Friday, 16 December 2011

Greyfriars, Friargate, Preston

‘20 blokes dressed in miniskirts and dresses who walk into a bar….’
No, there isn’t a punch line this was just Greyfriars on a Wednesday.
Fortunately, I’ve been into this Wetherspoons pub before so I was mentally prepared for whatever rabble may await behind the big double doors.
‘They’ll catch their deaths dressed like that’, I thought as I picked my way around Wonderbra William and Tottering Tony.
Hidden in a corner set back from the cross-dressers was the Evening Post’s sports desk night out which was in full swing by the time I arrived.
In breaks between the main topic of conversation, Preston North End manager Phil Brown’s departure, my mind drifted worryingly back to the Men In Pink (MIP).
In most pubs, I realised, their presence would have turned most the locals’ beer sour.
But because the building had clearly been designed with a space rocket dealership in mind, there was plenty of room for people to keep out the way.
While the pub lacks history and character, it gives a great showing on the real ales.
In the interests of scientific research I attempted to count the number of pumps which stretch along the enormous bar but it proved too traumatic to try to shimmy around MIP.
So, I asked the barman for a pint of Ruddles and he asked me for just £1.65.
‘Thank you’, I said warmly. Adding in my head ‘You’ve just put me in the Christmas spirit for the first time’.
Next to me at the bar two elderly ladies stood waiting to order their drinks and had got chatting to MIP.
‘But I had to dress like this’, the lad said.
‘Now come on, next time you tell them it’s your party and you’re not going to wear that’, the lady said in a mock angry tone.
‘I could almost hear her adding ‘I’ve seen it all now, literally!’
I left happy at having enjoyed a good, honestly priced festive pint and was warmed by the realisation that if 20 blokes walk into a bar dressed in miniskirts and dresses, it at least gives the locals something to laugh about.

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