Spyke Golding Remembered

In 2014, the fourth and final year of the literary award, two runners up prizes were awarded to Lee Hutchinson for his poem entitled 'The Bell' and Richard Nettleton for his entry 'The Task and Cask'.

Judges and runners up

From l to r : Colin Wilde (MD Castle Rock), Mick Bajcar, Amanda Bajcar, Derek Adams, Richard Nettleton and Lee Hutchinson

Here are the two entries:

Richard Nettleton's 'The Task and the Cask'

Old Man Thompson was a scoundrel. Even at the age of sixteen my two mates and I were aware of that fact but we still agreed to work for him. The deal was that we would clear out his barn, two days of humping brushing and scrubbing. In return Roger, Mark and I would pocket five pounds each, which in 1971 was a good deal.

After the first day we all walked the three miles home, looking like colliers and feeling exhausted. By the end of the second day the work and the barn were cleaner. Roger and I loaded and erected trestle tables while Mark set up the folding chairs into the now spotless barn. Six o' clock came and went but there was no sign of Old Man Thompson to pay us. We waited and helped the draymen roll the casks and kegs to a cold store room adjacent to the barn and we carried boxes of glasses to the newly erected bar. It was ten past eight and Old Man Thompson and our payment were more than two hours overdue.

It was twenty past nine when one of Thompson's sons arrived to lock up the barn. He was in his mid twenties and a bruiser of a man, built like a breeze block privy and with a matching IQ.

Roger queried our payment only to get a forced laugh from Brett Thompson and, 'Five pounds, this'll be the only five you'll get', he held up his fist, 'if you don't clear off. And if you come back tomorrow when our Kate has her wedding reception you'll get a lot worse.

As the barn door closed and the padlock clicked, the reality of being suckered opened a hole in my chest where my pride used to be. I watched as Brett Thompson's headlights disappeared down the long lane to the main road, not knowing what to do next and then Mark broke the silence.

'The cold room where the beer is kept doesn't have a lock on it.'

It took less than a minute to convince ourselves it was compensation, not stealing. In the absence of cellar craft, draymanship or any knowledge of beer, we chose the largest of the stainless steel kegs. In the poor light we did not spot the words "Under pressure" stamped on the side.

The keg was rolled out of the cold room and to the gate of the farm. The quick way home was down the lane and along the main road but the consensus was: three sixteen year olds rolling a barrel at ten o' clock at night might be a tad suspicious. So over the fields we went.  

Up hill was hard work and all three of us put as much muscle into it as we did cleaning the barn. On the flat and down hill the drum had a momentum of it's own. At one point it escaped us and we chased it down a bank, across an allotment, where it finally came to a halt at the base of a floored apple tree sapling. It took us fifteen minutes to trace its roll of destruction back through the furrow of crippled cabbages and onto the footpath again. When we left the soft footpath for the metalled surface of the road a new problem became evident. It sounded like a Chieftain tank in the eerie midnight suburban silence. We noticed upstairs' lights coming on and a raised voice enquired if we knew what time it was and 'What the bloody hell's going on down there.'

Our heads went down and we pushed for all our worth.

It was twenty past twelve when the keg came to rest in my back garden. For a few minutes we sat around it, on the lawn, allowing our breathing to calm to normal while admiring our prize.

I asked: 'What now?'

'We have a drink, mate.' Mark answered. His wry smile displayed his teeth in the moonlight.

'OK, how do we get the good stuff out?' Roger enquired.

We studied the central boss on the top of the keg for a means of retrieving our loot. It might as well have been rocket science to three school kids from Wollaton but as necessity is the mother, or close relation to stupidity, Roger had an idea. 'Big screwdriver, big hammer, one hit and we're drinking, lads.'

A quick scout round in my Dad's shed produced his favourite twelve-inch flat handled screwdriver with the yellow resin handle and a ball-peen hammer.

I held my Dad's large screwdriver and Mark wielded the six-pound hammer.

I vaguely remember hearing the point of impact. The whooshing sound of a thousand tyres being punctured will be in my memory forever. The last brief sighting of the screwdriver, as it escaped the earth's atmosphere, was a blur. Then the rain came.

It was a sticky shower that filled the air with the smell of lager and the gutters and downpipes with an amber frothing fluid. I recall licking my lips. The few drops on my tongue were all I had of the night's hard labour. The keg was empty.

