The night was a lot milder than the week running up to it, in fact, 14 degrees warmer than the Thursday before. JK took us up Shrogg’s road and up the straight lane climb (is this called road under t’hill?). It was at this point that I regretted wearing that last extra layer. We assembled at the top and continued up and onto Causeway Foot, through Denholme, and right halfway to the Five Flags. Then we travelled through Moscow, down the bonnet, and to the pub. I think. But my memory for routes is terrible.
My memory for pubs, however, is quite good, mainly owing to the fact that I tend to stop at the one or two pint mark - a woeful insufficiency you might say. Twenty five bikes parked up out the back of the Golden Fleece at Bradshaw, and I think a couple more arrived later. On entering the French doors we saw the crock pot full of peas and some mint sauce and bowls ready. Hoppy placed himself at the bar and bought the entire first round. I had a Saltaire Blonde which was as clear as I have ever seen. Others opted for the Saltaire Pride and there was also a “Baby” Black Mass.
I was concerned as I had told Stevie (the landlord) to get only twenty five pies. Last time I had ordered pie and peas here we had far fewer people turning up than I had estimated and I didn’t want that to happen again. But thankfully Stevie had bought more than enough pies, some folk managed seconds, and he’d even put some chips on too.
Hoppy had a game of pool and showed off some hidden skills with a fantastic black to finish. Nick Lunn managed to knock over one of Hoppy’s lined up pints with his cue (which was arguably a good move). All in all it was a wonderful evening, save for the aftermath where I believe Hoppy fell off pretty much outside his own house. Thanks should also go to the Golden Fleece who looked after us very well indeed.