Did you survive the Brampton Mile?

Brampton Mile, Chesterfield, Fred Tipping, The Brampton Mile, Three Horse Shoes -

Did you survive the Brampton Mile?

The Three Horse Shoes

The toll of casualties over the years must stretch into the thousands as groups steered themselves to attempt a rite of passage rarely matched in the entire country at the time, remembers Neil Anderson.

The Brampton Mile started, in the 1980s at least, in the middle-class surroundings of the Terminus Hotel (closed around 1999 and now demolished).

To have any chance of completing 'the mile' - and we're taking 11pm finish here in the '80s - you needed to have an early tea and be ready to rock around 5 to 5.30pm.

The Terminus had it easy. Though there was a sense of trepidation and excitement in the assembled masses, at least everyone was sober.

There were a total of 18 pubs before the chequered flag was waved as you sank your last drink the Square & Compass.

Even if you were drinking halves, that was still 9 pints, either that or 18 shorts.

But you also have to remember that draught lager, on average, was less strong that it is today; its alcohol content stood at around 3% rather than the 4.5%/5% you get today.

The Three Horse Shoes, was regularly a crossroads for intrepid explorers.

The pub boasted one great leveler - 'loony juice'. A vile, 8% strength cider that could regularly fell a man at a thousand paces (hence it was only ever served in halves). Loony Juice has inspired its own T-shirt.

The next set of pubs was the Brampton Mile's answer to the Bermuda Triangle.

It wasn't uncommon for breakaway groups to throw in the towel altogether and dive on a bus into town whilst there was some semblance of order - there was a stop that sat between The Red Lion and the Barrel.

By now there was little chance of your party being in the same pub at the same time. You'd probably be spread out between two or three bars.

I must admit my first Brampton Mile attempt ended in tears.

By my third attempt I knew my strategy; a vodka and orange in every pub. I sailed through it.

People will regularly complain that 'the Brampton Mile isn't like it was' and they'd be right. Even in the mid-1980s it was losing pubs.

We witnessed the end of the Bold Rodney as it was transformed into Ziggis fun pub and then ended up as Dynasty Chinese restaurant.

The Sun - was this the end of the Brampton Mile?

The Square & Compass shut in later years moving the chequered flag back a pub to the Masons – these days known as the Junction - but many hardened drinkers would argue the Sun Inn was actually the end.

It was probably more a feeling of relief than that of elation as you sank the last drink. If you finished without attempting to knock seven bells out of another member of the party or catching your girlfriend snogging some random stranger you were truly a veteran mile man (or woman).”

 

 


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