University of London Society of Change Ringers

Freshers’ Pub Crawl 2009

For me and Nick Hartley, the pub crawl started 2 pints before everyone else with a quick tour around the pubs local to Imperial, the Queen’s Arms and the Anglesea Arms, the nearest pub to my halls of residence. Then it was off to the tube (in an already rather worryingly inebriated gait for myself) to join the others to begin the crawl!

The crawl this year was organized by Lizzy, whose knowledge of the pubs most-frequented by ringers is not to be underestimated. It officially began in Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, which has to be one of the weirdest – and thus best – pubs I’ve ever been in, the walls literally oozed with history. But, historic usually also means cramped, which it very much was, the 7 or so that arrived crammed into a corner of the tiny main bar. Heather announced the Master’s challenge for the evening – a different shot in each of the pubs – Peach schnapps to begin with.

6.30 approached rapidly, so we set off to pub #2 – The Blackfriar, and the first pub familiar to me – I’d got to know it well after the Tour the previous week. They had an interesting range of beers on, the ginger (alcoholic) beer was particularly odd enough for my tastes. It was also here that I discovered my drinking pace does not match most of the others on the crawl; this was much to Nick’s disgust, when he announced it was my round and I was almost a pint behind…

The Felix (Imperial’s “news”paper) was browsed over, the agony aunt pages providing much amusement from the depravity of some of the letters (I will never think of spaghetti in the same way again)… The Master’s challenge was tequila – a new spirit on me (not that I can remember what it tasted like, nor that I would want to). I’m told it’s becoming a UL tradition for the longer sessions…

I seem to remember being made a part of the advance party to colonise a corner of The Paternoster by St Paul’s. Aha, I thought, I recognise some of these beers (I’d only ever been to Young’s pubs in the past). Unfortunately, the Kew was off, and I was unable to drink much of whatever was on (London Pride?) due to a slight mishap with my glass’ verticality. This saw me consigned to a large amount of water for the rest of the night…

The advance party moved off after one pint to The Market Porter, where everyone rejoined after a while. When The Porter closed, a short walk took us to The Southwark Tavern, which was, as always, crammed on the inside, so standing room only on the pavement.

The group slowly dissolved until last left were the two freshers on the crawl, still standing, unlike one of them the previous week – obviously not enough had been drunk 😉

By Thomas Wood