Finishing the tidying up the in the house and Les and my brother coming round meant it was time to head to the railways station to collect Alan. We waited and waited for the 2:26pm train that never seemed to get here. This meant of course we could not get the 2:30pm train down the Telford line. Something which Gaz seemed grateful for in his text of is 3:30pm not early enough? Personally you see I thought 2:30pm was too late but there you have it.
The whole idea of the outing was Gary’s. HE wanted to do the R.A.T. or to you and me the Rail Ale Trail which happens on his doorstep.
Alan came and at about 3:46pm and so it was off to the Great Western, a because of its proximity to the railway station and b because I know he likes the beer there.
Perhaps even better for Alan was the fact they had Bathman’s on tap. Yep a legendary Black Cournty Ale he was desperate to try. I here it was, amongst many others. You have got to ask why this pub was being part of the Rail Ale Trail. Eventual time comes to go to the station and get the trail to Oakengates. Gaz and Sarah join us on the busy train at Codsall.
We arrive at Oakengates a primitive town with an air of death in the air. This however cannot be said for the pubs here. Oldy the pub on the Rail Ale Trail must be the furthest of the pub from the railway station, passing by other I wanted to so desperately hope was the one we ere looking for. But nope the Fighting Cocks was the furthest.
Here they certainly had some barrels going.
I opened the Rail Ale Trail guide and saw some 60 ales to choose form over 3 pubs on the trail. That's 20 ales per pub. Gaz we have started out way too late.
Nack I think your right we have started out too late.
We get the first beers in using a token system, which only works for this pub?
We find a room at the back of the pub and make ourselves comfortable.
Now it is a small pub and peopel wander into the room we have spread out in have a look around and then decide not to join us. Outside of this room it becomes very busy. But nobody will site in here with us? Why I ponder?
And there no way Les is going to leave his leather armchair.
We here for the long haul but eventually it is time for
beer snacks. Alan buys a big bag of Tyrrells Proper popcorn which has then been chilli flavoured. Very nice indeed.
Eventually we have to make a decision of catching a train to Shifnal. They are only every hour so its now or never. Me, Alan and Big Les have the beer snack issue still and stop off at a local chippy during the long walk back to the station.
And we wait.
Eventually you here a rattle of steel and look here comes the chu chu
We get off at Shifnal, head through the pub car park and see
that on this very cold day they have a gazebbo which
is full of beer.
Inside there is a band playing, We stay outside where there is room to breath and enjoy that crisp, damp weather we have so much of in Britain.
Before we catch the next train to Codsall me and Alan get the beer munchies again and so it is off to the chipshop. Alan is over the moon delighted that the chips here are batter coated. And my are they nice.
And everyone else agrees how nice they are. In fact we have brought way way too many chips but this doesn't stop us eating them.
This is probably the biggest mistake we make.
At Codsall Paul Beason, Neil Allen and some other are also there outside drinking in the icy cold. With an overfull belly though now All I want to do is sit down and fall asleep, in the warmth. So me and Alan go indoors in the hope we can grab a seat. This doesn’t happen though. And enough is enough if we can’t get a seat here then we’ll have to go where there are seats. And so we went to the bull, where there weren’t any spare seats either. Well not for an hour. And when the seats did become available all me and Alan want to do was sleep. I even had a pint of lemonade. Which obviously brought me to my senses, as with a full belly and wanting to go to bed we went over to the curry house across the road from the Bull. My poppadum's were disappointing, my madras was disappointing, My nan bread was actually very nice but disappointingly small but to save the day the cobra beers I neither needed or indeed probably want I enjoyed.
Perhaps Gaz was right 3:30pm was too early to start