You must have known at least one. I mean almost mythically great with something extraordinary about it, not just an acceptable local boozer.
Many years ago (*harp glissando*) I used to frequent the Miners’ Arms at Greenhow, near Pately Bridge. This was great for the following bullet-proof reasons:
1 Free house. As I haven’t lived in the UK for a long time, I have no idea if they still exists. It meant not being owned by a brewery, and able to sell what the hell the landlord wanted to sell. This resulted in 16 taps along a fairly short bar, because he wanted to sell a lot.
2 One room. None of this fancy partitioning or different levels or what-have-you. It was basically the front room of a house, with bench seats around two sides.
3 Darts. None of that southern nonsense, either – no trebles. One of the locals, humourously nicknamed Butch, threw from the hip – never seen that anywhere else. He also wore a stetson. All the time.
4 House mild, correctly mixed by John the landlord from the slops and allowed to ferment a little. Jesus fucking christ.
5 Lock-ins. Regular, whenever there was a demand, which was most nights. A frequent after-hours doorknocker was the local policeman, who hung his hat on the back of the door and settled down for a few hands of brag. Butch once stole his police car to go drinking in Pately for a change.
6 Crazes/crazies. Raw egg eating competiton, watergun fights (including vaulting comboy-style over the bar), and the perennial favourite of Doing The Taps – a pint from each, working along the bar. The killers that sorted the men from the boys were the last two – Coke and lemonade.
7 Overnight accommodation. Too pissed and/or tired to go home? Sleep on the bench seats.
8 Mushy peas. The real deal.