waynemoore

view from the bar

In Country Fare, english pubs, Haxey Hood, local history, Misterton, real ale, river trent, social history, Uncategorized, View from the bar on January 7, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Well a new year begins here at ‘the hart’ as is customary it is signaled by two annual events.  On New Year’s day we have Tubby’s birthday one of our longest serving and well loved regulars a good friend to all,  his gruff  look be lies his gentle humour and heart of English oak.   The second a couple of days later the visit of ‘The Boggins’ as a preamble to the ‘Haxey Hood’.  The ‘Hood’ an age old ritual celebrating a medieval incident involving ‘The Milady’ and a group of ‘peasants labouring in the fields’.

The ‘Hood’ has evolved to today’s event that involves a ‘Sway’ a press of men all pushing  for their chosen public house ( The Kings Arms, The Locomotive, The Duke William and The Carpenters Arms ).  The ‘Sway’ can last for many hours as it  first begins on ‘Hood’ field before making its way onto the road pressing back and forth until one or other pub gains superiority in the ‘Sway’.  The Hood is then pushed inexorably to its destination.   The Hood is ‘won’ when the landlord of its chosen pub receives it into his hands at his threshold.   As you might imagine mud sweet n beer are the orders of the day and many a new year is begun with broken bones or torn muscles and many many more awake today to thick heads muddy boots and aching limbs.

The ‘Hood’ went to The Kings Arms this year (as had been expected). But from ‘the Hood’ onwards we enter the twilight zone, a time of long dull days cold dark nights.   A time when customers are few business is slow and takings inevitably low.   This is the ‘Bad after the Good’ except the good wasn’t that good for many  publicans and the bad is expected to be very bad !

Its the time our suppliers ‘the brewers’ put up their prices ‘the wholesalers’ put up their prices and of course we the publicans have to do the same.  We do our sums make our plans and hope our hard pressed customers don’t boycott us for too long.   As after all our lively hoods depend upon sales so we work harder, we try to introduce something new we  try to second, third or even forth guess ‘the market’ in an effort to get through this long dark Winter.

Life within the village continues as it always does just slightly off centre, a little to the south of normal.   Today’s furrowed brow was caused by a local farmer, who’s efforts to work his land has muddied the road.    So as he must he is cleaning it.   Unfortunately the equipment being used  is being overwhelmed by the mud.   All his efforts are at best in-vain, (as his machine seems only to be spreading the mud scrubbing it into the road) and at worst almost polishing it to a dull gloss with air temperatures dropping well below zero and we fully expect a polished mud ice rink to develop. On a lighter note the cars along the road side in the area all seem to be slowly changing colour, on one side at least.

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