I’d never been to Bakewell before, or (until a couple of years ago) know about the Peakender beer festival. I really wanted to go last year, but knew it wouldn’t be wise to leave the bar for four days in our first year (I’d already done that for Glastonbury).
So, this year, we made the decision to go as a team and close the bar. We didn’t regret it for a second.
The festival was more than a beer thing, there was music and a lovely vibe about the place. It was dog friendly and we even found a nearby stream for the hound.
The Thornbridge brewery tap room was a must at the close of the festival, as was some time in the town itself.
And we were so pleased that the van only smoked a little bit and just one bit fell off.
I’ve been a CAMRA member for a few years now, since before I became involved in bars, but I’d never taken part in activities or excursions.
Working in the current bar has changed that; a lot of guys who’re members come into the bar and we know a lot of them by name.
When an email popped up, mentioning a trip to Whitby, we agreed a team Microbus outing. This happened on Saturday and we all had a great day. The trip was so well organised, but, after a visit to Whitby Brewery, there wasn’t an agenda. The opposite was the case, since some of the bars couldn’t accommodate everyone at the same time.
This was the first time all of us have have had a day out together since opening the bar – we’re all rarely in the same place at the same time.
We realised that we can do more to promote future events. We’ve some ideas. We’ll certainly take part in another.
A little late, but we made a return (after a couple of years) visit to the Mighty Dubfest, in Alnwick.
We called off at Alnwick Brewery on the way, we had one of their empties in the bar. Their place is pretty cool, with a great tap room and beer garden. Lovely people too.
We knew what to expect with the festival; local bands and a limited choice of beer. But the weather was great and we bumped into a few people we knew, mostly through the bar (we don’t know many campervan people).
Another week, another gig. I’ve not been to many in recent times; Covid, then the bar, got in the way. In the last year, I’ve even felt the need to miss a couple of gigs because I was too busy.
Now that the bar’s stable, and I’m working less hours, there’s more time to fit things in.
The other day, I saw the Beat at the Boilershop. Of course, there are two versions of the band. I did see the Ranking Roger-led version a decade or so ago. They were pretty good, but lacked the original lead vocal sound.
This time, Dave Wakeling led this version of the band. While he was the only original band member this time around, and his Birmingham accent is no more, the band worked really well.
One of my favourite bands of the early 80s, I never actually got to see them at the time. And their time together was relatively short.
A good night though, with Bow Wow Wow, another 80s band that disappeared a long time ago.
So, a few days ago, we set off for Nottingham in the van.
Needless to say, it broke down. Maybe that’s a little harsh. It wasn’t exactly a breakdown. We stopped at Wetherby services for coffee.
And then the van wouldn’t start.
After 20 minutes, a twelve year old RAC guy turned up. And fixed it in five minutes. A wire had fallen off. We both made the obvious judgement that someone so young wouldn’t have a clue.
And we were so wrong.
And we made it to Nottingham and back.
While we were there, we visited (among a couple of other places) the Partizan Tavern; a lovely micropub. We’ll, they’d been to our bar a few months ago. If you ever find yourself in Nottingham, it’s worth a visit.
And Neon Raptor’s just around the corner.
Weirdly, a cool T3/25 (depending on which bit of the world you’re from) drove pass when we were there.