FREE Issue 102

December 2015 / January 2016

The Newsletter of Leicester CAMRA Branch

Circulation 5,000 throughout Leicestershire & Rutland


To the Regiment! p6

The Christmas

ales have arrived!

Brewery News – p6

CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year: The Old Horse, Leicester p10-11



Pub of the Month p22


What do young drinkers

really want?. ............... p4

Pub news. ................... p7

Bus pass to beer ............. p8

New branch Chairman. ....... p9

Alcohol and science –

4-page special ........ from p15

A day out in Nottingham. ... p20

Jim’s Jaunt. ............... p24

Designed & Printed by AnchorPrint ·


Rob Macardle

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for possible publication. Please keep it brief and to the

point and supply your name and address (this will

only be published with your permission). The opinions

expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of

the Editor, Leicester Branch, or CAMRA.



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CAMRA Recommends that if you are in any way

dissatisfied with the measure of your pint in any of

Leicestershire & Rutland’s pubs, contact the Trading

Standards. Details below.

• City of Leicester Council has now moved from

New Walk. All Weights & Measures enquiries should

be referred to Citizens Advice 03454040506 or

• Leicestershire County Council 2000,


• Rutland County Council Offices, Catmose,

Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6HP.

• Trading Standards are part of Environmental

Health. All initial enquiries to Rutland County

Council can be made through the customer

services team. 01572 722577

Leicester CAMRA makes every effort to publish the

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S. Collier on 07504 829830

or email:

16 South Drive, Leicester LE5 1AN

(Please supply stamps)


Welcome to the December/January

edition of The Leicester Drinker.

It’s been quite a busy few months since the

last edition, and difficult to know where to

start. Good news on the pub front with several

micropubs imminent, The Charlotte re-opened

and a new look Bowling Green just opened.

Leicester CAMRA itself has been hectic; 2016

Beer Festival planning has swung into action,

there have been three award evenings and

the local committee has a new look following

the October A.G.M. Phil Wain has stood down

as Treasurer but remains on committee, with

Mick Buglass stepping into the finance role and

Shawn Collier has succeeded Keith Williams as

Chairman. As we went to press Bob Reay has

agreed to become Shawn’s replacement as

Membership Secretary. There are several roles to

be filled, both on and off committee for those of

you who have a little time to spare, and it would

be good to hear from interested members.




With a circulation of 5,000 and an estimated

readership of three times that number,

The Drinker reaches licensees and pubgoers

alike and is available free of charge in almost

200 outlets. The newsletter is published every

two months by The Campaign for Real Ale,

prices to advertise start from £35 plus VAT.

Contact in

the first instance.



Recommended Absolute

LD103 Feb/Mar 13/01/2016 20/01/2016

LD104 Apr/May 17/03/2016 24/03/2016

LD105 Jun/Jul 11/05/2016 18/05/2016

LD106 Aug/Sep 13/07/2016 20/07/2016

LD107 Oct/Nov 14/09/2016 21/09/2016

LD108 Dec/Jan 16/11/2016 23/11/2016

2 December 2015 - January 2016 The Newsletter of Leicester CAMRA Branch

The Stamford Arms, Groby


• New Play Area for Under 12s

• Family Garden

• Tuck Shop

• No Smoking Area

• 5 Star Accommodation

• Available for

Bed & Breakfast

• WiFi

• Holiday Lets Available

• Christmas Menu available

• Quiz Nights Tuesday

& Sunday

• Pasta & Prosecco


• Open Mic Thursdays

• Shires Magazine

Pub of the Year

• CAMRA Pub of the Month

February 2015

• 7 Cask Ales & Cider Always


• Food Served from 11am - 10pm

The Leicester Drinker


New Kids on the Block

The rise and fall of the student pub?

The Charlotte (pictured right) recently re-opened as a

straightforward no-nonsense pub in the familiar and

capable hands of Tonii Leach and Cathal Farragher.

Given its history as a music venue and the student

following they had at The Pub many were not quite sure

what to expect, whatever Tonii and Cathal told them!

It did cause Tonii to think a little about whether there

is anything that could be discernibly distinguishable as a

‘student pub’ these days...

ne question I’ve been

O asked a lot recently is

‘will you be opening a student

pub?’ It’s a strange question, one

maybe answered more easily a

few years ago when student pubs

were identifiable by their ‘All shots

a quid’ and ‘pound a pint’ signs.

Yet recently, younger drinkers

seem to be more interested in a

quality product than a cheap one;

more young people than ever are

trying real ales and ciders, and

seeking out those venues that

supply these products in good

condition at a reasonable price.

“This is a sea change in the

predominant quality vs. quantity

viewpoint of even three or four

years ago, where students and

young drinkers aimed for the

places they could get most drunk

for the lowest cost. So, if they are

no longer seeking out traditional

student haunts, where are young

people drinking? And are pubs

catering for them?

“The places that have seen the

largest increase in young drinkers

are real ale pubs (unsurprising

given that real ale and cider is

the largest growth sector left in

the market), as well as pubs with

a quality food offering. Young

people are becoming more

conscious of their consumption

and their role in consumerism.

They are leading the way in

choosing small, local producers

and retailers over large, massproduced

products and chain

stores. No longer is the attraction

a nameless ‘beer & burger -

£3.00’, when the alternative is a

well kept, carefully brewed real

ale accompanied by something

home-made, locally-sourced and

filling. One young member I spoke

to is happy to pay a premium in

a pub, for ‘high quality drinks

in a good atmosphere.’ They

feel that the emphasis on

quality deters stereotypical

young binge drinkers, making

for a more welcoming and safe

environment. More and more

places are taking this approach

to encouraging young people to

frequent their establishments,

from independent free-houses

and restaurants, to brewery kept

houses, and even some of the

major chains have recognised,

and adapted to, this new trend.

“It seems the key to attracting

younger drinkers is simple –

treat them as you would any

other discerning customer.

They just want a good pint in

their local, too.”

Tonii Leach

Co-proprietor of The Charlotte and

CAMRA Leicester Branch Young

Members Secretary


Earlier this year CAMRA introduced a communication tool for branches to use.

Since then it has been easier to send out newletters and items by email. Are your

details correct? If you have changed email or set one up since you became a member

it is easy to amend your CAMRA account. This can be done by logging on to the CAMRA

website or by sending an email to: with updated details.

4 December 2015 - January 2016 The Newsletter of Leicester CAMRA Branch


LD101 p15-18 PUBS & SEXISM

LD100 p9 – Assets of Community Value

& LD101 p5 – Matters Arising

This response to this article has been

substantial with many people wishing to voice Following our

their opinions further. As a consequence, successful

we are proposing a full follow-up article in application

the February edition of The Drinker. In the to have The

meantime please feel free to send us your Western listed,

further views and feedback.

a celebratory

evening was

held in October.

The beer breads

and sandwiches

were plentiful

and the beer

flowed liberally.

There was also

music to enjoy

and Kieran made a humorous acceptance

Pubs & Sexism

speech. A great night in a great pub.

article from last issue








OF SHERRY: £3.50








& 5:30-9pm /



to availability





Celebrations at The Western



LANGTON Supplementing their

constant regular brews of Caudle 3.9%,

Inclined Plane 4.2%, Hop On 4.4% and

Bowler 4.8%, the reappearance of Welland

Fox 4.3% has occurred to meet popular

demand, described by the brewers as

“amber-coloured bitter is full flavoured

with a floral/spicy aroma”. The brewery

have also produced a Rugby World Cup

special called Lineout 4.3% described by

the brewers as “a chestnut coloured bitter

with a smooth, fruity flavour & light citrus

aroma”. On top of that, the brewery are

introducing a brand new seasonal brew for

November named Old Bull 4.5%, described

by the brewers as “a dark beer, just right

for those wintry evenings”.

