Good Beer Guide
Real Pubs reviewed by Real People
“The Workers Club in Lynn is the epitome of what an English pub should be. They serve a broad range of real ales, including my personal favorite “On The Huff” from Norfolk brewery Hand Maid Ales. The landlord really knows how to look after his beers and is to be commended for the fine way he runs this town center bar.”
Overall Ranking: 8/10– Great range of real ales.
I started going to the Workers Club instead of the Anchor. It wasn’t my favorite place, but I knew a few people there, and soon got accustomed to the way it operated. And it was cheap, which was a consideration now that I was “work free.” They had a beer garden too, and I liked to take my pint out there, watch the sky and listen to the birds. It was also their smoking area, so that helped.
Then a whole host of small problems all happened at once.
First, my car started to misfire. I suspected it was a fuel line issue, but I just didn’t have what it took to get it going properly again. To save money I’d given up the parking spot at the apartment building, and now I had it parked on one of the free areas along the quayside. One morning when I went to check on it, I saw that the front bumper had come loose on one side, and it was hanging down. It looked like maybe someone had sat or stood on it, and had broken it off. I just stopped to look at it and then walked on. It wasn’t working anyway, so why even try to fix it.
Next, the washing machine in my apartment stopped abruptly during a rinse cycle. I had to carefully remove the wet laundry, and hang it over the bath to finish drying. The machine would not work, no matter how I tinkered with it, so I was back to having to go to the laundromat. I started to wear my clothes longer; after all, I reasoned, with no job to go to, and no woman to impress, why did I need to dress up? I took to wearing the same pair of old jeans and a shirt, plus a sweater as it got colder. That way, I only needed to go and do laundry once a month or so. When I went out, I also wore a baseball cap, and that meant that I didn’t need to worry about my hair too much, and I just let it grow.
Then one of my front teeth broke. I had always hated going to the dentist, and when I left home, it became easy to avoid having to do so. Over the years I’d have an occasional pain in my mouth, but nothing that wouldn’t go away after a time. I hadn’t had any dental work done since my early twenties, and now, of all times, I lose a tooth, and one that showed too. It didn’t hurt, although my tongue could feel the sharp edges where it had broken. After a while, I even got used to that feeling too, and hardly noticed the lost tooth. It was only when someone else reacted that I was even aware that there was an issue.
The Workers catered to an older clientele, and a lot of the regulars were retired folk. I didn’t consider myself retired, just work-free, but it was easy to slip into that retired mindset too. One of the people I got friendly with was a retired office manager called Del. He lived in one of the old cottages further along the quayside, and we got into the habit of meeting in the Workers soon after they opened, having a few pints, then going for a stroll around town.
It was on one of these walks that we bumped into Percy, who said they had missed me at the Anchor and asked after my health. I told him I was doing fine, and that I’d found a new place to drink. Percy mentioned my car, which he’d spotted on the quayside. I really didn’t want to talk about it, and said that I was about to get it taken care of. Del had also been a regular at the Anchor at one time and said maybe we’d drop in one afternoon.
“That would be great!” Percy said, “Tell you what, the first ones on me, how’s that?”
I was non-committal, but Del seemed keen. A few days later, our afternoon walk found us going along the High Street, and Del suggested visiting the Anchor for the free drink we’d been promised. It was one of those days when the wind seemed to be coming straight down from the Arctic cycle, and so I agreed if only to get out of the cold.
Even though I’d not been in the Anchor since that fateful discussion with Steve, I immediately felt at home again, as the warmth of the familiar flowed through me. It was getting towards evening, and soon Julie came into the bar, and it was good to meet someone who was genuinely pleased to see me. When she found out I was still job free, Julie started checking in the local paper for me, which was sweet of her, but not necessary. I was about to say so when she stopped short and said: “Have you lost a front tooth?”
Over the previous few months, I’d learned how to keep my mouth closed more, and most people I met didn’t notice it anyway, but I guess I must have smiled more than normal, and Julie did notice. I didn’t know what to say, so I pretended not to hear her question and turned the conversation to how The Linnets were doing in the league this year.
At home that night, I swore never to go to the Anchor again, that I’d not talk to Julie again, and probably not to go to the Workers either, in case I ran into Del there.
The next morning I went to the store and bought myself a case of beer and a bottle of good scotch. This would be cheaper even than the Workers, and I could sit at home, drink and watch the world go by outside my window.