The morning brought it's own problems. My father's scraping of what looked like toffee from the outside of my bedroom window rudely awakened me.

His voice filtered through the glazing as he talked to my mother who was footing the ladder. 'We've never had tree sap causing this in the past, Joan. It smells familiar.' He looked at me with suspicion as I got up. His voice called to me.

'Harry Thompson came round last night around six. He left an envelope for you. It's on the mantelpiece, I think there's money in it.'

Lee Hutchinson's poem 'The Bell'

I remember so well, the old days in The Bell
The smoke, wood deep, loud voices steeped
With laughter and jokes, work tales and pokes
Of fun at the new lad, and “He wasn’t that bad!”
A hard shift complete, nearly end of the week
Downing Shipo’s mixed which is doing the trick
Clearing coal dust and grit from a day at the pit.
The pay packet small for the graft of it all,
Five days and a half, for Saturday night’s laugh.

But weekend soon comes and with it the sun
The bright sky not seen whilst we work on the seam.
We’re now suited and dressed, and we drink with the rest
Because free from our work, beer flows and we smirk
Swapping tales of the week, making young ladies shriek
Whilst colleagues and neighbours dance as in Vegas
And some underage lads, getting grief off their dads.
A swift gallon is supped and then chippy for grub
And home to the missus, quick check on the kids.

At last Sunday arrives, lie in, bleary eyed
Thankful for rest, and a day in one’s best,
And in The Bell we stand with pints in hand
And we toast the week, our work at its peak.
Dominoes clatter, skittles are scattered
And together there’s laughter at expense of the gaffer.
Then home for roast beef, and put up my feet
Gazing into the fire, with no clue it’s the pyre
That soon will burn and make families turn.

But now looking back, still together we’re sat
Old Bill is gone, so too Derek and Ron
But we’re still full of cheer as we slurp our beer,
Concentration hard on a quick game of cards.
Times may have changed, some good but most pain
Our industry destroyed, but not us, nor our joy
Despite what they tried we still have our pride
And together we stand, as a whole, as one man,
And we remember so well, the old days in The Bell.

In 2013, the third year of the literary award, one runner-up prize was awarded to Neil Fulwood for his poem entitled 'Litany'.

Runner Up 2013

Here is Neil enjoying a pint of the prize-winning 'Harvest Pale' on the Castle Rock stand at the Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival.

Here is Neil's entry:

Litany

The novelty value is irresistible:
a pint and a whisky chaser
in a pub that used to be a chapel.

Stained glass, stone walls. Deconsecrated.
Harsh word – the ecumenical equivalent
of a plane, airworthiness certificate

rescinded, confined to the ground,
denied its element. But something
of the godly remains, beyond

mere architecture. The congregration Litany the runner up poem
is different, though. No prayers
are said, no hymns sung. Salvation

isn’t half-price during Happy Hour.
Anyone looking for a shot
at absolution, a shot of Absolut vodka

is the closest they’ll get;
there’s one spirit the present owners
aren’t licensed to serve. And yet –

despite the crowd of binge-drinkers
giving it the one-up-one-down-one-in-the-air
dexterity of jugglers,

despite the piss-head Romeos with their
lad’s magazine chat-up lines
and deodorant commercial savoir faire

– something of the godly remains.
Maybe it’s in the likenesses
of saints in those imposing windows,

or how the high arch of the ceiling dissolves
raucous laughter into silence.
Or maybe it’s the godliness

of funerals, that unshakeable sense
of loss. Of solemnity. Here in this pub
that used to be a chapel, there’a reverse

irony: the constant reminders of
the building’s erstwhile use
bring to mind those long-since closed up

watering holes, the pubs of my youth.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today
in remembrance of the New

Vic, the Newcastle ArmsThe litany
begins. The Arboretum Manor,
the Fountain Inn, the Granby

Hotel, the Bull & Butcher,
Byrons, King John, the Dog & Bear,
the Apollo, Loggerheads, the Deer Stalker,

the Horse & Jockey, the Goose Fair,
the Scots Grey, the Earl Manvers,
the Old General, the Jester,

the 17th/21st Lancers,
a neon Tesco Express sign
gaudy against its art deco curves.

