HASSRALE - UPPER STREET ISLINGTON TRIP
Wednesday 17th May 1989
The intention of this trip is to steer (tack) a path down one side of Upper Street encountering a series of hostelries without risking crossing the main road. There are two tube routes, one favoured by Reg involves travelling to Angel then walking past the pubs in reverse order (such willpower!) to the first one, or alternatively travelling to Highbury & Islington and walking down to No. 1 (if you are not waylaid by the Greene King pub, the Angel & Crown at "73" on the map).
There did not appear to be any food in the pubs, but there is a plethora of snack bars, cafes and restaurants of almost any type imaginable (oh dear).
Numbers in ( ) refer to those on the attached map (N. London beer guide). Approximate times of leaving are shown in [ ].
1. (24) The Hare and Hounds - 181 Upper Street [18.20]
Courage Directors and Best
Even Reg reckoned this was basic! It has a vinyl floor and stripped walls. Don't be fooled by the bare bricks and pine planks - that's wallpaper. The pool table is in the front bar, but there is plenty of room in the back bar as long as the stage is not in use. There is a precarious bench seat built around the gas fire for those with cold posteriors or who are just tired of life. The band arrives at ten past six. Exit stage right...
2. (53) The Royal Mail - 153 Upper Street [19.10]
Ruddles County and Best, Websters Yorkshire
A substantial single bar saloon. Virtually unpeopled on the trial run. No food available despite a board advertising tempting fare. A Liberace style of "eighty-eights" at one end and a large collection of elephants apparently (must go onto halves soon). Reg noted a Tracy Chapman (?) LP on the CD juke-box. Onwards to ...
3. (33) The Kings Head - 115 Upper Street [20.00]
Ind Coope Burton(?), Taylor Walker Bitter & Tetley Bitter
A theatre pub and very popular by all accounts. Rather trendy, but decrepit and crowded as well! You'll either like it or hate it. Prices charged in old money (pre-1971), beer slightly newer. Expect to have to stand or perch. Still exiting right ....
By-pass the Three Wheatsheaves, there's no real ale.
4. (44) The Sir Walter Raleigh - 100 Upper Street [20.50]
Marston's Pedigree, Wadworths 6X, Ind Coope Burton & Tetleys
As you may have gathered what was formerly the Pied Bull has become a Nicholson's Inn. A pleasant cosy single-bar pub with plenty of seating. Powerful heating, hopefully not necessary on our visit. Also more of this Tracy Chapman fellow apparently. On leaving, guess what? OK go right then....
5. (42) The Passage - 44 Upper Street [21.40]
Marstons Pedigree, Wadworths 6X, Burton, Tetleys and Newquay Steam Beer (bottled).
Another Nicholson's Inn by the looks of it. This is a somewhat louder version of the last pub. Certainly more crowded, but quite convivial; possibly due to having to stand so close together! Large amounts of brass (metal not money) festooned around the ceiling. On leaving for a change turn right to ...
6. (39) The Nags Head - 12 you-know-where [22.30]
Ruddles County and Best Bitter, Websters Yorkshire.
Another good single bar pub. Bare-board accommodation, but again very convivial. Not as crowded as number 5, also has plenty of seats and tables. There was even a quiz machine, but no sign of Tracy Chapman; strange.
Right (again?), that's it. The journey back can be achieved more readily via Angel, but obviously steps can be retraced to Highbury & Islington. Bon soir.
Room 109 Market Towers Extn 3611
Trial: Wed. 22nd Feb 1989, by Reg Wright & John Wright (both found guilty but insane).
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