18 October 2001
The New Era Begins
Monday, 8 October, 2001, saw the latest change of licensee of The Angel, with the departure of Jan 'n' Dave. Early indications are that the new incumbents are determined to maintain the essential character of the establishment.
3 November 2001
It seemed appropriate to leave a respectful distance between the departure of the Taylors and adding the first responses to the Thorogood Tenure.
Let it be said that the first impressions are entirely positive. The Angel has not descended to the depths of a roadside tavern on the A13, nor has it declined into a comatose stereotype of a dying village boozer, destined only to become a bijou hideaway restaurant serving overpriced fancy food on octagonal white plates to over-salaried executives from a dot-com failure in the city.
In short, we're all still here.
As a case in point, we did hear the bar bell ring - once - at closing time during the first week, but we assume that the cloud of dust which emanated from it was enough to get across the message without any words being said.
Is there a guiding spirit?
Established clients of Angel hospitality will recall that, on the last two occasions of a tenancy change, the new régime has encountered strange problems with the quality of the IPA. Within days of Mo taking over in 1988, the ale assumed the flavour of TCP. When Jan 'n' Dave came on board, they immediately encountered a "no head" problem.
Although both problems were later identified as the product of poor quality control on the part of the brewer, there were those who cast doubts upon the cellar work of the new management.
It was really no surprise, then, that in the middle of the last week of October, the beer went flat. Again, certain cynics began to wonder whether it was a sign of lowering standards.
Of course, we who really know about these things realise that the problems are tests set by the long-term resident of the pub, he who has been here for several hundred years keeping a paternal eye on the place.
It was a cause for cynical amusement to hear that, when Peter called in the brewer to check the reason for poor quality ale, said representative's first question was "Where are your pumps?". That really says a lot for the way some of these conglomerates keep an eye on their outlets.
We also hope the Spirit of The Angel has had enough fun and jolly japes for the moment.
Plus ça change
As mentioned above, there were many qualms before Peter, Marilyn and their team took over at The Angel.
What follows is a brief digest of the developments:
Tommo Wields a Roller
The most obvious change to the dear old place has been the rapid transformation of the interior of the bar.
Down have come all the old pictures and mirrors and coat racks.
The walls are now spread with a tasteful array of prints and posters which all add to the quality of the place. As time permits I will try to provide interior shots of these improvements; meanwhile the panel on the left gives a rough idea of the shade of the walls.
Some things never change
Home Thoughts From Abroad
News of the tenancy change swept round the internet with all the energy of a damp match. The guestbook has been swamped by an anxious enquiry from Bruce Rudd in New Zealand, and Old Salty in Geneva has been asking searching questions about the quality of the IPA.
... plus c'est la même chose.
On the whole, little else has changed. That Nice Mr Orton keeps cheerful despite the crib team. The cheeky young whippersnapper wanders back from Chelmsford sometimes. Jos moans about how much work he has to do, but then borrows a Big Car to take Tim, Steve P and Steve S to France to load up with enough wine to float the French Navy (if they've still got one). Roy Porter has made himself known, despite his grandson's attempts to warn the management. Ivan Pearson is on good form. Robert "Sippo" has moved on to IPA and Old Mother Riley still rattles the door.
Talking of Mother
We'd like, most sincerely, to congratulate Old Mother on becoming a father-in-law, on the occasion of his daughter's marriage to Robert Plumb. This could of course explain the wine run mentioned above (in case HM Customs are monitoring this). Well done everybody.
Thank You For The Music
Or rather, no thanks.
10 November 2001
World Exclusive: First Pictures: The Angel Goes Green
The new image of The Angel is shown to the world for the first time. You will notice, in particular, the mellow and calming tones of the Malachite Green walls, on this, a busy Friday evening.
|It is nice to know the new management has a sense of humour. Since last week's addition to these pages, the board behind the bar has responded to suggestions about the improvements in this fashion:|
"While stocks last?" "Lap dancing?" "Country and western?" Some people have even taken these seriously!
On into December 2001
I've decided to keep each addition to these pages separate, rather than simply add length. I hope regular readers will n ot get too confused.
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