Certain public houses play certain roles in our lives at certain times.
They come and go, regular haunts one day, brief encounters at best but a few years on (although, not infrequently this past decade and some, boarded-up windows and shuttered doors making that decision for us).
There are few constants, and even these are subject to constant change.
The Wellington in Preston’s Glovers Court is a pub yours truly first frequented a quarter century ago, and which – for a time – was a guaranteed fixture of any uptown evening trot around the taverns.
Alas, no more, though through circumstance alone it must be said.
Fewer nights on the tiles each passing year, as the legs slowly yet surely give out, and those which do come round tend to involve associates converging on Preston from all points of the compass – with timetables both rail and bus tending to call the tune.
The concentration of what might be termed duffers’ pubs extending from the market area halfway along Friargate is the only winner – with no more than 50 wobbly strides between bars and reasonable public transport proximity (for that post last order scurry-cum-stumble to stop or platform) every step of the way.
Yet although this excellent pub is now long sadly considered just off the beaten evening track, The Wellington has, happily, remained a common port of call during the hours of daylight.
Due in large part to ‘The Welly’ having retained its status – in my humble opinion – as the city centre’s most reliable purveyor of real pub grub (hearty, hefty and good value) I still find myself there on a regular basis – only now it is in quest of a quiet pint and a hot meal rather than two fast Newcy Brown and a Scotch before hitting The Warehouse.
Much has changed since those rowdy nights, of course, for both the pub and myself. Several scrub ups and revamps, both internal and, more recently, external, walls knocked through and such.
Happily, like the best change, it has all somehow conspired to leave the place feeling somehow unchanged throughout.
Laid-back and friendly, food and drink fairly priced, a perch in The Wellington’s cosy snug (you know you’re old etc.) with glass in hand and Chinese chicken curry on the horizon will certainly suit me fine for the long haul.