TRÈS BIEN Dave (brewer/proprietor)

reports that things have been a bit hectic

of late at the brewery which currently

aims to offer a regularly changing

selection of a variety of beers. None of his

brews are constantly available presently,

as he’s never sure he’ll be able to get the

variety of hops he needs. 30th September

2015 hailed the brewery’s Gyle 100 which

just happened to be Chinook Special

Pale Ale. Particularly interesting news is

that Très Bien beers are now available in

bottles, albeit in very small numbers, and

currently only available at The Offie at 142

Clarendon Park Road, Leicester.



Dow Bridge


Gas Dog

Golden Duck


Great Central

Long Lane


Pig Pub

Q Brewery


Très Bien

See Golden Duck



EVERARDS November saw

the return of Regimental

IPA, with 5p from every pint

being donated to The Royal Tigers’

Association to support The Royal Leicestershire

Regiment’s ‘Green Tiger’ magazine, through

which the history of the Regiment is told and

recorded. The Royal Leicestershire regiment

was formed in 1688 and in 1804 it embarked for

India, where it served with distinction gaining the

“Tigers” epithet. Local water supplies for many

troops were inconsistent and the local spirit had

the potential to send a drinker blind so knowing

that only a finely brewed beer could stand the

temperatures of such a long sail boat journey the

IPA style was born. The 5% golden, amber beer

with complex citric flavours and a refreshing dry

finish is a true British Indian Pale Ale.

Sleighbell is back on the bar for Christmas 2015.

Now in its 13th year and available throughout

December, the popular 4.5% ruby red ale has

been created especially for the Christmas period

and is one of the brewery’s most successful

beers with pub customers. Brewed with cascade

hops this warming beer is rich and comforting

with a distinctive colour, winey taste and spicy

berry aroma. A joint re-launch for Regimental

and the Christmas offerings took place at the

brewery shop on 22nd October (pictured above).

6 December 2015 - January 2016 The Newsletter of Leicester CAMRA Branch


Stonegate have refurbished

the Polar Bear and

rebranded it as a

Real Ale pub with eight

hand pumps (six beer,

two cider). Now called

The Bowling Green,

harking back to its

previous name “The

Old Bowling Green”,

early reports are



The Last Plantagenet has restored its 20% food

discount on the standard menu, bringing it back

into line with The Highcross and Corn Exchange.

Long closed, The Abbey now has ‘Sold’ on an Estate

Agency board. The Fox, Hastings Rd is ‘To Let’. The

Langton Arms has been sold to Little Britain Pubco as

from next January. The interim landlord, who won’t

be staying, is Martin Walsh. The Queen’s Head at

Markfield is available on a new tenancy. The Swan at

Kibworth is closed following suspension of its licence.

The prospective sale of The Salmon has yet to be

completed but its former barman Matt is one of a

group of people now at The Dove, Evington. Steward

Paul Summers has left the Syston Social Club.


The plans for development at The Pub (20151693)

indicate a small “cafe/bar” retained at the New Walk

frontage. If it survives as a pub, it looks “micropub”

in size. However, unless a condition is added to the

permission restricting this to A4 (pub) use, it could

be used as a restaurant, cafe, shop, etc without

further consent. Worryingly, the proposed plans

label this space as a “commercial unit”. There are

quite a few objections to this proposal, including

some from local councillors. However, even if this

application is refused an amended scheme might

be submitted as the owner clearly wants to develop

the site. The Ship on Soar Lane appears to be under

threat. Despite having a local listing its architectural

merit is unlikely to be sufficient to save it from



The Real Ale Classroom in Allandale Road

continues to progress and will be open on 3rd

December. In Clarendon Park, Richard Thomas

(Leatherbritches) has submitted a planning

application for The Bounder at 31 Howard

Road, a former Shipstone’s off-licence. Further

afield Bitter & Twisted is expected to open

on Coalville High Street before Christmas and

The Round Robinn situated on Main Street in

East Leake LE12 6PG will aim to support local

cask ales.


There’s a special offer for CAMRA members

at the Geese and Fountain, Croxton Kerrial,

for the next couple of months. For a limited

period this winter, until 25 February 2016,

CAMRA members can book a night’s Bed

and Breakfast accommodation for half

price, just £25 for a single room or £35 for a

double room. Any night, any room, subject

to availability. Full details on their website



Pub News relies greatly on input from the public

and the trade. CAMRA members will generally visit

premises with an existing real ale commitment

so information on new stockists and outlets is

particularly welcome. Thanks on this occasion to

Philip Tiplady, Steve Peck, Jim Reay, Denny

Cornell-Howarth, Bill Woolley & Shawn Collier.

The Leicester Drinker


Three Men on a Bus

One of the compensations for those no

longer young is the chance to ride buses

for free. On the basis that if we don’t use

them we could lose them I would suggest

older members to take advantage.

The monies the company receives for our journey

helps keep the service going for those who have no

other means of travel. If by doing so we can visit

quiet country pubs we may also be helping keep

these open.

Three of us have been increasingly doing just that.

Our various interests gave occasion for visits to all

sorts of places and we have taken to doing these

trips together and making a full day of it taking

advantage of this concession. We have walked

heritage trails through some of our historic towns,

walked canal and riversides and walked country

lanes and paths between bus routes and if the

weather turns iffy we have been known to visit

some interesting museums to keep out of the rain

until the pubs open.

We normally gather at St. Margaret’s about 10.30

and aim to get wherever we are aiming for by noon.

With a good knowledge of the bus networks and

timetables it is surprising where you can get to

within a couple of hours. Saturday is even better

as the bus pass is valid on earlier buses and brings

more distant places into play. We have even been to

Manchester for the day all free of charge. The other

great benefit of using buses is of course that you can

drink without worrying about drink driving.

Over the last few years these trips have averaged

about 14 a year and we have checked out hundreds

of pubs and we have been asked to share the results

of this research. Our latest trip was on a Saturday in

October when we caught the Skylink to Derby and

transferred to the Trans Peak. This is a very useful

service as it goes through Matlock, Bakewell and

Buxton and various points in between. We visited

pubs in Chelmorton, Sheldon and Ashford on a

glorious sunny day. These buses are hourly so you

can get off one and take refreshment and then get

on the next one to move on.

You have to be prepared to sit long hours on a bus

but you do see a lot more than if you were driving.

You do need to time your last drink carefully as they

do not have toilets.

The pub in Chelmorton (SK17 9SL - 01298 85319) is

the Church Inn, not surprisingly beside the church

at the end of a cul-de-sac. This is a very welcoming

establishment which has been in the same hands

for many years. It has a pleasant outdoor area

and charming interior and provides excellent good

value food. The one in Sheldon is the Cock and Pullet

(DE45 1QS - 01629 814292). This ‘rustic’ inn looks

like it has been unchanged for centuries but it was

actually knocked through into a neighbouring barn

comparatively recently, not that you can tell. Again

it was very welcoming with a good range of drinks

and an interesting and good value menu. Neither of

these pubs is near the bus route and it did involve

some walking but if you do not want to go so far

Derby itself has a number of great outlets.

The Brunswick is of course well known and has the

great advantage of having the Skylink bus stop

screwed to the pub wall. You cannot get much

nearer than that! Without having to walk very far we

found the Smithfield by the riverside. This imposing

popular local has been refurbished and has a large

patio. It does what we thought, good home cooked

lunches and had a very good selection of ales.

Also nearby we found The Tap, an interesting old

frontage and strange shape hiding a modern interior

with a terrace area. Again the choice of drinks was


The nearby Exeter Arms was also a treat. A

welcoming old fashioned pub with many snug areas

and a good garden, the food was good if a bit dearer

and the ales excellent. The nearby Silk Mill has a

pretty interior and a fine range of ales and ciders

and the other side of the town centre was what

we thought our favourite that trip. It is in walking

distance but we jumped a local bus to save drinking

time. On the Duffield edge of the city, the Five

Lamps (DE1 3BH), has a wide range of ales and bar

snacks; a friendly unspoilt typical town pub.

There will be more to find on another trip but then

we have a long list of visits in mind!

Free Rider

8 December 2015 - January 2016 The Newsletter of Leicester CAMRA Branch



After the October Branch AGM there have been changes

to the Committee with a new Chairperson and Treasurer

elected. Thanks were extended to the outgoing and

retiring members at the meeting. Since the AGM Bob

Reay has been co-opted as Membership Secretary.