The Man of Trent, the Hall Park Tavern,
the Belle Vue, the Golden Ball,
the Grove, the John Barleycorn,

Peggers, the Langham, the Lion Hotel
that’s now an amusement arcade
punctuating a row of shops. Difficult to tell

which is the more ignoble fate:
that or standing empty, steel plates
bolted over windows. Or torn down to make way

for car parks, retail units, student flats.
Or, sadder still, demolished
to no purpose, the rubble carted off, a wasteland

left to broken glass and weeds
and some guy like me who’d reminisce
about meeting up with mates and

playing pool and getting pissed,
a ritual which defined that half decade
from late teens to early twenties

when the world was yours and getting paid
meant after you passed your mam
a couple of notes for board

the rest was yours. Disposable income.
And where better to dispose
of it than down your local? Sink

a few pints, feed the jukebox, cadge a smoke,
swear you’d never end up
like the old guys playing dominoes,

clustered in the corner, half pints sipped
slow, roll-ups in tins. Hindsight
gives them the last laugh. They had a pub

that was their local all their lives,
where they congregrated after work
or after the match, where they met their wives

and where their wedding receptions took
place, where they stood their kids
that key-to-the-door birthday drink,

where the good and the bad was shared
and evened out. Where their friends would choose
to gather at the end

and raise a glass and make a toast to them.

('Litany' was published in issue 120 [page 30] of the Nottingham Drinker which can be downloaded here.)

In 2012, the second year of the literary award, the level of entrants was equally high to those of 2011 and two further runner-up prizes were awarded to:

'Cider with Everything' by K Marysia Wariwoda and 'Snuggery Skullduggery' by Harry Burton

Marysia and Harry each received £50 prize money.

Runner Up receiving cheque

Marysia of Trowell Road, Wollaton, Nottingham, is pictured receiving her runner up's cheque for £50 from Colin Wilde of Castle Rock.

And here is the entry “Cider with Everything”

Way back in the 50’s (1950’s of course) our Grandad had an allotment where he grew not only the tastiest vegetables and fruit but he also had a greenhouse in which he cultivated tomatoes and vines. The grapes were hard and horribly sour but the wine which he made from them was pure nectar. It had an amber glow due in no small measure to the honey which he used to ferment it. He took the honey from the bees he kept in several hives.

I remember my three year old little sister jumping up and down in an old bath and getting gloriously messy whilst treading the grapes in the old fashioned tradition. She maintains to this day that the wine was sweeter for her input.

The allotment was quite a magical place really – I used to go up there straight from school and spend a couple of happy hours with Grandad learning all about growing fruit and vegetables.

We would walk home down the hill each carrying a basket full to the brim with home grown goodies for Mother to turn into delicious and healthy meals.

While Mama was doing this I would get on with my homework and granddad would disappear for an hour or so only to return when dinner was ready with a large jug of foaming ale, which I learned later, he’d bought at our local pub just a few doors away. Obviously this was for the grown ups but occasionally we would be given a sip. However I never really acquired a taste for it though it always looked invitingly refreshing.

Meat was expensive in those days so rarely appeared on the table, but as we also kept hens, eggs were a staple for us children.

But I’d like to return to the bees – they are such fascinating creatures. It really is true that they know their keepers and ours never stung either Grandad or me after I had been introduced to them. The honey they produced was mostly clover fed and it was thick and sweet with healing properties. It could also be made into mead.

One of the saddest things I ever had to do was tell the bees that Grandad had died and pass them onto another beekeeper. I had to de-register them at the old city courthouse. I was 10 years old at the time.

You’re wondering what on earth these reminiscences have to do with either beer or cider well, patience my friends, patience.

Our Uncle Bibi would come over and spend his Christmases and Easter with us and was a perfect jewel of a man. He arrived on his wonderful motorcycle with probably the most unusual of presents – a string of frankfurters and several bottles of simply delicious porter, which we children would ogle greedily. That brew I did get a taste for rather early on and then proceeded to perfect at various local beer festivals.

And now to probably the main reason for writing this – when I went away to college I finally discovered that I too had a talent of sorts. Up to then I and the rest of the family despaired of ever finding a talent which could be called my own.

Having watched Mama cook all my life I suddenly found myself in digs with the use of the landlady’s kitchen. And so I set to cooking my own mini meals and they turned out rather well. Emboldened by this success I planned dinner parties when I started work. More success, I became quite proud of this achievement and began a new hobby – that of collecting recipes and cookbooks. And finally I discovered the joys of cooking with beer and cider. I never liked cooking with wine and usually omitted it but beer was a completely different matter – the dishes were rich, aromatic and very, very tasty. I bake with cider as my “wet” ingredient and my cakes are every bit as good as Mamas and in the last few weeks I discovered that pancakes made with a beer batter taste just too good to describe.

