Five Pilchards, a Dock and a Lugger in Cornwall

And so to Cornwall and a lengthy county-wide circuit courtesy of the indefatigable Maltmeister.  By the end of a torrential Easter Sunday getting to places like the Five Pilchards in Porthallow involved driving down narrow lanes that increasingly resembled rivers.

The mural in the toilets of the Five Pilchards (above) seems faintly disturbing in a sort of Beryl Cook gone bad in the country kind of way.  Particularly the man on the cow filling his pint glass.

Prettily situated next to a beach, this pub played the full on nautical card.

The Five Pilchards has lots of in-jokes around the bar.  IMG_4715.JPG

And posters.  The three pipes of Madeira wine might be worth a late bid.

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We had Bays beer here and at the nearby New Inn, Manaccan where dripping long distance walkers turned the bar into a paddling pool.  I rate Bays, a Devonian brewery whose beers seem consistently good.  The Devon Dumpling (5.1%) and the Gold (4.3%) were both in fine form.

The appalling weather kept the tourists at home so honeypot Port Isaac was strangely quiet as Doc Martin enthusiasts shunned the Golden Lion, permitting unexpectedly smooth passage to the bar.  Similarly the spectacular view enjoyed from the Old Coastguard at Mousehole was being admired by the few not the many.

On the other hand the entire population of Porthleven and hundreds of holiday makers had decided to cram into the Ship in some kind of unpublicised Guinness Book of World Records attempt to get the most people into a bar.  Though this was a revisit, the antiquity of the pub, accessed by a steep flight of steps, and its coastal location made it worth the hassle.

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When far from home it can pay to check where the local CAMRA branch hold their meetings. The Dock in Penzance was one such place and a fine pub it was too.  It smells of old wood and seamen (that’s men of the sea).  It also goes for painted figurehead chic, albeit slightly more demurely dressed than in the Five Pilchards, and with bonus parrots.IMG_4706.JPG

The Penzance Brewing Company Potion No 9 (4%), from the outstanding Star Inn at Crowlas was best beer of the day, while Dr John had the Middle Spingo (5%) from Helston’s famous Blue Anchor brewpub for old time’s sake.

The Dock is owned by Les Rowe.  He is the brother of Cornish comedian Jethro, whose real name is Geoff Rowe (geddit?).  The pub is at the forefront of a crowd funding campaign to restore the Ocean Pride, a local ship built in 1919, found in a derelict state in Rye and brought back to Cornwall.  The ship is “the only Peake’s built counter stern lugger left.” As we all know, luggers are sail ships up to forty feet long that were launched in Newlyn by over a hundred people dragging them into the water. Luggers have a lug sail, which is apparently a fore-and-aft sail. What do you mean what’s that?  This isn’t a blog on old ships so look it up yourself.

Ageing punks will know the word lugger featured in a Sex Pistols track with an inevitable rhyming couplet. If only the Dock had sold Bays I could have cobbled together a song reference title for this blog.

It seemed appropriate to end the day at the Lugger in Polruan, where the normally reserved but Spingo-fuelled Dr John and a Glaswegian exile at the bar treated us to a touching rendition of that traditional Cornish folk song “You cannae shove yer granny aff a bus.”

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16 thoughts on “Five Pilchards, a Dock and a Lugger in Cornwall

  1. How dare Dave doubt the 110% authenticity of your posts ! Gorgeous stuff, must get down there before the sun shines. The Ship in Porthleven wasn’t in the Guide when I did my year of Cornish exertions, oddly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe it was the blizzard of Lugger based facts. Perhaps Wikipedia is not as up to speed on that as it should be. Been in a WiFi free country (Wales) so struggling to keep up with your own blizzard but sounds like you are working methodically across the south west

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Particularly the man on the cow filling his pint glass.”

    Um… thanks for that? (LOL)

    And is the woman milking wearing very baggy knee highs, or did her pantyhose (tights to you lot I think) get split down the middle?

    “this pub played the full on nautical card.”

    Are the two figureheads supposed to be before and after carvings? I notice the one on the right appears to be déshabillé. 🙂

    “The three pipes of Madeira wine might be worth a late bid.”

    I’m trying to figure out why the ship had to put in to port in distress and then to be sold without reserve.

    “(that’s men of the sea). ”

    Who, to be fair, after many months at sea might begin themselves to smell like… I think I’ll stop right there. 😉

    “(geddit?)”

    Not at first. 🙂

    “luggers are sail ships up to forty feet long that were launched in Newlyn by over a hundred people dragging them into the water.”

    Ah. That explains the name. They have to be *cough* lugged into the water. (and no, I’m sticking with that instead of the type of sail explanation). 😉

    “If only the Dock had sold Bays I could have cobbled together a song reference title for this blog.”

    (slow golf clap)

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “I’ve not heard Frigging In The Rigging for years!”

        Good lord, that one jogs my memory!

        Cheers

        PS – Do you lot reply from your phones? Or am I missing something when replying from my desktop with regards to the icon thingies?

        Like

      2. Yes I use the phone pretty much all the time for replies, and usually writing the blog. It’s easy to attach photos though the layout of the text can appear different to that on a PC for some reason.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. “Yes I use the phone pretty much all the time for replies”

        That’s what I thought.

        If I feel the urge to use more than the ‘stock’ icons I’ll switch to my phone to reply. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. “The mural in the toilets of the Five Pilchards (above) seems faintly disturbing in a sort of Beryl Cook gone bad in the country kind of way.”

      Just what i was thinking (although hadn’t thought of the Beryl Cook analogy is a good one…). I thought it reminded me of a cover of a Tom Sharp book…

      If gents toilet art gets any worse, we may need to ensure we are half cut before risking a visit to the toilets…to avoid the risk of PTSD…(post toilet stress disorder…)

      Russ – your question about the milkmaid (more like milkhag) made me look at the picture again – which I was trying to avoid …on the pantyhose thing – don’t go there..I might have nightmares…

      Great post Duncan – beautifully nautical – the lugger information was very interesting though I mistakenly looked up lugworms, which turned out to be quite interesting too… (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lugworm)

      Liked by 1 person

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