Last night I was summoned to The Robin Hood to see my brother and many other prime boosers of the family. The Robin Hood is an historic pub which stands on the old turnpike road from Newcastle to the coast on the south bank of the Tyne. There has been a pub on this site since Elizabethan times at the latest and it sits in a quite picturesque dip of the land beside the River Don. Nowadays it is run by the Jarrow Brewery and, until recently, they brewed their beers there before transferring all brewing to The Maltings, their new premises in South Shields (see my previous blogs).
Anyway, I sank a few really first class pints of "Rivetter", a blonde, hoppy beer with a great head and lovely aftertaste while my brother regaled us with jokes which he had picked up in the prison service. Before he retired a couple of years ago, he was a Deputy Governor at The Scrubs. I know from a previous life, when I was the bar cellarman at The Duke of Cornwall opposite Brixton Jail, that lots of jokes originate in prisons where the guys have nothing else to do but make them up. The Prison Officers who frequented the bar in those days could keep you laughing for hours until your face ached. I had to ban joke-telling on a few occasions when I could stand no more of it!