Updated: Nov 14, 2019
A decade. Ten years. A long time. Long enough for the nation to have called four general elections and two referendums. Yes referendums. Those who know me well could now be thinking, 'What's happened to his pedantic grammar and vocabulary policing?'. Referendum. Latin. Second declension neuter. Plural - referenda. Obvious. But no. Referendum in latin is not a noun but a gerund with no plural form. Its adoption as a noun in English means that it must follow the rules of our native tongue, so referendums it is. Anyway...
A decade. Ten years. A long time. Long enough for a couple of operations and numerous other investigations.
A decade. Ten years. A long time. Long enough time for not having seen an old workmate. (Is it really that long since I left that place?) We'd ten years of gossip to catch up on, not to mention comparing notes on MRI experiences and medical histories. It must have been about 1983 when we first had a pint together - OK, it was more than just one, but at least I managed to get into work the following morning - and a couple of years before that when I first supped a pint of Kimberley in the Rutland Arms.
The Rutland is now a bygone boozer, but before we get into any detail about it, as East Midland Railway deliver me into Derby Midland with an hour and a bit to spare before the agreed rendezvous time there's an opportunity to look at some of the others which have been lost from the Midland Road area.
The North Midland Railway Act of 1839 gave green light to the building of Derby station and the development of Midland Road, at one time referred to as Station Street, stemmed from then. The first hostelry to open was probably the Midland Hotel in 1841. Now the Hallmark Hotel, this Grade II listed building served the first class clientelle whilst my eventual destination, the Brunswick Inn, opened the following year to meet the needs of the less well-heeled traveller. It too looked as it was destined to become a bygone boozer a few years ago, closed and threatened with demolition, but now it and the rest of Railway Terrace is also a listed structure.
Leaving the station complex I head towards London Road to collect a few shots of lost locals for use in future posts (You have been warned!) and then retrace my steps back along Midland Road. The first bygone boozer that I come across is the Station Inn.
The sign by the door declared that it was open from 12 to 12, but the door remained firmly shut. Originally opening in the 1850s the first occupant of it that I can find is Henry Slater who's the innkeeper according to the 1861 census records. This Enterprise Inn establishment was reknowned for its Bass from the jug but closed in the last year or so. Whatpub.com suggest that this state is permanent. Evidently being extremely popular on match days with home fans - popular enough that it could be drunk dry of ale - wasn't enough to sustain its continued operation.
A few doors away, on the corner of Carrington Street, used to be the George Hotel.
Dating from around the same time as the Station Inn, George Leeds is in residence in 1855 if the Post Office Directory is to be believed. It probably ought to be as the 1859 Poll Book also has him there. However, by the time of the 1861 census he's retired and living back in his native Norfolk. Closing around 2011 it is now an Indian restaurant.
Turning right into Carrington Street used to take you to the Rutland Arms. Sitting on the corner with Nelson Street it seems that it was opened in 1852 but the first record of it that I have found so far is, as with the case of the Station Inn, in the 1861 census, with a John Allen as mine host. In the early 1980s it was popular with post office staff popping in from the neighbouring sorting office at the end of their shift. Sometime before 2009 it was demolished and the flats of Rutland House constructed on the site.
Originally these were the only bygone boozers that I thought there were in the immediate area, but the 1861 and 1871 censuses both list a Midland Arms on Nelson Street. Looking at the 1883 Ordnance Survey town plan suggests that it was found between Carrington Street and London Road. The terraces and courts that used to be there have been demolished and the Royal Mail Processing Unit is now on that part of Nelson Street.
All this walking around had generated a thirst so it was off to the Brunswick and then on to the Smithfield, passing a great site for a potential micropub - the Driver's Cab. The only thing wrong with that idea is that it's in the smokers area of the Alexandra, which was to be a port of call on our return to the station.
Sadly, the Smithfield was shut, having been a victim of last week's flooding. Not to be thwarted we continued on to the Exeter instead. Not too much of a hardship other than the extra distance involved meant that there was no time to call at the Alex on the way back. We agreed that we mustn't leave it another ten years, especially as neither of us need to make it into work in the morning and maybe we could fit in the Alexandra as well.