I may not drink beer or ale but goodness me – I could not do without them in my kitchen.

And here is the entry “Snuggery Skullduggery”

It were Bill as started it, and, when you look back, it were nearly always Bill somewhere behind  these stunts,  He got me barred from the Swan once, but that’s another story.

This is the story of Eric’s stick, I’ll tell you how it was.

I’ve been landlord here at the Bull for nigh on 40 year now. It were a mining village with fourpubs and a welfare when I grew up here. Now there’s just us and the Swan left. The rest went along with the pits, but we’re still here. Old-fashioned you’d say, the brewery’s not bothered to knock us about too much. We’ve new toilets and such to keep up with the regulations, but we’re still a three roomer, tap-room, lounge and my favourite, the small area behind the bar we call the snug.

That’s where the snug lads gather and that’s where the crack is.

They’re all pensioners, Bill, Danny and Eric are the ringleaders. Most nights about 9.30 they’ll arrive. Same age bar a year or two, they all grew up together. Like old married folk, there’s not much left for them to talk about, but they do enjoy discussing the world and it’s doings, what we’d call having a good moan.

The weather of course, a shared contempt for all governments, past present and future, the price of everything, especially beer and, fired up by the popular press, anything else in the news.

Immigration, health and safety, human rights etc, you know the agenda.

Another source of entertainment is a good wind-up; they know each other’s weaknesses and delight in firing each other up.

Maggie Thatcher is good for a half-hour rant from Danny;  Bill has a thing about over-paid footballers and with Eric it’s his back, oh yes, Eric’s bad back!

It was just before Christmas. (“All we got were an orange”. “An orange? You were lucky”) etc, etc.

The end of the evening was approaching when Bill made a casual remark that Eric’s back seemed much better.  Predictably Eric went off like a firework until eventually, realising that he’d risen to the bait once again, he stormed off to the gents while the rest of us had a good laugh.

That’s when Bill, with a wink, produced a small hacksaw from inside his jacket, took the rubber cap from the end of Eric’s walking stick and quickly sawed off about a half inch of wood before replacing the cap just in time for Eric’s return.

This happened very quickly and, un-prepared, we sat amazed before bursting into laughter as realisation struck.  Eric entered and looked around suspiciously but we made some excuse for the laughter and the call of “Time Gentlemen Please “ created a distraction.

That was on the Tuesday and on each of the following three nights on one of Eric’s visits “out back” the hacksaw came out again and the stick became a little shorter.

At closing time on Friday I joined the lads outside and watched with interest as Eric limped homewards with Bill following behind doing his Charlie Chaplin cane twirling act.

Eric never came into the pub at the weekend (“it’s too busy”) so in his absence a general discussion took place as to how long it would be before he realised what was going on and we looked forward with relish to the coming explosion.

Monday came but no Eric.  This was unusual but not unknown so it wasn’t until Tuesday went by without his presence that Danny, his nearest neighbour, was sent to make enquiries.  Danny reported next day with a bit of a mystery.  Eric lived alone and wasn’t home.  Next-door told him that Eric had called leaving a key and asking him to keep an eye on things as he had to go away for a while.  That’s all we knew.  Eric had a son somewhere on the East coast but no local relatives so all we could do was to ask the neighbours to tell us if he made contact.  Danny tried his best to cheer Bill up; “He’s probably topped himself “, he said cheerfully.

Christmas and New Year passed and Eric’s absence gradually slipped into the background.

January and February came and went and Spring was in the air when one day towards the end of March and quite un-announced, our evening assembly was pleasantly surprised when Eric walked into the snug.

Uproar greeted his entry, there was much backslapping, a pint was put in his hand as Eric, with a huge grin, took his usual seat and a long swallow before speaking.

Turns out he’d known all along that his bad back was actually a hip problem easily cured by a simple operation. The trouble was that he was terrified of the idea of surgery, “the knife” as he called it and kept putting it off.

Eventually he realised he had to do something and his son managed to arrange a quick admission to their local hospital. He went away without telling us because he was sure he wouldn’t be able to go through with it and didn’t want to come back with us knowing that he had bottled out.

Once in hospital, he found out that his fear is a common and treatable phobia. Within a very short time he was on a ward and looking forward to being pain-free for the first time in years.

