Learning to know one’s true Station

Passed by an endless tide of trudging travellers an old city house is still ale and hearty

Thursday, 16th January 2014, 1:52 pm
Station Hotel

There was a shamrock in the top of my Guinness, but for once I did not grumble about the futility of it all. Not least, in all probability, because it was at least an accurate likeness of said plant.

This, along with the absolute confidence that I was about to drink one of Preston’s best – and arguably its most enduring – pints of the thick black nectar put my mind at ease

Duff stout is yet to pass my lips in The Station Hotel – or Railway as it was once (and in my case will forever be) known – and I fully
expect aerial swine before such an eventuality comes to pass.

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Preston’s most prominent Irish bar – indeed, daily greeting, as it does, thousands filing to and fro the adjacent station(mostly commuters beaten on the way up, beaten and knackered on the way back), certainly among its most prominent boozers full stop.

And despite the recent-ish refurb, The Station Hotel remains just that. A boozer.

Or, at least, half that. A canny eye on not alienating existing clientele ensured the back room came through retaining most of the gloomy careworn charm which once distinguished the original pub.

Well, the original so far as I am concerned, at any rate.

It would have been the late 1980s before I entered, partially because it was at that time the wrong end of town for me but also, to be honest, out of ludicrous prejudiced fear.

Not my own prejudice (being then young enough not to have closed my empty mind), I should add, that of older berks who had speculated on various occasions that the pub was all but a front for the Provisional IRA.

A cap would regularly be passed around for ‘The Boys’, or so thickheads not in a position to know otherwise were led to believe, and if you didn’t put yer hand in yer pocket...

Needless to say, on none of my hundreds of subsequent visits to this establishment did any such sinister headgear pass my way.

I did, however, spend many of my more enjoyable hours in any Preston pub; proving yet again that ignorance is only bliss if you happen to enjoy being ignorant.

Anyhow, the more obviously made over part of the pub also has its charms, the main effect of the makeover being to admit all the wonderful clear daylight that this brow benefits from most late
afternoons, early evenings.

Throw in an ali- day breakfast that could put a bear to sleep and the presence of Scotalnd’s best ale Deuchars on the bar and what have you got? A fine pub.

Incidentally, the Guinness above is not the one I was served, just one found lying around in the LEP archive. Eight years ago that got pulled. God knows where. Doesn’t say. Wonder what lucky colleague got to neck it?

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