Sunday 24 August 2014

Back home from Whitby

I got home from Whitby Folk Week yesterday afternoon. I've written about the pubs in Whitby several times before (particularly in 20092010 and 2013) and not a lot has changed since last year.

JDW's Angel Hotel (from JDW's website)
The Angel Hotel (not to be confused with the Little Angel on Flowergate) by the harbourside was taken over by Wetherspoons early last year, raising hopes that it would impact on the prices of beer locally which, apart from the reliably cheap Sam Smiths pub the Jolly Sailors, seem high to me with my North West perspective. In fact, we found that Wetherspoons' prices weren't much less than the average for the area, starting at £2.95 a pint. It has also been refurbished in a more modern style than the usual Spoons decor. In one way it is a typical JDW house: if you're stuck behind people ordering meals or various coffees, you can wait a while to be served, which is frustrating when all you want it a pint, although to be fair, this wasn't the fault of the staff who were working hard.

Whitby Abbey Blonde
(from the brewery's website)
It was good to see the products of the new Whitby Brewery, which was set up last year. I tried two of their beers, Abbey Blonde and Platform 3, which is specially brewed for the Station Inn. I found them a bit too malty for my taste - even the Blonde - but other people were clearly enjoying them.

As for the music, I stuck to the fringe this year and spent a lot of time time in informal pub music and song sessions, particularly in the Station, the Elsinore and the Golden Lion. Our Lunchtime Legends rock & roll gig had the Elsinore packed out again on Wednesday lunchtime; it was great to have several young children aged between 4 and 9 bopping along, waving their hands in the air to anthems like Daydream Believer, and generally taking the opportunity to be silly like all the adults around them. Young Jessica was given the mike to sing a word-perfect chorus of Poison Ivy.

My week ended in the Station at a lively song and music session, although the non-folkie elements present loudly demanded old pop and rock & roll songs from me: it sounded like the whole pub was singing along to Those Were The Days. So much for my intentions to be more 'folkie' in my material on the last night.

Some good beers along the way: Saltaire Blonde, Wold Top's Golden Summer and Headland Red, and Ossett Silver King were highlights for me during the week. An honourable mention goes to a golden beer called Carnival Ale from the Truefitt Brewery of Middlesbrough, which I had in the Golden Lion.

It always seem a bit flat the day after you get back from holiday, but I've already booked my accommodation for next year, which will be the 50th Folk Week.


  1. Glad you had a nice time, here's some folkin' classics if you're missing it.

  2. Wow, £2.95 a pint is dearer than most Southern Spoons. And aren't most new Spoons now "refurbished in a more modern style than the usual Spoons decor"?

  3. Cheers, CL; trust you to pull a Fast one.

  4. You may be right about Spoons refurbishment, Curmudgeon; perhaps I'm familiar only with older Spoons pubs, as this is the only one I know in such a style.

  5. The Kingfisher in Poynton, which I've recently mentioned on my blog in the context of the appalling redecoration of the Farmer's Arms, is pretty modernistic.

  6. Good thing Young Jessica probably didn't know Poison Ivy is about catching venereal disease.

    1. I bet a lot of adults don't realise that either.

  7. Glad you had a good time, Nev. In this part of the country, Broadstairs has a similar Folk Week. I haven't been, but know several people who have, and they say it's really good.


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