“I should have done it years ago” he said and performed a little jig to show us he was cured.

“So what made you change your mind and see someone?” I asked, carefully.

“Well” he said, “Just before Christmas it got much worse very quickly and I realised I couldn’t go on any longer”

Guilty glances were exchanged but we knew that now was not the time for confessions so we sat and listened patiently to the account of Eric’s experiences as the first man ever to have surgery.

So it was some weeks later that I stood up one night in the snug to make a speech.

“Eric, we are all so pleased you’re back and well again, especially as you have one less thing to moan about, (laughter).  Accordingly we have clubbed together to make this small presentation.”

With this I handed Eric a carefully wrapped package.  Looking pleased, surprised and suspicious all at the same time Eric unwrapped his gift.  Bill had brought the package ready wrapped so we were all curious to see what it contained.  Eric eventually removed the last piece of wrapping and stood back with a puzzled expression that slowly changed to enlightenment, rage and, finally, laughter.

He stood back and we were able to see a glass-fronted display case containing a mounted walking stick, four short cut-off sections of the wood and a rubber end cap.

Laughter rocked the room as realisation dawned, Eric broke down and cried, I declared an open bar, the party spread to the whole pub and lasted ‘till late.

And if you think this is just a tall tale, come to my pub, if you can find it, and there you will see The glass case hanging on the wall, the snug wall of course.

ND RunnerUp article

('Cider with Everything' was published in issue 114 [page 46] of the Nottingham Drinker which can be downloaded here.)

Second Runner Up Article

('Snuggery Skullduggery' was published in issue 115 [page 55] of the Nottingham Drinker which can be downloaded here.)

Page Breaker

In 2011, the first year of the literary award, the level of entrants was so high that two runner-up prizes were awarded to:

'Strings' by Bob Hawkins and 'Memories' by Janet Hudson .

Janet and Bob each received £50 prize money.           

And here is the entry “Strings”

I’m sure you’ve seen the ads in the personal columns of the free papers, and the internet’s awash with them: -

‘Adventurous slim woman, naughty forties, looking for a man for discrete, no- strings, adult fun. Age, looks, unimportant’ Followed by a box number.

I’d been looking at those ads for some years, sometimes through eyes brimming with guilty tears, and I’m ashamed to say that I decided to answer one. It was either that or risk my life on Forest Road. I’d describe myself as a normal, middle-aged man with normal tastes and needs, but I’d been celibate for what felt like so long that it hurt.

Last Tuesday had been three years to the day since I lost my Penny: - wife, soul-mate, best friend and lover. She was kind and beautiful and her sudden death blew my world completely off its axis, so I felt I was still in no fit state to look for another relationship. But I did need sex.

As anxious and excited as a teenager, I tried to tell myself that it was just a laugh. No strings. That was how I met Hannah.

We exchanged photos and I’m glad to say that she was attractive but totally different to Penny; we chatted over the net and then over the phone. She seemed pleasant and down to earth; her voice carried the trace of a posh accent, which I found a turn-on. We made each other laugh, always a good sign, so we arranged to meet...

I’m not even sure which of us suggested it, but we set up the date as the26th and the Forest Tavern, Mansfield road, as the venue; a quick drink before going back to my place.

When the day finally arrived I was in a lather of lust and performance anxiety, I couldn’t remember being as nervous as this even before I lost my virginity! On the bus into Nottingham, despite having only just stepped out of the shower and into clean clothes, I felt sweat running from my arm-pits onto my torso. My hands were cold and clammy and my mouth as dry as dust. They say there’s no fool like an old fool and I fitted the bill perfectly. What was I thinking of? The photos I’d sent her were taken a few years ago, when I like to think that I looked alright: - Happy, relaxed, not too fat or too grey. I haven’t worn well. What on earth would she think when she met me in the flesh?

I was so flooded with adrenaline that I felt unsteady on my feet as I entered the bar...There was Hannah already! I recognised her instantly from her photos but was shocked to see how petite she was; she couldn’t have been more than four feet ten, and probably a size 6. She did however, have curves in all the right places and was far prettier than I’d been expecting. I felt another surge of excitement.

As I approached, she flashed a dazzling smile and said in her sexy, posh voice

“You must be Bob”

She tilted up her head so that I could stoop and kiss her gently on the cheek. Thank god for that: - I was dreading giving her a formal handshake with my sweaty mits! We turned to look at the beers on the bar and simultaneously burst out laughing; there was one called No Strings Golden Ale, brewed by some micro-brewery, and before I could say anything, she ordered two pints.

