I like visiting the Albert,
I like the way it commands a crossroads,
Welcoming all cardinal points of the compass,
Just like a traditional inn should.
I like visiting the Albert in springtime,
When vases of flowers greet you in the bar,
With vernal fragrance and equinoctial promise,
Stretching into blossoming infinity.
I like summer drinking in the Albert,
With a pint of Alton’s Pride,
It’s like an infusion of Thomas Hardy,
With every novel you’ve ever read
Returning like a Native.
I like autumn drinking in the Albert,
When mists and mellow fruitlessness
Entwine themselves around the eaves,
Just like a gothic Woman in White.
I like winter drinking in the Albert,
Sledging down the snow-scaped common,
Then in the bar for mulled ale and wine,
Just like we’re in A Christmas Carol.
I like chatting in the Albert,
With a catholic clientele of Prince, Pauper,
Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, many Musketeers,
And the occasional Sheriff of Nottingham.
I like walking around the Albert,
With a boulevard and a bowling green,
A welcome in the streets,
A chat on the allotments,
It’s like the Orwell pub of his dreams.
I don’t smoke, myself,
But I like the smokers at the Albert,
They congregate out the back,
Telling their varied stories,
Just like Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
I like sitting in the Albert,
With its sofas, armchairs, ornaments,
Wireless and pictures on the mantelpiece,
It’s like the day when war broke out.
So I only visit the Albert,
It’s the sans pareil of Stroud,
Once visited, then,
There is nowhere else to go,
Apart from the Crown and Sceptre,
Bisley House and Ale House –
But those are stories for another time.