8 weeks ago we visited the Spinners Arms just a mile from the campsite and so it was our port of call again tonight. Walking the 3/4 mile from the bus stop we skirted the Pirelli works and as the sun set low in the sky we hear the plaintiff cries of the bowling side seeking the umpire's complicity during the local cricket game.
We sit here now in a 1930's pub, awarded CAMRA heritage status because of how little has changed architecturally since that time ( both fireplace's have wonderful period tiles)
To the left three generations of a family have dragged out a formica board on which to shuffle their dominoes. Just like my old Dad the, probably not quite legal aged, son is being introduced to alcohol in a controlled and sensible manner.
To our right a group of musicians are playing for no applause nor reward, just their pleasure in playing. And, of course, they are so much the better for that.
The bar in front of us may now offer several cask dispensers but 3 plain wooden hand pumps bear the identification of the local Carlisle Brewery's beers, brewed until very recently behind the pub. And very good beer it is too.
On the edge of the bar the 1930's assert themselves again: a sofa syphon and a jar of pickled eggs. The latter being an important supplement to the pub's food menu, other delicacies on offer are crisps of various flavours and peanuts. No, there is no waitress service, all food orders must be given at the bar.
There's a couple of blokes on the bar stools. Of course, the conversation can only be football, even in this midst of cricket season. Next to them, a women in her thirties with her border collie. The lad from the dominoes family uses the time between games to throw a bone for the collie to scamper after
I just need John Betjeman on my Kindle and all would be perfect with the world. Or maybe just one more pint of Carlisle Nut Brown Ale.