I’ll make no secret of the fact the Brockley Whins may as well be on the moon as far as I’m concerned and has always been one of those stations that I’m always just passing through on my way to somewhere else so I was fully prepared for there not to be anywhere to grab a drink in this urban wilderness.
The original station was part of the Brandling Junction Railway and only had one platform (incidentally on the way to Newcastle – how did people ever get back?!) Turns out you had to cross the line to a different track for return journeys. This health and safety nightmare resulted in 5 deaths in 1870 so they built a second platform. These days it’s purely a commuter station for people travelling to Newcastle or Sunderland respectively and although some coal freight trains pass through the station, they don’t stop.
If you’re coming from Newcastle you need to cross the track and walk the length of Brisbane Avenue you until you bear round to the left onto Australia Grove. Turn right onto Perth Avenue (I am LOVING this naming convention!) the right again on to Tasmania Road and you will see The Jester at the end of the road on the left.
I’ll also make no secret of the fact that from the outside it didn’t look overly inviting; in fact we were unsure as to whether it was even open. We laughed in the face of any potential danger though and hauled ass inside. Having done some research (a quick Google search) turns out the Jester has recently been taken over and given a new lease of life from its previous incarnation which saw regular visits from the local boys (and girls) in blue and had a rowdy reputation with locals.
There was certainly no indication of any rowdiness when we visited during that lovely Crimbo Limbo period where you don’t know what day it is, whether you’re full or starving and wonder whether the grapes in Prosecco can count as your 5 a day. In fact it’s was really, really quiet with just a few locals propping up the bar chatting and listening to music.
We were greeted to a warm welcome as we tucked into our IPA (on tap) and glass of wine wine (which comes in its own miniature bottles so it’s a large glass or nothing – how terrible). It’s a really large, spacious pub with the bar in the middle; bar area and pool table to the right and large cosy tables and booths to the left for food. The bar area was tidy and modern and had plenty of drinks on offer to choose from.
They started a carvery on a Sunday which was so popular they’ve started offering it 7 days a week and even do home deliveries – how cool is that?!
Like many places we’ve found on our WBMT adventures it just goes to show you should never judge a pub by it’s outer shell. It looks like the new owner has really worked hard to restore the Jester to a family friendly establishment and here’s hoping their success continues.
Find out where else we’ve been on out metro pubbing adventure here