Shawn Collier is our new Chairman and sends the

following message:

I joined CAMRA in 2001 and have taken an interest in branch

activities since. In the early years this was an involvement

with the beer festival. Many cobs were buttered before

graduating onto the bars. I joined the Committee as

membership secretary in 2011.

I said during my address to the AGM that the Branch

should take this opportunity to review and look

at refreshing what and how we do things. CAMRA

nationally has just started a review process so there

is no reason why we shouldn’t locally. As branch

members you are invited to contact us with any

comments or ideas that you may have. Campaigning

also involves communicating with those in the trade.

Recently I was contacted by a couple of such people

who wanted a chat about what they were doing

and CAMRA involvement. I hope this continues and

someone from the Committee will be available to

call in if we are contacted.

Real ale continues to outperform other areas within

the sector and the predictions are for future growth

from 1/6 of pints sold to 1/5 over the next 4-5 years.

Looking at the beer scores that are submitted local

members generally seem happy with the quality of

product they are served. As we are aware, attention

has turned to protecting the premises where it served.

Finally, I would ask all members to continue doing

what they can to support the Campaign. From

visiting your local, submitting beer scores, checking

and updating Whatpub, to delivering the Drinker

and attending branch socials and meetings. Oh and

if you’re interested, there are a couple of vacancies

for Committee posts.

Cheers, Shawn

New Leicester

branch Chairman

Shawn Collier









CAMRA NOW OPEN 2015 CLUB 4.30pm OF THE to 11pm YEAR!




SATURDAY ‘TWITTER’ @systonsocial


‘TWITTER’ @systonsocial














The Leicester Drinker



Keith Williams (left) presents

Kevin Shepherdson with the

Cider Pub of the Year Award

2016 Cider Pub of the Year nominations now being accepted

Visit our Website or Facebook page

10 December 2015 - January 2016 The Newsletter of Leicester CAMRA Branch


The Campaign for Real Ale also

campaigns for Real Cider & Perry. This

is Susan Shirley’s most recent report.



The Old Horse wins Leicester

CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year

The past year has seen the popularity and

availability of traditional cider and perry

spread across the city. There are now more

pubs selling real draught cider in the city

centre alone than can be visited in one

day’s drinking, a welcome state of affairs

which would have seemed like a dream ten

years ago.

When the branch was asked to award a pub

Cider Pub of the Year for 2015, there was

quite a choice, but one pub stood out. The Old

Horse, London Road, Leicester; has a good

selection of regular and guest ciders on tap,

regularly features Leicestershire ciders and

has a perry (Westons) on permanently. These

are showcased in a cider bar area with cider

themed memorabilia.

Dee and Kevin Shepherdson, who run the pub,

had the idea for a cider bar about a year ago.

According to Kevin, it has been a great success,

particularly with local rugby players. The

permanent ciders and perry from Westons and

the four local and guest ciders (we enjoyed

Scrambler from Bottle Kicking and Blackcurrant

from Farmer Fear, as well as Waddlegoose

Lane from Suffolk) together with the monthly

specials, mean that there is always something

for everyone. At the gathering to celebrate

their achievement, Dee and Kevin provided

generous samples of their ciders for attending

branch members and regulars, accompanied

by a superb selection of sausages and cheeses,

the perfect traditional accompaniment for

cider. Many thanks to Dee and Kevin for their


The Old Horse was also judged as part of

the East Midlands region, but was beaten by

the eventual winner of the national award,

The Robin Hood & Little John, in Arnold,


The Leicester Drinker


Colchester & Chappell

Beer Festival - Wakes Colne

12th September 2015 by John Spencer

Forty-three intrepid Leicester

CAMRA souls set out on this

trip from St. Margaret’s in the

trusty Robinson’s coach.

It was to be split into some going to the

Beer Festival and the rest into Colchester to

savour the delights of the historic old town.

Apparently there were 400 beers at the

Festival, but it had started on the Tuesday

so some will have been drunk up. Initially

twenty-four of our group got off the coach

leaving just nineteen to carry on into town.

However Gary had told them of the local bus

service and where the coach would be for the

return journey.

My plan was to scour the town and sample

some of its forty-two real ale pubs and I was

ably helped in that quest by the excellent

Colchester Real Ale Guide, produced by the

local branch, which had been handed out to

all. In the centre pages there was a useful

map and I marked down nine pubs to visit,

with some reserves. I also had to find a

sandwich shop as, like a plonker, I had left my

packed lunch in the fridge at home.

My other problem was that I had gone almost

totally deaf and knew I would struggle to hear

my companions, so if I did ignore you on this

trip, sorry, but I didn’t hear you!

Anyway, arriving in the town at 12.30 Graeme

Malen, Mick Collins and myself set off first to

THE VICTORIA, the local branch and Essex

County Pub of the Year for 2014, well stocked

with beers and ciders from which I chose

to start with two 4% beers – Harwich Town

Totally Mosaic, a good start, and the very

good Blue Bee Hillfoot Best Bitter. Graeme, to

some leg pulling, started off with the famous

and quaffable 6.6% Black Mass. I chickened

out of that one hoping perhaps we could call

in again later as the Coach Park was nearby.

We sat in the beer garden outside in the

sunshine with a distraction in that a cyclist

had been cleared up by a car just outside and

police cars and an ambulance attended. We

hope he was OK.

Moving on, next was THE BRICKLAYERS where

again I stuck to sensible guns and enjoyed an

almost perfect Adnams Topaz Gold (4%).

Next was THE THREE WISE MONKEYS, a foray

off the planned GBG route but recommended

as a new place in town. Using the trusty map

we marched up quite a steep hill in the blazing

sunshine and really needed the 5% Colchester

Old Gold, a whisky infused beer that was

simply gorgeous. In the past I have had

allegedly whisky infused beers and never been

impressed, but I was this time. I suspected

the whisky used may be Monkey Shoulder as,

enterprisingly, the pub utilised empty Shoulder

bottles as table markers.

Passing the nearby Colchester Castle

we moved on to THE QUEEN STREET

BREWHOUSE, another new pub to the area,

12 December 2015 - January 2016 The Newsletter of Leicester CAMRA Branch

and again had an almost perfect drink in

Hellhound Soul Survivor, at 5%. Here we saw

our first trippers that had been to the Festival

so Gary’s plan had obviously worked.

The next pub was back on track and THE

BRITISH GRENADIER, a pleasant, friendly

corner local, with perhaps not such a good

beer range but none the less a very good

Thwaites Lancaster Bomber at 4.4%, and the

locals were very helpful in pointing out the

way to our next pub.

We were doing quite a lot of walking on this

trip and although we had six hours in the town

I could sense that we were not going to fit all

our plans in.

Using the map, and my new phone’s GPS we

walked on to THE BRITANNIA (finding on

the way back a quicker and easier route!).

Anyway here I was pleased to see one of my

favourites, Skinners Cornish Knocker 4.5%, and

it was on excellent form too, being perfect in

my eyes (but hey, I’m going to Cornwall again


Next up was THE ODD ONE OUT (no, that’s

its name silly!), the current local CAMRA Cider

Pub of the Year, a multi award-winning pub

since 1985. Here I had an old friend from a

previous trip, Cliff Quay Sea Dog, another

perfect drink at 5.5%.

Also here we decided we had to cut short our

route somewhat so headed for FAT CAT (again

off our GBG route), where I sampled Fat Cat

Honey at 5.5% again and almost perfect it

was too.

Finally for me we then walked on to THE ALE

HOUSE (just over the road) where I finished

with a very good Mighty Oak Burntwood

Bitter at 4%.

Graeme and Mick now decided to leg it on to

the local Wetherspoons, THE PLAYHOUSE, an

old theatre with plenty of atmosphere, which

did appeal to my theatrical background but

I didn’t want to rush a swift half and headed

back to the Coach Station getting there six

minutes before the scheduled 6.45pm leaving


My compatriots soon appeared extolling

the virtues of The Playhouse (Oh well, next

time perhaps), but I was concerned because

not many had made it back to the coach on

time. Gary appeared explaining that the rest

were waiting at their last pub of the day, The

Victoria, where we had started.

