Someone is singing cheerfully along to Daydream Believer as The Monkees get cranked up on the jukebox inside The Bull Inn one recent Thursday evening.
“Can you sing?” asks the landlord as he pours a pint of Thatchers Gold from behind the Perspex screen stretching along the length of the bar, anticipating future karaoke nights.
It’s business as usual in this pub on Crew’s Hole Road, where a cluster of locals are winding down with a post-work pint, but handwritten signs by the bar clearly set out the Covid-19 safety rules, while another sign on the door reminds all customers to wear a mask – or purchase one inside for 50p.
Yet another sheet of paper taped next to the door advertises the different ice lollies available for sale – presumably a throwback to long summer days when The Bull’s concrete beer garden was bathed in sunshine and a convenient pit stop for people heading to the nearby Conham River Park.
Set back from the road, the front yard of the pub looks out onto a residential estate next to the River Avon, which was home to a copper smelting works back in the day. A vast marquee has been erected out the front of the pub ready for winter and the canvas offers some shelter against the autumnal evening chill to a couple of smokers perched on picnic tables.
Most people opt for the warmth of inside where the odd clatter of balls being potted on the pool table can be heard above the indistinct chatter.
One lone drinker opts to sit in the large room to the side of the bar where a fireplace – enticingly stacked with logs though it is – lies dormant. In here, the face of Kurtan from This Country looks up from promo beer mats on the dark wooden tables and the cheerful sounds of the bar drift through the open door as The Monkees shift tracks to I’m A Believer.
The Bull Inn, 333 Crews Hole Road, St George, Bristol, BS5 8BQ
All photos by Ellie Pipe
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