Monday, 13 July 2009

Real disappointment in Greenwich

The long-awaited Greenwich Beer & Jazz fesival turned out to be a major disappointment on Saturday. We arrived at 4pm to join one of the two 100-people long queues in the drizzle. After fifteen minutes we had shuffled forward approximately six feet, and decided to have a couple of pints of Flowers in the Admiral Hardy to let the queue go down. Whilst we were downing those we were joined by other would-be festival goers equally thristy and disconsolate looking about the slow moving queue. We decided to have a pint of Spitfire in the Spanish Galleon as the queue was not shortening or moving any quicker. From there it was a pint of Adnams in the Coach & Horses and another in the Mitre before wandering back to the Naval College.

Unfortunately, there was no improvement on the queue and we found out that one of the queues was for ticket holders and the other for pay-on-the-day. This appeared to make no difference as both queues were equally long and slow moving. By now we had moved from the £7 pre-5pm entrance fee to the £12 charge but no impact on queuing. The trouble, it appears, was a strict security policy around bag searches. What a shame that they couldn't organise this without inconveniencing the drinkers amongst us who were clearly not carrying bags and could have been frisked and relieved of our entrance money in minutes.

As it was, we refused to wait in the rain and moved on....to The Trafalgar, The Yacht, The Cutty Sark, The Pelton Arms, The Royal Standard, The William 4th and back to the Rose of Denmark.
The pubs around Greenwich town centre were busy and lively, due in part to a mix of tourists, festival goers and a good number of people back from the Thames Barge Race. I think it would be fair to say that a lot of people were well on their way to drunkeness and we suspected things might get livelier still as the evening wore on. The pubs in east Greenwich were understandably quieter but most of them were only entertaining a handful of Customers. The halcyon days of the public house look long gone and like my dear old Charlton Athletic, I suspect we may never see them again.

I'm feeling very old and tired all of a sudden. I need a break to freshen the spirit and invigorate the soul.

6 comments:

Inspector Sands said...

You should have come into the Star and Garter on Greenwich Park Street, there was a good band on and a decent crowd.

I heard the festival had to close early as a consequence of the stabbing in Southwark Park, not sure how true that is, though.

Dave said...

Blast! Forgot all about the Star & Garter.I might not have made it home if we'd done another pub....

Brenda said...

or you missed my favourite the Plume!

glad i missed it then. Last year i thought it a bit rubbish on the sunday and didnt fancy doing it again this year.

Dave said...

B - I have to say that judged purely on the people in the queue , I got the distinct impression that the vast majority were not there for the beers. I'll never attend if the queue's like that every year. I must get down to the Plume - I haven't been for years and years and am always good reports.

Brenda said...

It has a childrens play room in the back garden so an added bonus if you want to get out for a few hours of being in the park with the kids. It doesnt get the usual Greenwich heavy traffic and so the garden is lovely to sit out on. You can often find me and Ian there on a saturday /sunday afternoon! the only downside is the Palace pennant hanging behind the bar.

Dave said...

B - I'll have that pennant off the wall in no time.