So for those that I hear count up the amount I

drink on these trips, to comment upon it when

reading the article, I can save you the bother;

five pints with a lot of walking in between and

three packets of sandwiches!!!

As usual driver Mick gave us a smooth trip

back, with drop offs at Market Harborough and

Kibworth, then on back to St. Margaret’s.

See you in York! J.S.


Now open 7 days a


Serving 6 guest real ales

plus a real cider

Opening Hours:

Mon – Thurs: 11am-­‐11pm

Fri & Sat: 11am-­‐12am

Sunday 11am-­‐10pm

Tweet us @TheCharlotteBar

The Leicester Drinker



Dark Beer Festival

at the Black Horse, Aylestone

by Robin Worth

Once again the spirits of the dark side came out

to dance to Satan’s fiddle; and sup mild, stout and

porter ales from micros up and down the country,

plus the Everard’s range made it a howling success.

The skeletons were asked to leave because they

couldn’t hold their beer; but they made no bones

about it as they rattled out of the door. Halloween

named beers dominated such as Eight Sails Black

Widow and Lymstones’s Stone Dead at 6.66%; but

my favourite was Nottingham’s Malt and Hops at

4.7% a Victorian strength ruby with smooth, tasty

chocolate malt and a well hopped finish.

A spooks person said thanks to Alan, Sarah, and staff for a wizard

event. The Black is not a haunted house; but a living, busy local

that’s still the focal point of Aylestone keep it that way by swooping

in for well-kept house and guest ales.

Leicester CAMRA member Andy Watson, whose brother-in-law lives in

Munich, received 70 German beers, mainly Bavarian and all different,

as a 70th birthday present. Nice present!

14 December 2015 - January 2016 The Newsletter of Leicester CAMRA Branch

Alcohol & Science

Four-page special




WHOOPS! I’ve done it again!

As Christmas approaches the temptation to overdo it is heightened,

but how quickly one is affected by alcohol may surprise you.

Just one night of binge

drinking affects the immune

system, and it can happen

within just 20 minutes

of ingesting alcohol. The

findings, published in the

journal Alcohol, are the first

to document the immediate

effects of alcohol on the

human immune system.

That binge drinking alters

behaviour is well known.

“But there is less awareness

of alcohol’s harmful effects

in other areas, such as the

immune system,” Loyola

University Chicago’s Elizabeth

Kovacs says in a news

release. Previous studies in

both humans and animals

revealed that alcohol

intoxication exerts effects on

the immune system several

hours to days after the

exposure when blood alcohol

is no longer detectable.

Now, to study the effects

while blood alcohol is still

elevated, a team led by Majid

Afshar of Loyola University

Health Systems collected

blood from seven men

and eight women before

they voluntarily became

intoxicated after “highdose

alcohol consumption.”

achieved by downing up to

five shots of vodka within 20

minutes. A 1.5-ounce shot

of vodka is the equivalent of

one 5-ounce glass of wine or

12-ounce can of beer.

The team also collected

blood 20 minutes, two hours,

and five hours after the

participants first imbibed

(these are the times when

intoxicated patients typically

arrive at trauma centers for

alcohol-related injuries). They

isolated immune cells from

the blood sample and then

measured their response

to introduced proteins from

potentially harmful bacteria.

An early pro-inflammatory

state was already evident

at 20 minutes when blood

alcohol levels were about

130 milligrams per decilitre.

The immune system was

revving up and there was an

increase in total circulating

leukocytes, monocytes,

and natural killer cells.

Additionally, there was

an increase in cytokines,

a protein that signals the

immune system to ramp up.

The responses eventually

diminished and the immune

system became more

sluggish than when the

volunteers were sober.

At the two and five hour


intervals, the team found

an anti-inflammatory state

with reduced numbers of

monocytes and natural killer

cells circulating in the blood

accompanied by higher

levels of a different kind of

cytokine that signals for the

immune system to become

less active.

›› Science Special continues on pg 16

The Leicester Drinker


›› from pg 15

So what about the

Ok, so you’ve read the

article on page 15 and

now you’re wondering

what’s a reasonable

amount to drink.

The consequences of

drinking to excess are well

known. It increases the risks

of chronic health conditions

and suffering acute injuries,

costing the NHS an estimated

£3bn a year. Alcohol is also

associated with a range of

social and criminal harms,

such as domestic violence and

antisocial behaviour.

As part of the government’s

strategy to cut the human

and economic cost of

alcohol misuse, it currently

recommends that men and

women shouldn’t regularly

drink more than three to four

and two to three units a day

respectively. In theory, these

guidelines help people make

informed decisions about

their health, but researchers

have often questioned their


A fair number of people

evidently pay no attention to the

drinking guidelines whatsoever.

A recent study by the University

of Sheffield put together focus

groups of 66 male and female

drinkers in England and Scotland

aged between 19 and 65 from

a range of socioeconomic

backgrounds. They were asked

what they thought of the UK

guidelines, and asked them

to compare them with those

of Australia and Canada, both

of which distinguish singleoccasion

and regular drinking.

The participants said they

didn’t think the UK guidelines

were relevant to how they

drank. A big concern was that

the guidelines are given as

daily amounts, but because

most of the participants only

drank once or twice a week,

usually at weekends, they

didn’t think that the guidelines

applied to them: “because we

don’t drink every day, you just

don’t take it in”.

They preferred the idea of

a weekly guideline because,

“then you can do it to suit

yourself during the week”.

They saw the Australian and

Canadian guidelines’ regular

and single-occasion drinking

distinction as more flexible for

different drinking patterns. They

also thought the UK guidelines

were unrealistic because they

failed to recognise the desire

to drink to get drunk: “Their too

much is not our too much. Their

too much is like ‘I’ve only just

started’ to be honest”. Yes, sad

but unfortunately true……

Presenting the guidelines

in units rather than glasses,

pints or bottles created further

problems for participants. While

units might be a useful measure

for health professionals, they

were too abstract for the

members of the general public

who took part in the study.

The participants regulated

their drinking in other ways

which made more sense to

their everyday lives. They spoke

of knowing their own limits,

and sometimes regulated

themselves by switching

to different types of drink

according to how they believed

they would feel the next day

– for instance one respondent

talked about avoiding wine in

favour of vodka.

Where the drinking

guidelines are generally

informed by concerns

about the nation’s health,

participants said they regulated

their drinking to meet their

commitments to valued

everyday responsibilities like

employment and childcare. As

a simple example, some spoke

of not drinking during the week

because they didn’t want to be

hungover the next morning.

Short-term, immediately

negative consequences

motivated participants to

moderate their intake rather

than long-term health risks.

The UK’s drinking guidelines

are currently being reviewed

by the government. From this

research it seems clear that

introducing separate regular and

single-occasion guidelines might

suit people’s drinking patterns

more than the daily amounts.

Given that the guidelines

don’t acknowledge the

reasons which influence

drinkers’ decisions, such as

social concerns and cultural

values, future guidance could

use narratives which show

16 December 2015 - January 2016 The Newsletter of Leicester CAMRA Branch


the impact that drinking can

have on family and work life.

Also, despite many years of

campaigns educating us about

units, if people still count their

alcohol consumption in pints,

drinks or bottles, perhaps a

rethink is required there too.

The research also brings

in to question the extent

to which alcohol strategies

rely on drinking guidelines

as a way to reduce harm.

Expecting individuals to

make “responsible” decisions

for their health behaviours

underplays broader social

and economic forces, so

that rather than placing

most of the responsibility

on individuals, the people in

charge of policy may need

to look more to taxation and

pricing to effectively tackle

alcohol-related issues.

Based on an article by

Melanie Lovatt and

originally published on

And another thing...

It is a common practice

at bars and parties to

mix alcohol with energy

drinks to give users a bit

of a pick-me-up. However,

the risks associated with

using caffeine to mask

the depressant effects of

alcohol warrant caution.

