Saturday, 9 July 2011

The Robin Hood, Greaves Lane, Little Matlock, between Stannington and Loxley.

Last Chance to see


the above named pub will finally shut its doors this summer, after a long history of refreshing huntsman, hikers and Hillsborough folk out and about for a century and a half. No confirmation has been provided of the final date of trading yet, but this is set to be the last summer of trading at this venerable institution that has been a feature of my life for many years.

I used to go to the Robin Hood when I was a chab (note, not a chav, this was the late seventies/early eighties and a bling wearing social underclass did not exist ) - I clambered all over the garden, in particular a rock feature which was likely not intended for that purpose, whilst my Mum and Dad got refreshments inside.

In the 90's me and my friend Jon (R.I.P) walked out there one evening on a Crookes to Loxley walk and had a few pints before walking all the way home, I got the impression he liked the pub if not the slog back; and me and Carlos got out there a good few times before the noughties (this is an era, not a period of immoral actions ).

I worked at Gloystarne Distribution in Rotherham during the period 1996 to 2003 and one of the Wentworth warehouse managers at the time ended up with responsibility for the pub as his parents had owned and run it ptrviously. This was the start of an uncertain and likely real ale free period when I did not visit, other than once with Chala on one of our first walks together.

Then, about 7 years agop, the pub was taken over and started doing decent but simple British pub meals and offering 3 real ales. Wee Fatha used to go there regularly with his friend and I even went there with Chala's Dad, one of the last couple of meals out we shared before he died in 2007. A year or so after we went with Mum and Martin for a meal after they renewed their vows, and last year I went with Christingpher in a February hike from his Loxley gaffe, to find delicious olives as bar snacks and excellent dark Burton Bridge ale available.

This year I have returned to walking in Crookes, Rivelin Loxley and Bradfield and so have been may times to the pub, which has simultaneously offered excellent beers and hospitality whilst being a resolute feature in my ever changing social and family affairs.

To hear that it is finally to close due to lack of trade is a real blow. Any pub closure is bad news but such an interesting venue in such an eclectic location is a crying shame. On my visits this year I have seen a fantastic range of real ales including sometimes two dark from the range of 3, and this serves only to highlight the loss of this great building and pub business.

In order to try and come to terms with this disappointment, and to make use of the limited opportunities likely afforded to celebrate whats great about this pub, i am going on Thursday 14th July in the evening and hopefully Thursday 21st July in the day, to walk round, breathe in the atmosphere and take in the noble provenance of this hostelry before its too late.

Its not a protest, its not a resigned wake to mark a dreadful passing, not even a frustrated homily, just a good idea where people get to visit together, where otherwise their normal drinking patterns would mean they miss out on the opportunity to do so.

There are full details on my facebook page, which I am trying to make a link to - I am registered under Wee Beefy with full public access as far as I know.

So, in short, lets go to celebrate a history of public beer provision in the area of Loxley and Stannington which Mr Halliday all those years ago likened to Matlock, and raise a glass to all those who have drunk there before us.

Wee Beefy

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