Thursday, July 18, 2019


 Andy and Tracey Noon - new mine hosts at the Black Bull pub in Brigg - enjoying the sunshine in July 2019

A very warm Brigg welcome is extended to the new couple who have taken charge at one of our town centre pubs. There are already plans for musical entertainment to go with the low-priced drinks.
Andy and Tracey Noon (pictured here) are now running the Black Bull, on Wrawby Street.
He told Brigg Blog: "We plan to bring back live music and hold quiz nights."
Teams playing darts and dominoes will hopefully to be added to the existing pool squads.
Andy had been to Brigg only once before prior to taking charge at the Bull with Tracey.
But the couple, who took over on Monday, July 8, have really taken to our town.
"I love it," he said. "The people are very friendly; the most friendly I've encountered in 15 years in the trade."
Former hostelries run include one in Lincoln, the Old Farmhouse at Gunness and the Warren Lodge in Scunthorpe.
While at the latter, Andy oversaw the introduction of the famous Dustbin Challenge - a huge, meat-laden feast served on a metal lid, which "went viral" on the internet.
A young colleague of ours at the Scunthorpe Telegraph famously tried it, at our suggestion when we were overseeing the paper's website. Andy still remembers that, although it was a few years ago.
There are no plans for a Brigg version of the Dustbin Lid challenge, but FREE bacon butties have been reintroduced at the Black Bull on Sunday mornings, from 10am to lunchtime.
Feel free to drop by for a late breakfast snack and meet the new couple in charge.
They are big fans of guest beers and plan to keep changing what's on offer, in addition to their standard range.
The good news for Brigg pub-goers is that drinks are in the budget price range - £2.40p for a pint of Fosters lager and £1.85p for John Smiths and Worthington bitter.
Yes, £1.85p - very low indeed by today's standards!
Having heard the new couple were in town, Brigg Blog popped in for an hour last Friday night (July 12) towards the end of Andy and Tracey's first week in charge, following the annual Sir John Nelthorpe School sports reunion in which the cricket match was blessed with thirst-creating warm weather.
We arranged to go back a few days later to take some pictures and pen a piece about Brigg's newest mine hosts.
They were just opening up when we arrived on Tuesday morning, with some regulars already queueing at the front door.
Hot and sunny weather gave us an ideal opportunity to photograph Andy and Tracey in the south-facing beer garden behind the Bull - added during the brief tenure of Dexters Ale House & Kitchen.
On hot days the palm trees and cabanas (beach huts) at the back make it seem more like Spain and Turkey than North Lincolnshire!
The Black Bull dates back to 1820 and was popular with airmen from local bases during the Second World War.
We told Andy a bit about the hostelry's history and some of the changes we've observed since the 1970s.
It was back in the early 1980s that we first wrote a 'new couple takes charge' feature about the Bull. That was when Mal and Carol Shipley took over, and it was also a hot and sunny summer's day when we popped in for a chat and Bryan Robins photographed them outside the front door.
Tony Rampling had the Bull for a time after them; we think he'd been at Elsham Golf Club or went there after leaving the Bull.
We've lost count of the many happy nights we've enjoyed at the Bull down the decades, notably during the very length Sykes and Smith era which began in the mid-1980s.
Tony Sykes (ex-Royal Navy) was a long-serving councillor, Town Mayor and chairman of the Brigg & District Licensees' Association for some years.
It was during his tenure that the first open plan layout was introduced - much altered since.
More recently, and post-Dexters, we covered the reopening of the pub - now part of Craft Union's extensive portfolio with its original name restored.
What we forgot to mention to Andy - and apologies for that - was the Black Bull once had its own football team which played in a local Sunday morning league, with home games at the Recreation Ground.
Much has changed since the days of Black Bull FC in the 1980s, and there are now far fewer pub teams about.
But would there be sufficient interest to get one going again?
Andy, who hails from Blackburn, supports the Lancashire town's famous Rovers.
During our own sport-playing days, Brigg Men's Hockey Club and Brigg Town Cricket Club members were also frequent after-match users of the Black Bull at various times, and many a game of darts and dominoes was enjoyed.
To use the modern phrase, it became something of a sports bar.

Offering a warm welcome to the Black Bull on a warm day!

Highly regarded Timothy Taylor's Landlord ale is on offer at the Black Bull in Brigg from new landlord Andy Noon and landlady Tracey Noon.

The couple in the covered shelter at the back of the Black Bull, with its large TV screen.

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