Research has found that

not only does it triple the risk

of binge drinking (www.cdc.

gov/alcohol/fact -sheets),

but it also increases one’s

risk for drunk driving




A cure for alcoholism

on the horizon?

How often have you

gone out for the

almost mythical

“swift half” and found

yourself staying a

whole lot longer?

Many of us have faith

that we can call upon

willpower to turn down

the offer of just one

more, but perhaps

we should resign

ourselves to the fact

that it rarely is just the

one cheeky beverage.

Why does it happen,

and what drives

our alcohol-seeking

behaviours? Scientists

(who, in my experience,

are avid researchers

on the subject!) seem

to be slowly figuring it

all out.

New research reveals that

alcohol changes both the

structure and function of a

specific population of cells in

a region of the brain known to

drive goal-directed behaviours,

alterations that make these

cells more excitable, sending

signals that create an urge for

more alcohol.

The discovery, made by

researchers at Texas A&M

University, follows on from

earlier work by the same group

that found alcohol facilitates an

important neuronal process in

cells located in an area of the

brain called the dorsomedial

striatum (DMS). This process,

synaptic plasticity, involves

alterations to the strength of

the junctions between neurons,

the synapses, across which

information flows.

The team engineered mice

so that the cells which make

›› continued on pg 18

The Leicester Drinker


›› from pg 17

up the majority of the

DMS, called medium spiny

neurons, were fluorescent.

These spider-like neurons

have many branching

structures with tiny

protrusions called spines that

serve as an input point and

are also adorned with one of

two types of receptor for the

brain’s pleasure chemical,

dopamine, and so can be

referred to as either D1 or D2

neurons. Put simply D1 are

on a “go” pathway which

encourages action, whereas

the latter do the opposite

and drive “stop” behaviours.

While dopamine is known

to be involved in drug

reinforcement, providing

the rewarding effects

of commonly abused

drugs, its role in addiction

has been less clear. The

results from this current

study, published in the

Journal of Neuroscience,

seem to implicate the D1

receptor in addiction. By

repeatedly exposing mice

to alcohol, either through

systemic administration

or consumption, the

researchers found that

D1 neurons became more

excitable, requiring less

stimulation to fire. So, if

these neurons are excited,

you will crave alcohol.

So when the D1 neurons

become activated, they drive

“go” behaviour, which in this

case will increase alcohol

intake. But this leads to a

vicious cycle: more alcohol

further decreases the

activation threshold, which in

turn drives more drinking.

The researchers think this

could be related to the

structural changes in the

spiny neurons that alcohol

seems to trigger. Compared

with controls, mice on

the booze had longer

branches and more mature,

“mushroom-shaped” spines

on their D1 neurons, which

are important for long-term

memory. Interestingly,

though, the number

of spines did not differ

between the two groups.

But when they looked at

D2 neurons, the same

differences in spine maturity

were not observed.

Because such alterations in the

structure of these spines play

a significant role in synaptic

plasticity and the process of

learning and memory, the

researchers think that these

booze-driven adaptations

may drive the development

of alcoholism and their

findings could open up new

avenues for research into

potential treatments for this

still little-understood disorder.

Encouragingly, the team

found that partially blocking

the D1 receptor with a drug

actually suppressed alcohol

consumption in the mice, but

not when D2 was inhibited,

meaning that one day

everybody might be able to

enjoy that “swift half” without

it all getting out of hand.


So if after all that we’ve put a dampener on your festive

drinking, that’s not the intention. Hopefully you found this

feature informative and useful.

One of the key tenets of CAMRA is to encourage responsible

drinking; chemical free beers made from quality ingredients

are amongst the best alcoholic drinks one can choose and

we hope you enjoy a pleasurable festive season without

overdoing it, but as with anything in life there is always a

balance to be drawn between pleasure and consequence.

And if that all appears a bit “Grinch-like” ...bah humbug!

Home from home! Jackie Sutton &

Neil Bettoney serve at Falmouth Festival

Photo courtesy of Barry Barker

18 December 2015 - January 2016 The Newsletter of Leicester CAMRA Branch

The Leicester Drinker


A Day Out in...


by Chris Greenwood

It’s been a very long time since I last went to

Nottingham for a few beers. I planned a visit to

some pubs in the centre and the hostelries in the

Canning Circus area.

I was joined by Andy, Bex and

Jamie, and our first port of

call was the Crafty Crow, near

the castle entrance. This is a

modern, light and airy bar,

with a choice of ten beers,

plenty of ciders and craft keg

too. I chose a Magpie Raven

Stout, which was quite smoky,

with some liquorice notes. The

Tyd Steam Armageddon had

a nutty start, with a quite

sharp hop bite at the finish.

A couple of minutes walk up

the hill, brought us to the

Roundhouse. It seemed food

orientated, but the friendly

bar manager served me a

Dancing Duck Roundheart,

a decent mix of malt and fruit.

The building is very ornate,

with some impressive ceiling

paintings. Charles I raised his

standard very near here, at

the start of the Civil War. It

blew over!

Our next stop was another

historic building, the Malt

Cross, a beautifully restored

Victorian music hall. The busy

pub had five handpulled ales.

My Navigation Charles Henry

Strange I.P.A (5.5%) was a little

sugary, but had a good hop bite

and a pleasant bitter finish.

Just off Angel Row, down an

alleyway called Hurts Yard

is the micro pub The Barrel

Drop. The friendly landlord

served me a 6.6% Starstruck

by the Gyle 59 brewery,

which had a dandelion and

burdock nose and a ton of

liquorice in the taste, perhaps

a little too much! All the

beers were straight from the


The Angel on Long Row West

was our next port of call.

The long pub has a popular

outside drinking area and four

handpumps, one dispensing

Roosters Yankee, quite hoppy,

with a pleasant dry finish.

Most of the pubs were very

close to each other, so we

were soon in the modern and

very busy Major Oak. As with

most pubs so far, the beers

came from breweries in the

region (Flipside and Amber).

The Amber Barnes Wallis had

a malty, slightly nutty start,

with some hops in the finish

while Amber Derbyshire Gold

was an enjoyable, refreshing,

simple hoppy session ale with

a good bitter finish and hints

of pine needles.

Our final city centre pub

was the bustling, rambling

Langtry’s. Popular for its good

choice of ciders, there were

plenty of beers on too. I tried

the Theakstons Double Cross

I.P.A. ; a bit sweet for an I.P.A

but with a decent dry finish.

Cameron’s Craft Galactico was

more to my liking. Containing

Mosaic, Galaxy and Styrian

Goldings it was very dry and

filled your mouth with hops

and bitterness.

In the Derby Road, Alfreton

Road, Canning Circus area,

there are five real ale pubs all

very close to each other. We

started in the Ropewalk, a

modern pub, perhaps aimed

at younger drinkers. The young

bar manager was friendly and

didn’t like sparklers. I tried a

half of Oakham Citra, so good,

I had to have another! One of

the best Citras I have drunk for

quite a while, full of hops, with

that lovely bitter finish. Bex

said the Nottingham Rock Mild

was good too.

Next up was the Sir John

Borlase Warren. I think

Lincoln Green part own the

pub. There were plenty of

their beers on tap, however, I

drank a Comet I.P.A by Acorn,

a well made, hoppy beer,

with a pleasant bitter finish.

As with many Nottingham

20 December 2015 - January 2016 The Newsletter of Leicester CAMRA Branch

The Malt Cross

Nottingham City Centre

pubs, half pints cost extra, in

this case a pint costing £3.05

was a ridiculous £1.60 a half!

Andy was impressed with the

refurbishment, which made

the pub light and airy.

The SJBW’s neighbour is

the friendly Falcon, another

refurbished pub, with some

original features kept in there.

It was nice to see two Newby

Wyke beers amongst the

seven available. I drank a Black

Beerd’s. This was a dark bitter,

containing a fair amount of

hops with a dry blackberry like

finish on the tongue.

