Monday, 2 May 2016

The Masons, Southport

The Masons, Anchor Street
It's surprising how many people don't know about the Masons. When asked where it was, I used to say “behind the main post office on Lord Street”. Although our post office has now closed forever, the Masons is still going strong. It is a small pub with one main room and a small snug to the left as you go in. The surroundings are enhanced by wood panels, glass cabinets, attractive old glass lampshades and golfing memorabilia. An arch design in the woodwork on the front of the bar is echoed in the shelves behind it and in the partition that divides the snug from the main bar. A roaring log fire in the snug warms the pub in winter.

This is the only pub in Southport owned by Robinsons of Stockport, and the real ale rotates around beers from that brewery: Unicorn, Wizard or Hartleys Cumbrian XB, with Dizzy Blonde making an occasional appearance: I've always found the beer on good form.

For many years, the pub has been home to an unamplified acoustic song session on the first and third Wednesdays of each month ; these are open to all, whether you want to perform or just listen. They put on live music regularly, and they are known for having a great juke box, the best I've come across in a long time.

This is definitely a pub with a big heart. They are always fundraising, and the landlady Brenda Kelly told me that they have raised more than £22,000 for various good causes, including MacMillan Nurses, Queenscourt Hospice and Broadgreen Hospital.

In the summer you can sit in their roof garden which, as far as I know, is the only pub roof garden in the town. I've always found this to be a friendly pub, it is happy to welcome dogs and children, and it was listed in the Southport Visiter's list of top nightlife venues, based on TripAdvisor scores. You can follow what's happening in the Masons on their Facebook page.

The Masons is on Anchor Street (just off London Street), Southport, PR9 0UT. Tel: 01704 534123. It is a short walk from Southport railway station and from all the main bus routes on Lord Street.

This is part of a series of articles that I am writing for the CAMRA column in our local paper, the Southport Visiter. Previous reviews are here.

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