Pubspy: The Lord Nelson, Sutton
We have all heard of that mysterious patch of the Atlantic known as the Bermuda Triangle which seems to offer no escape to the brave sailors or pilots who dare to enter its unforgiving confines.
Well, pubgoers beware; there is an equally treacherous part of Sutton, hidden deep within its backstreets, which is gaining just as menacing a reputation for claiming pubs.
The triangle, in Lower Road and William Road, once offered the drinker three pubs as something of a halfway house between Sutton and Carshalton.
But then the triangle struck, just seven or eight years ago.
First to fall was The Victory, a lovely old pub which was like having a drink in someone’s living room. Then The Woodman went by the wayside and now the Lord Nelson is making a one-pub stand against the might of the triangle. You’d expect a pub with a name such as that to put up a bit of a battle.
It may be a little rough around the edges, but there is a certain old school charm about the Nelson.
After all, what’s not to love about a pub which has a fish tank and signed pictures of Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson, David Jason and Bob Hoskins?
It’s not the kind of place to get plastered, but one just to sit and sup a couple of jars.
The Nelson, not to be confused by the North Cheam pub by the same name, is a Young’s pub with a simple dress code; splashes of paint on baggy jogging bottoms are a must. If I’d known then, I’d have hunted high and low for my old creosote-covered dungarees.
The flooring may be well worn, seats torn, the walls red and the air blue with boozy banter, but I felt comfortable as I bought a beer, took a seat and listened to the sound of punters putting the world to rights.
Capital Gold or some such station was playing and Ralph McTell took me by the hand and led me through the Streets of London as I supped my pint of Young’s Special, which cost me £3.
You could say I am in a forgiving mood this week – yes, it does happen once in a while – but I am worried how fast some of our boozers are disappearing off the map.
I am even prepared to overlook the dreaded picture of the Empire State building construction workers sitting on an iron girder, so long as the triangle doesn’t claim it’s third and final victim.
The Lord Nelson, 32 Lower Road, Sutton, SM1 4QP
Decor: XX Well worn, I think the phrase is.
DRINK: XXX Young’s Bitter and Special are always decent pints.
PRICE: XXX £3 is reasonable.
ATMOSPHERE: XX A bit on the flat side, but I can live with that. Give me Ralph McTell over Tinchy Stryder any day. I didn’t hear any mention of Frank Lampard, John Terry or Ashley Cole, which is always a bonus.
STAFF: XXX A very chatty lady served me.