No trip to Canning Circus would

be complete without a visit to

Blue Monkey Brewery’s Organ

Grinder. A lot of people must

also feel this way as the pub

was very busy. Alongside the

array of Blue Monkey beers

was FUBAR by Tiny Rebel. This

is a very drinkable, pale hoppy

beer. I also had the classic

Guerilla Stout, full of different

malts, rich and roasty.

The next pub on our adventure

was the classic, Hand and

Heart, mostly hewn from one

of Nottingham’s many caves

and has lots of nooks and

crannies to sit and enjoy your

beers in. Jamie and I were

impressed by the choice so

we stayed for three drinks. I

started with Totally Brewed

Rakau, a refreshing pale ale

with a generous amount of

hops and a long dry, bitter

finish. I like the Totally Brewed

beers, so had their Papa Jangles

Stout, really smooth and

chocolaty with some balancing

bitterness in the finish. My final

beer here was the Endless

Summer I.P.A from Black Iris.

A big hop content here, with a

pronounced tropical fruit finish

on the tongue.

We were not sure whether

we were going to make our

planned train back home, so

instead of rushing, we went to

the Vat and Fiddle, Casle Rock’s

popular brewery tap that was

busy with a happy atmosphere.

It didn’t take too long to get

served and I was soon drinking

a Bear Island Extra by Newby

Wyke, very dry and bitter,

with a long, astringent finish.

My final beer was one of my

favourites of the trip. Ramsbury

Silver Pig Stout was a lovely dry

stout with a really dry, bitter

finish, just how I like my stouts.

Another great day of beer

drinking, visiting a variety of

pubs old and new.

The Leicester Drinker





October 2015

Woodman’s Stroke, Rothley

Jonathan (left) receives the award

from Keith Williams



The October 2015 Pub of the Month

Award went to The Woodman’s

Stroke, Rothley. Nominated by

Roy Denney, the presentation took

place on 21st October and was well

attended by CAMRA members and

regulars alike.

The pub has been run by the Warner family for

24 years and is currently operated by brothers

Jonathan and Simon, with sister Anne-Marie

helping out with the food side of things at

lunchtimes Monday to Friday. The family has

a long history in the trade and the siblings’

parents ran M&B’s Reservoir at Cropston (now

The Badger’s Sett) for eight years before

taking on “The Woodies”. Famous for its

sporting memorabilia, for the past 15 years it

has run buses to Tigers home games. Initially

this was a single minibus but it is not unusual

for three double-deckers to leave from here

on matchdays. The pub will usually have three

Real Ales and a Real Cider on at any one time.

Draught Bass is the permanent ale and Black

Sheep will, as often as not occupy one of the

others. The third is always a guest and they

will generally try to buy locally (Belvoir, Church

End, Langton, Grainstore and Charnwood

to name a few) though on the presentation

night it was Exmoor Gold. Westons Old Rosie

is the regular cider but there is always a good

selection of bottled ciders available as well.

On the night sandwiches, etc were provided

and card-carrying CAMRA members were

treated to a free first pint; a gesture that was

much appreciated.

Receiving the award from CAMRA’s Keith

Williams, Jonathan was most gracious in his

acceptance and particularly gratified that a

country pub on the fringe of the branch area

was able to compete with city centre pubs

that are more widely known. R.M.

22 December 2015 - January 2016 The Newsletter of Leicester CAMRA Branch

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Cossington & Rothley

by Jim Reay

My jaunts are mainly undertaken on a Saturday as

this is the only day that bus and pub opening times

can be coordinated. This, however, is one of the

few that can be done on any day and started by

boarding a Kinchbus 2 at St. Margaret’s Bus Station

and alighting in Cossington immediately across the

road from The Royal Oak.

The earliest written record of Cossington is in the

Domesday Survey of 1086, but almost certainly

the village has Saxon origins. In Old Saxon dialect,

the suffixes “ing” means “son of” and “tun” (later

corrupted as ton) infers “an estate or village”,

hence a village established by the son of a Saxon

Chief named Coss. The manor at Cossington passed

through various hands in the medieval period,

most notably the Duke of Suffolk until it passed

to the Crown following his death and that of his

daughter, Lady Jane Grey. It was, however, the

Babington family who boasted the longest and

most fruitful connection with the village and were

responsible for influencing much of village life over

the centuries. Thomas Babington bought one of the

manors in Cossington in 1549 before acquiring the

Manor at Rothley (now Rothley Court) with which

the family is perhaps more commonly associated.

The large white house directly opposite the pub

was once the home of Isobel, Lady Barnett, who

had her highest profile as a radio and television

personality during the 1950’s & 60’s. She was

briefly brought back into the public eye in 1980,

when at the age of 62, she committed suicide

by electrocution in her bath, four days after a

conviction for shoplifting. Close to where she lived

a new road has been named Barnett Close in

her memory. Former commercial interest within

the village included a shop, bakery, post office,

blacksmith and The Anchor Inn which ceased

trading in the nineteenth century and became the

village school, prior to a more permanent school

being built to the north of the village.

The Royal Oak

The Red Lion

Today the only remaining commercial premises

operating in the village is The Royal Oak, a

traditional village pub which had extraordinary

bad luck in 1992 when it twice caught fire within

a few months. The first fire caused little damage,

whereas the second fire, of unknown cause,

ravaged the pub, though the only fatalities were

said to be a pair of chipmunks. Following extensive

restoration work, it eventually reopened in 1994.

Some years ago now, this pub uniquely introduced

its Kinchbus offer, whereby senior patrons arriving

with a free bus ticket obtained using an older

person’s bus pass, could have a two course lunch,

12 ‘til 2 (excluding Sundays) for £4.95. Kinchbus

no longer issue tickets but the offer still stands as,

if you say you’ve used your bus pass to get here,

they’ll take your word for it. The pub consists of a

central public bar having a dining area with a garden

room annex to the left whilst set back to the right

is a snug. Out back are a skittles long alley next

to a lawned garden furnished with picnic tables.

Available real ales were Everards Beacon, Tiger &

Sunchaser, Greene King IPA and Ruddles County.

Westons Rosie Pig Cider was also on hand pump.

Leaving The Royal Oak I turned left along Main Street

then turned right into Platts Lane at the end of which

I followed the causeway round to the right towards

Rothley. This route fairly soon took me to the bridge

24 December 2015 - January 2016 The Newsletter of Leicester CAMRA Branch

over the River Soar, which marks the boundary

between Cossington & Rothley. From the bridge, to

my left was Cossington Mill, a former restaurant very

popular in the late 20th century. I carried on beneath

the A6 Rothley bypass and before long The Red Lion

was ahead to the right at the original “pre-bypass”

Loughborough Road crossroads.

Rothley is said to be the village with the most cruck

cottages in Leicestershire and has been inhabited

since Saxon times, evidenced by the ancient Saxon

cross in the village churchyard. Even earlier human

habitation is suggested by the unearthing, in 2009,

of the Rothley Bronze Age Hoard found in a field off

The Ridings. Recorded as Rodolei in the Domesday

Book, it is listed amongst the lands belonging to

William the Conqueror. Its name may have come

from Anglo-Saxon Ropleah which translates as

Meadow in a Clearing.

The Red Lion was identified as a farmhouse when it

was bought in 1650. In 1694 it became a coaching

inn and, from that time, was run by the same family

for ninety years. It is now essentially a carvery

restaurant that also welcomes drinkers. It was often

referred to as The Halfway House, being situated,

on the old main road, half way between Leicester

& Loughborough. Front of house tries to portray a

traditional pub ambience by its furnishings, stone

fireplace, exposed ceiling beams & joists. Going

back past the servery bar leads to an enormous

dining area, sub-divided into smaller sectors, where

carvery is available every day of the week. Outside

are picnic tables on a tarmacadam area and more

picnic tables are on paved and lawned areas next to

the large car-park. This pub offers a CAMRA discount

of 20p a pint and 10p a half, though on each of the

last two times I’ve visited, the staff were unaware of

the offer and had to seek out the landlord to verify

the reduction. Available real ales were Greene King

IPA & Morland Old Speckled Hen.