We took them to the comfy seats and began to chat. Hannah was caustically witty, intelligent, thoughtful, and downright off-beat. She was also incredibly open; she was married and loved her husband dearly but he was older than her and in poor health; she was as new to this and as nervous as I was. Before we’d finished our drinks, I thought it only fair to disclose some things about myself, and when I told her of Penny’s death, she held my hand.

She suggested, quite forcibly I thought, that it was my round and we ought to have another drink, but in a different pub. How could I refuse?

Mansfield Road is something of a gravity-assisted paradise for real ale drinkers and it turned out that Hannah was no stranger to the delights of starting at the top and zigzagging down the hill.

First Fade and then the Poacher: - Both were also serving No Strings Ale and we felt we had to have a pint in each. I don’t know if it was the booze or some strange voodoo at work, but I was starting to feel euphoric. Hannah was utterly enchanting and I wanted to keep talking to her.

It was my round again and we held hands as we crossed Mansfield Road to the Nag’s Head, where we had another pint of No Strings. More conversation, more laughs, more personal history. If we were on a gravity-assisted pub-crawl, we were in a car in which the brakes had been tampered with and we were heading for somewhere dangerous. Love?

Again, I can’t remember who suggested it, but we decided that food was needed and the first place we saw was a Chinese which Penny and I used to go to when we were first living together. We were ridiculously poor back then, and used to save 20p pieces in one of my Gran’s old Steredent tubes. When we had enough, this was the place to which we’d come to for our big treat. It was unlicensed, but for an hour we used to feel like millionaires, out of our grotty first flat, with a cheap bottle of plonk from the offy, dining together. Staff came to expect us to pay in 20ps after a while. We were young and so in love.

These memories surfaced while talking to Hannah and rather than feeling sad, I felt lucky to have had them. Meal over and we both wanted another drink. We lurched left out of the restaurant; arm-in-arm and it struck me just how drunk I was feeling.

The rest of the crawl was a blur! By the time we hit The Peacock we were like a couple of drunken, giggling kids, intermittently snogging each other’s faces off and then laughing uproariously at our own jokes. We were disgraceful! And so old enough to know better.

Of course we ended up in bed together. And of course the sex was clumsy and rubbish. We were too far gone! You don’t sink a skin full of ale and perform like 20 year-olds when you’re our age. Hannah didn’t seem bothered and she fell asleep, tiny and gorgeous, nestling against me.

That was a few years ago now. Hannah and I are still firm friends (nothing more) and our friendship goes far beyond any notion of No Strings Fun. When her husband passed away I held her hand throughout the funeral and supported her through her grief.

I’m pleased to say that both of us have moved on from our losses. We still drink together and occasionally raise a toast to the ties of friendship: - ‘To No Strings!’

 

1st runner Up

Seen here is one of the two runners up, Janet Hudson, receiving her prize from the Managing Director of Castle Rock Chris Holmes, Competition Judge Mick Bajcar, and CAMRA Chair Steve Westby.

And here is her poem 'Memories'

MEMORIES

Do you remember Mosley Street
With the Lion at the top?
Well I grew up at the bottom
Where the horses used to stop.
All the draymen knew me
They’d wave and say “hello”
And the sparks flew off the cobbles
Almost fifty years ago.

My godmother kept the “Lion”
And was known both near and far;
She had a parrot called Micky
Who lived in a cage on the bar.
Can you remember the brewery
When the Star was a bright fiery red ?
When you knew they were brewing because of the smell
Now they use it for auctions instead.

Can you remember Hyson Green
Before all the boozers closed down ?
You could start in the Scotholme or “Old G”
And be drunk by the time you reached Town
Can you remember when pubs were pubs,
Off license ; snug ; outside loo?
“The Raven” a last spit and sawdust pub
Yes, I can remember that too.

I’ll always remember Mosley Street
With memories fond and clear,
When horses delivered barrels
And “Shippo’s” Star Brewery brewed beer.   

Janet Hudson August 2011

Congratulations to all three winners and a big thank you to all who participated.

('Strings' was published in issue 108 [page 21] of the Nottingham Drinker which can be downloaded here.)

Runner Up Narrative

('Memories' was published in issue 109 [page 21] of the Nottingham Drinker which can be downloaded here.)

Nottingham Drinker Spyke Golding Award

 

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