Trainspotters such as your good self will be intimate with the LMS Royal Scot Class 6115 Guardsman.
This celebrated British steam locomotive was built by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) in Glasgow and has innumerable global fans.
However, if I’m honest my sole interest is it giving its name to the boozer in the Adelaide railway station. Although it could be argued that it’s actually resident in the casino, it opened in 2020, just in time for the bonkers pandemic.
Ever-observant and alert to Mystery Pub possibilities, Claire noted my curiosity in one day visiting The Guardsman as on New Year’s Eve we cut through the station on our way to the cricket at Adelaide Oval.
And, of course, the prime function of a marriage is to constantly monitor the environment for new and compelling pub experiences which might interest your spouse.
Thank you, wife.
Railway stations are frequently exciting places, that are grand and dignified and once inside, regal and startlingly vast. I love airports for their utility, but train terminals are romantic repositories of hope and boundless promise. In April we’ll visit stations in Milan, Florence and Pisa among others. Doubtless, these will be intoxicating and buzzing and Italian.
Rogue casino operators, SkyCity, invested about six million in The Guardsman so we were pleased to hop into subsidised $4 beer and wine. I’m vaguely confident that the last chance I had for this was in 1992 at the Buckleboo Club. My colleague also had a double gin for $8, because she could and largely as the bar staff urged her so to do.
Claire asked, ‘Shall we sit inside or out?’ It’s an eternally good question and giving this profound life matter the requisite introspection, like a modern-day René Descartes I said, ‘Let’s do both.’
While inside architecture is our focus and then later outside it’s people, and this is always a neat principal. The interior is spacious and intimate.
My previous pub experience in the railway station was in 1983, during Year 12. Pre-Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Festival Theatre saw Chrisso, Davo, Stephen and I rushed to get to the theatre on time, but with country boy enthusiasms, somehow managed to slip into the Overland Tavern for a brisk jug of West End Draught before the curtain went up.
While some may have found the kitchen aromas suggestive of exotic Asian destinations and the Orient Express and tropical evenings beneath slowly turning ceiling fans while monkeys and tigers provide a fascinating if faintly troubling soundtrack, we took a table on the far side as we just found it stinky.
Our second, and as tradition now dictates, final refreshment was enjoyed overlooking the station concourse. We could now hear music and Supertramp was received well by your correspondent, as was a tune by The Beach Boys. Claire said, ‘We must remember to watch the movie about the Beach Boys.’ I replied with uncommon expansiveness in saying, ‘Yes.’
Scurrying folk on their way to Womma or Noarlunga or Belair or North Haven made for enlivening viewing as we sipped our Sauvignon Blanc (Claire) and Pirate Life (me). Between 5 and 6pm on a Friday is the captivating time to park oneself in a railway station and speculate on the inner lives of anonymous commuters.
And we had garlic bread! What a time to be alive.