
Courage Directors & Best; John Smiths Bitter.
Very busy city-centre pub and has been in every year's Good Beer Guide. A 14th Century building consisting of a small crowded bar proclaiming the sale of live eels at the front, with seating upstairs (limited) and a restaurant on the next level serving only bar snacks, but drinks can be taken in there too. Somewhat bizarrely there is a mummified hand complete with cards (a literal throwing in of a hand?). Might be worth pressing on after just a half if too busy. On emerging turn left then left at the junction and on the other side of the road is ...
4. The New Inn - New Street [14.20]
Hall and Woodhouse Badger Best & Tanglefoot; Butser Bitter.
Reputedly the oldest building in Salisbury. A busy pub dominated by people eating rather than drinking. Some of us may wish to emulate them for a while. There is a "no smoking" regime except in the walled garden which afforded the only available seating. It remains to be seen whether the climate will permit this on our trip! The food by the way appeared to be rather more substantial than just bar snacks. Out of here, light up if desperate, then turn right to ...
5. The Wig and Quill - New Street [15.15]
Wadworths 6X & Farmers Glory; Adnams Bitter.
A large traditional bar with a large number of traditional seats and a splendid walled garden outside (where else?). Food is served up to about 2.30 unless you remonstrate with the bar staff (and are called Barbara). Open all day Saturday. From here we continue right, then across the junction and on the other side of the road is ...
6. Cloisters - Ivy and Catherine Street [16.15]
Gibbs Mew Bishops Tipple & Salisbury Bitter; Chudley Local Line
A very pleasant large pub with several drinking areas. Plenty of seating both pew-type and tea-shop tables towards the back. Again an authentic old-style pub with wattle and daub walls, stone floor and timber beams. Food bar, but can't remember if still serving in the afternoon (the bar is open 11am to 11 pm). On leaving turn left and across the junction is ...
7. The Star - Brown Street [16.50]
Ushers Best and possibly Ruddles County.
A basic bare floorboarded pub with hand painted decor. Another 14th Century building and also a former brothel. Loads of seats, the place is popular with rock types (not geologists!). Good juke-box, Newcastle Brown and Newquay Steam Beers as well as coffee available. Open all day. From here continue down to the junction then turn left. At the end on the left is ...
8. The Huntsmans Arms - Gigant Street [17.50]
Eldridge Pope Dorset IPA.
Another find, this was also open all day (I hope these places have not all changed in 5 months). Obviously a local's pub with plenty of seats. Apparently serves beer using cask breathers, but even so a commendable hostelry. There is a dart board and quiz and fruit machines. The Gents loo is via an air lock to the outside, probably just as well! From here we turn left then cross over the road to ...
9. The Old Coach House - Milford Street [18.40]
Gibbs Mew Wiltshire Bitter.
Yet another 14th Century place. Formerly the Milford Arms this is now a capacious single bar pub with a separate restaurant upstairs. There is also food available in the bar . Beware the large black dog masquerading as a floor rug. From this pub we would appear to have a hike! As I don't know the names of the roads (see map) I would suggest that you pray that it is accurate and follow it counting the turnings or (better idea) latch on to someone who knows the way (and is still sober?, oh well) ...
10. The Wyndham Arms - Estcourt Road [19.30]
Hop Back GFB, Special & Entire Stout.
Obviously modernised this is now a single bar pub. It was not particularly lively, but I suspect this will probably match our mood by now. Quite close to the A30 if you want some fresh air! Apparently noted for its pickled eggs (the pub, not the A30). From here we retrace our steps along Estcourt Road then turn right where along on the right is ...
11. The Royal George - Bedwin Street [20.20]
Gibbs Mew Premium & Salisbury Best.
Quite recent (merely 16th Century) this is a Grade two listed building. The oak beams are reputed to come from the wreck of HMS Royal George, I assume it sank rather than caught fire. Somewhat over-cooled beer; nothing special but worth a visit en masse (5 of us?). This now leads us to the last pub unless we call in at the White Horse Hotel (Hall & Woodhouse Badger Bitter and Wadworth 6X), which we pass en route. Leave the pub turn right and continue down to the T-junction. Opposite we should find ...
12. The Avon Brewery - Castle Street [21.05]
Eldridge Pope Royal Oak, Dorchester and Dorset IPA.
Pleasant traditional now single bar pub. The walls are festooned with old-style photographs. There is a long garden leading down to the river for those that want to freshen up. There is also a restaurant area at the far end with plenty of extra seats for those who are prepared to brazen it out. It seemed likely to the survey team that there would still be food post 8pm for those trencher people amongst us, but by now most of us were relying on the tables for support, not as vehicles for more nourishment!
From here on the old homing instinct will have to prevail as we endeavour to head back towards the station avoiding the river. I am not sure whether or not we can cross using one of the bridges then cut across the parking area to enter Fisherton Street. No doubt all will be revealed on the day. I hope that the trip proves to be enjoyable for all those that attend. It will certainly come as a pleasant surprise to me and I was on the survey team (hmm)!
Survey date: Saturday 15th April 1989
Attendees: Barbara Waby, Reg Wright, Dave Saffery & ...
Room 109 Extn 3611
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