From The Red Lion I crossed the Loughborough

Road into and along Hallfields Lane. After a while I

turned right through a kissing gate along a public

footpath sign-posted towards the Church. I crossed

the footbridge over Rothley Brook and soon arrived

at the parish Church of St Mary the Virgin and St

John the Baptist which dates back to the 13th

century, though much restored in 1878. As the

footpath entered the churchyard, a short distance

ahead of me, at a relative bearing of one o’clock,

was the scheduled ancient monument known as

the Saxon Cross. The uppermost actual cross portion

of the monument is missing, leaving a 9 foot high

tapered stone shaft more akin to an obelisk than a

cross. With intricate carving on all four faces, there

are only two such crosses in the East Midlands and

fewer than fifty in England; it was certainly worth

having a look at. I turned left at the church’s double

gates, past April Cottage (c1450) and into Church

Street. The Woodman’s Stroke was on the left hand

corner at the bottom of the street.

Woodman’s Stroke

The Woodman’s Stroke, AKA Woodies, dates from

1714 and is a quintessentially English village pub

with its thatched roof and traditional interior

of a brickwork fireplace set back in the original

inglenook, stone floors, exposed black ceiling

beams & joists. To the rear is a paved terrace with

cast iron garden furniture beneath enormous

heated parasols and beyond this a block paved

car park leading to a pétanque piste and picnic

tables set in the large lawned garden rolling down

to Rothley Brook. When the Hickling family were

licensees in the early 1900’s the pub doubled as

the local Undertakers, the coffins being made at

the back of the building and the front room was

used as the Chapel of Rest. The Woodies has been

run by the Warner family for over two decades

and the large amount of rugby, cricket and golf

memorabilia on display, reflects their enthusiasm

for sport in general. One remarkable wall mounted

Rugby souvenir is the Twickenham sign, a trophy

liberated from the London Borough of Richmond

upon Thames many years ago during a trip to

Rugby’s H.Q. by a pub regular, who may even still

›› continued on pg 26

The Leicester Drinker


›› from pg 25

frequent the pub (but I couldn’t possibly comment

on that). The real ales were Draught Bass, Black

Sheep Best Bitter and Marston’s Pedigree.

Leaving via the back door and rear car park I

carried straight on into Anthony Street walking

alongside Dutchman’s Wall, a substantial structure

so called because it was built by Dutch workers

brought over in the 19th century to build sea

defences on the east coast. Quite what they were

doing in Rothley, apart from building a wall, is not

known. At the end of Anthony Street I crossed

straight over the cross roads into and along Tower

Green Street until eventually The Blue Bell Inn

came into view straight ahead.

The Blue Bell was first actually registered as a

public house in 1921, before which it was a shop

run by W. Sharpe & Sons Ltd who traded here as

vendors of Ales, Stouts & Liquor. A former Ansell’s

local which reopened in March 2014 following

major refurbishment, entry is via an elevated patio

leading to the front bar which is divided into two

distinct rooms, one with quarry-tile floors and the

other with exposed timber floors both with open

fires. Towards the rear is a large restaurant situated

in the extended former skittles long alley which

has exposed roof timbers and the unusual feature

of having an unrestricted view of the kitchen.

Available real ales were Sharps Doom Bar, Wicked

Hathern Golden Crown Ale and Goff’s White Knight.

Leaving The Blue Bell I turned right, continuing

along Tower Green Street, bearing right at the

green and onto the end of the deadend

road where I turned right again

down the public footpath adjacent to

Keepers Cottage. The footpath soon

took me past Rothley Park Cricket

Club’s ground and out onto Westfield

Lane where I turned left and quickly

arrived at Rothley Court Hotel. As I

walked down the long driveway and

rounded the unhurried bend the

magnificent edifice came into view.


Saxon Cross

Rothley Court Hotel has a

continuous recorded history

that pre-dates its mention in

the Domesday Book, where it is

chronicled that the Manor and

Soke of Rothley was held by

William the Conqueror (Soke was

a Danelaw term which translates

literally as a safe place), though in

even earlier times, a Roman Villa

existed on this site. In 1203 The

The Blue Bell Inn

Holy Order of Knights Templar were granted land

in Rothley, and subsequently, in 1228 King Henry

III granted a Manor House, which is now Rothley

Court, to this Christian Order of warriors. Their

chapel, adjacent to the Manor House, still stands to

this day and its erstwhile name, Rothley Temple, is

occasionally used locally. The hotel’s coat of arms

is that of the aforementioned Babington family,

who bought Rothley Temple and its land around

1550 and held them through many generations,

until 1845. The motto translates as “Faith to all”

which was reputedly said by Thomas Babington to

King Henry V, on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt

in 1415. In the 18th century, William Wilberforce

drafted his Treaty for the Abolition of Slavery whilst

staying at the court. The Temple and its grounds

were purchased in 1893 by Frederick Merttens, a

German émigré who had left Prussia due to the rise

of militarism. Whilst the Merttens were in residence

they set about developing both the house and the

grounds. In 1957, Clive Wormleighton, a prosperous

speculative builder and owner of Mallory Park

Racing Circuit, purchased the estate and in 1959 he

converted the Manor House into a hotel, changed

the name to Rothley Court and continued to own

the property until 1979. Acquired along with the

Old English Inns chain, it is now in Greene King

ownership. The interior has some magnificent

carved oak doors and panelling, stained glass

and fireplaces. Through the restaurant areas, one

can gain access to the chapel which is festooned

with many Babington memorials. Through the

front door and past the reception desk, I found

the public bar to my left. It has a stone fireplace

set back in an original inglenook and a small cosy

snug annex and to the side of the public bar is an

attractive patio overlooking a garden running down

to Rothley Brook. On offer were Greene King IPA &

Abbot, Brains SA and Titanic Plum Porter.

Leaving Rothley Court I walked back towards the

village along Westfield Lane bearing left at the


December 2015 - January 2016 The Newsletter of Leicester CAMRA Branch

V-junction into Woodgate at the end of which The

Royal Oak was to the right across the road.

The Royal Oak is prominently situated at the

centre of the village, overlooking Cross Green, and

has been part of the Everards estate since 1920.

Extensively refurbished in 2005 it is essentially of

open plan design whilst still maintaining individual

characteristics which would have prevailed before

internal walls were removed. On entering the front

door a traditional public bar type area is to the right

with exposed black stone floors and a dartboard.

To the left is an L-shaped area more reminiscent

of a lounge bar extending far back into the raised

dining area of a former skittles long alley with

exposed ceiling timbers. To the side of this is a

courtyard and garden. The real ales were Everards

Beacon, Tiger & Original.

I turned left from The Royal Oak and left again into

North Street where The Royal Anglian was very soon

in view downhill to the right hand side of the road.

The Royal Anglian was formerly known as The Old

Crown that, following a period of closure, reopened

in July 2010 only to close again in September 2010.

Early in 2012 it reopened again and was renamed

after the Royal Anglian Regiment that recruits

from Leicestershire and several other neighbouring

counties. The pub’s interior encircles a central

servery with an L-shaped public bar to the front

and left leading clockwise to a games room, to

the rear of house, with a pool table, darts board

and jukebox. Continuing clockwise leads into the

lounge bar situated to the right side of the pub.

Exposed black pseudo ceiling joists throughout help

create an olde-worlde ambience. A reminder of the

pub’s past is evident by the sign high on the gable

end wall “The Old Crown. The Mansfield Brewery

Company”, but for the present I really don’t know

what’s happening. I usually do each jaunt two or

three times to ensure that, as far as I can, I haven’t

missed anything. On my first visit here, no real ale

was available and I was told it had just sold out

The Royal Anglian

but was available as a rule. I was also told that

the pub now traded 12 ‘til 11 every day, but it was

closed mid-afternoon on my second visit and earlyafternoon

on my third visit. (Before you ask; NO

they didn’t see me coming).

So there we have it. Six (or maybe seven) pubs,

between them having sixteen different real ales

available on the day. The bus stop for Arriva 126 or

127, to start my journey home, is directly across the

road from the Royal Anglian’s front door.


