Now I know it’s akin to committing adultery, but I ventured outside the City boundary for a pint or two yesterday. And I have to say I’m rather glad I did. The location? A venue I first visited in in the mid-60’s, was customer #1 (and #2 with ‘erself!) when two ex-media pals launched their first restaurant venture there in 1970, visited intermittently throughout the 80s when it underwent a variety of changes, celebrated two of my grandchildren’s christenings there in the 90s, and during the early 00s demanded my entire family’s money back for a Christmas Day lunch that was so woefully below par I was spittin’ fire. I’m talking the Hadley Bowling Green and for a while yesterday I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven… ‘Cos why? I hear you ask. ‘Cos the bar is now emblazoned with a feast for the eyes and most of the other senses: 6X, Bishop’s Tipple, Henry’s Original, Horizon, Farmers Glory and Boundary. You will by now have gathered I was in Wadworths’ Heaven. The sharp fall back to earth came when they told us – that is, me and Billy P. who’d done the driving honours – how much: £6.40-something for a pint of 6X and a Henry’s Original, but it couldn’t have been that much of a shock as we repeated the exercise only a few refreshed minutes later. Which, by implication, suggests that so long as I don’t make a habit of it, I ain’t too put out about the price, least of all when the Waddies – as dedicated Bob Backenforth followers from long ago will know to rank among my ever-such favourites – is as good as this. The so-called ‘Bowler’ is now a Wadworths’ tied-house – one of three in the County, the others being The Miller’s Arms in Pershore and Plough and Harrow in Guarlford – new managers are installed, I’m hearing very good reports about the food, the surroundings are as green and gorgeous as ever, outdoor events are being lined up as I speak (tonight an outdoor theatre group is staging ‘Private Lives’ no less) and yes… I’m gonna be going back. PS: just to make amends for playing away from home – and purely on account of conscience you understand – I also later paid my respects to The New Inn, The Vine and St.Stephens WMC. Terrible thing, conscience!
In Waddies’ heaven…