Saturday, 28 May 2011

Beside and on the River

Trent Bridge Inn re-opened 24th May 2011
The Trent Bridge Inn, just south of the Trent Bridge in West Bridgford has just had a £1 million plus make-over by J.D.Wetherspoon, and re-opened a few days ago. Some friends and I decided that when it was open again, we would 'test it out' by having a meal there. This we did at lunch time today. Yes, I know that this is another blog about 'a day in the life of', but some people have said (they really have) that they enjoy the rambling descriptions of fairly uneventful days in Nottingham and beyond. There really is no accounting for taste.

Wall Plaque
There's a new plaque on the wall outside The Trent Bridge Inn with information that I was not aware of. Seemingly, there is a map from 1838 showing an Inn on the site which was called The Three Horse Shoes and Crown. This was demolished in 1890, when the present pub was built behind the original site. I can't seem to find any information about the previous pub.

There is an interesting connection between The Trent Bridge Inn, The Bell Inn in Angel Row, Nottingham, and the Trent Bridge Cricket Ground.

The Bell Inn was owned by William Clarke, who was Captain of the All England Cricket Team. He married the owner of what is now The Trent Bridge Inn, and behind this pub was a large meadow. William developed the meadow into what is now known throughout the world as Trent Bridge Cricket Ground; home of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, and venue for many international cricket matches.

Trent Bridge Cricket Ground around 1890
Some history accounts say that the ground was opened in 1841, but I prefer to go with the West Bridgford History Society who say that the ground was opened by William Clarke in 1838.

It was in 1838 on this ground that the first recorded cricket match was held and the first Test Match took place in 1899 - England verses Australia.

In 1990, a new stand was opened at the cricket ground called the William Clarke Stand to commemorate his achievements, and place in Nottinghamshire cricket life. This Stand backs on to the Bridgford Road.

This is all very well I hear you say; interesting and all that, but what about The Trent Bridge Inn now? Was the wait for it to be re-opened, and the meal worth it? In my opinion the refurbishment is excellent. Lots of dark wood panelling, but there's plenty of light. It has a library room, one large eating area, plus a number of smaller eating areas. There were plenty of staff on duty, who were most attentive, and I hope that continues beyond the opening weeks. I chose Chili con Carni (£4.95 I think). It was excellent. There's a good range of beers, and the cheapest coffee I've seen for a long time. Both of which are important to some of us. Altogether, a very pleasant experience, made all the more so when you're in good company. I will be back. (That's a promise by the way, not a threat, even though it does sound a bit Terminatorish).

The Boating Association Annual Rally
What to do after leaving the pub. I thought of going into town, but the unmistakable sound of a tannoy system caught my attention.

Walking the very short distance to the River Trent, I came across The Boating Association Annual Rally.

I decided to see things from a distance to begin with, so I walked over Trent Bridge, along the north bank, over the suspension bridge and down the south bank to where the rally was taking place.

Trying not to look like a boating nerd (though to avoid offence, there's nothing wrong with that), I casually looked at the many boats moored by the steps. I didn't count them, but there must have been upwards of 50 there. Some were absolutely magnificent, and looked more suited to ocean travel, than sailing up the restricted waters of the Trent.

Everyone seemed to be having a great time, and no doubt there was a lot of renewing of friendships from the last rally. A rowing competition was taking place when I arrived. It seemed to consist of people, either on their own or in pairs, rowing a dingy around two bollards (is that right nautically speaking?) against the clock. I confess to taking great delight in seeing how inept many people were. This was no Olympic sport, and everyone joined in the obvious relaxed atmosphere. People fell backwards off the seat while rowing, and others lost their oars. The MC kept everything lighthearted, and everyone received a round of applause, no matter how terrible they had been.

I'm not a person who easily joins things, so I miss out on collective social contact. But I had fun at The Boating Association Annual Rally, and if you can't do it yourself, enjoy it by proxy. So not a bad day beside, and on the river.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dad - I've just read all your latest posts in one sitting - what a huge amount of work you're doing! Great picture of James too - really enjoyed all of them...