Jim Reay





0116 247 8384

Country Pub of the Year

2009 - 2015

Exciting NEW Menu from

New Chef Paul

LUNCH WED - SAT 12 - 2




Rothley Court

The Leicester Drinker















LD 101 Competition proved tricky and a few of you gave

up trying to work out the location of the “ST” in the

composite photo. A few chanced their arm and

submitted five answers out of six, but only three totally

correct entries were received. Baz Deacon and Karen

Hobson got it right, but Andy Stenson was quickest off the

mark and wins the prize of the Everards Blue Boar tankard, the

whisky water jug and a free place on one of our CAMRA bus trips.

Thanks again to The Winstanley Arms, Braunstone for the ceramics.

The composite picture was made up of The LansdoWne, New Road INn, LaST Plantagenet,

SwAN & Rushes, Bridle Lane Tavern and DonkEY

28 December 2015 - January 2016 The Newsletter of Leicester CAMRA Branch

Leicester CAMRA Branch Diary 2015/6



Branch Meeting –

The Harrow, Thurmaston – 19.30hrs.


Beer Festival Meeting –

The Ale Wagon – 20.00hrs.


Christmas Pub Crawl -

see CAMRA website for details.



Branch Meeting – The Corn Exchange

(N.B. Market Bar – side entrance) 19.30hrs.


Pub of the Month – The Exchange, Rutland

Street. 19.30hrs (presentation 21.00hrs).


Committee Meeting –

The Globe – 20.00hrs.





Branch Contact

Shawn Collier: 07504 829830 or email:

For Saturday and Sunday trips

Gary Akiens: 07815 825039 or email:

For a fully up to date Branch Diary, please visit and click on the Diary page.

TURN to the DARK


(Pre-Stars Wars Release)

Winter Beers -stouts, milds and porters

from Friday 11th December 2015


General Knowledge Quiz night every Thursday 9pm (Christmas edition 17th)



from Friday 29th January 2016

@Swan_and_Rushes /Swan_and_Rushes Free Wifi

The Leicester Drinker


CAMRA discounts available locally

All locations are in Leicester unless indicated in brackets. Information given in good faith and liable to change. Some discounts

may be modified or restricted where special promotions are on offer.

Black Horse, Aylestone

The Castle Hotel (Kirby Muxloe)

Crown (Anstey)

Dog & Gun (Keyham)

Exchange, Rutland Street

The Friary, Hotel Street

Glenhills Sports & Social (Glen Parva)

Globe, 43 Silver Street

Golden Shield (Fleckney)

CAMRA discounts/privileges for specific events

10% discount on Cask Ales

10% off Cask Ales

30p/pint on real ales

10% off Cask Ales, Ciders & selected items

10% off real ales

Temporary Visitor Membership for 50p with CAMRA card


20p off Real Ales

Hind, London Road

10p off Cask Ales

Malt Shovel (Barkby)

20p/pint on Real Ales & Traditional Cider

Marquis Wellington, London Road 10%

Narborough Arms (Narborough)

10% off Cask Ales & Ciders

Old Horse, 198 London Road 10%

Parcel Yard

CAMRA card gives same discounts as a Steamin Billy Card.

Plough (Littlethorpe) 10%

Queen of Bradgate, High Street

10% discount on Cask Ales

Queens Head (Saddington)

30p per pint

Queen Victoria (Syston)

20p off Guest Ales

Red Lion (Gilmorton)


Red Lion Inn (Rothley)

20p/pint & 10p/half

Rose & Crown (Houghton on the Hill)


Royal Standard

10% off Cask Ales

Rutland & Derby, Millstone Lane

10% off Cask Ales

Slug & Lettuce, Market Street 10%

Stamford Arms, Groby

10% off Cask Ales

Syston Social Club (Syston)

Temporary Visitor Membership with CAMRA card


CAMRA card gives same discounts as a Steamin Billy Card

Winstanley (Braunstone Town)

20p/pint off guest ales

W - Corn Exchange, Market Square

standard 50p vouchers accepted and 20% off food

W - Highcross. High Street

standard 50p vouchers accepted and 20% off food

W - Lord Keeper of the Great Seal (Oadby) standard 50p vouchers accepted only

W - Last Plantagenet, Granby Street

standard 50p vouchers accepted and 20% off food

W - Sugar Loaf (Market Harborough)

standard 50p vouchers accepted and 20% off food

W - White House (Scraptoft)

standard 50p vouchers accepted only

W - William Wygston (Wigston)

standard 50p vouchers accepted only

The Yews (Great Glen)

10% discount on Cask Ales

W prefix denotes Wetherspoon outlets accepting CAMRA vouchers. One voucher per visit rule generally enforced.

Non-CAMRA loyalty card schemes available to all customers:

Black Horse, Aylestone

Chandlers Arms (Shearsby)

Exchange, Rutland Street

The Friary, Hotel Street

Queen of Bradgate, High Street

Sir Robert Peel, Jarrom Street

The Steamin’ Billy Card

“Cheaper by the dozen” - £5 voucher on collecting 12 stamps.

1 for 10 loyalty card

£2.50 card gives a range of 10% discounts

“Love Cask Ale” - every 7th pint free

1 for 10 loyalty card

50p card, Visit for details

£2 card gives various discounts. Details at

30 December 2015 - January 2016 The Newsletter of Leicester CAMRA Branch

Fair deal

on beer

tax now!

A Campaign

Join CAMRA Today

Complete the Direct Debit form and you will receive 15 months membership

for the price of 12 and a fantastic discount on your membership subscription.

Alternatively you can send a cheque payable to CAMRA Ltd with your completed form, visit or call 01727 867201. All forms should be addressed to the:

Membership Department, CAMRA, 230 Hatfield Road, St Albans, AL1 4LW.

Your Details




Date of Birth (dd/mm/yyyy)



Email address

Tel No(s)

Partner’s Details (if Joint Membership)




Date of Birth (dd/mm/yyyy)

Email address (if different from main member)

of Two Halves

Direct Debit Non DD

Single Membership £24 £26

(UK & EU)

Joint Membership £29.50 £31.50

(Partner at the same address)

For Young Member and other concessionary

rates please visit or call

01727 867201.

I wish to join the Campaign for Real Ale,

and agree to abide by the Memorandum and

Articles of Association

I enclose a cheque for



Applications will be processed within 21 days

01/15 12/15

Campaigning for Pub Goers

& Beer Drinkers

Enjoying Real Ale

& Pubs

Join CAMRA today –

Instruction to your Bank or

Building Society to pay by Direct Debit

Please fill in the whole form using a ball point pen and send to:

Campaign for Real Ale Ltd. 230 Hatfield Road, St.Albans, Herts AL1 4LW

Name and full postal address of your Bank or Building Society Service User Number

To the Manager



Name(s) of Account Holder

Bank or Building Society Account Number

Branch Sort Code


Bank or Building Society


This is not part of the instruction to your Bank or Building Society

Membership Number



Instructions to your Bank or Building Society

Please pay Campaign For Real Ale Limited Direct Debits from the account

detailed on this instruction subject to the safeguards assured by the Direct Debit

Guarantee. I understand that this instruction may remain with Campaign For Real

Ale Limited and, if so will be passed electronically to my Bank/Building Society.



9 2 6 1 2 9

This Guarantee should be detached

and retained by the payer.

The Direct Debit


This Guarantee is offered by all banks and building

societies that accept instructions to pay by Direct


If there are any changes to the amount, date or

frequency of your Direct Debit The Campaign for

Real Ale Ltd will notify you 10 working days in advance

of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed.

If you request The Campaign for Real Ale Ltd to collect

a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will

be given to you at the time of the request

If an error is made in the payment of your Direct

Debit by The Campaign for Real Ale Ltd or your bank

or building society, you are entitled to a full and

immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank

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must pay it back when The Campaign For Real Ale Ltd

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confirmation may be required. Please also notify us.

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The Leicester Drinker


Brewed with

100% British

ingredients @EverardsTiger

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