There are a lot of things to commend the little village of Auckley in South Yorkshire, among them the fact that it was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, a school that is recognised as one of the best-achieving in the area, the annual show in August and its only pub,
The Eagle and Child. The last is, as one chap on a bus passing the roadside inn succinctly put it, “a right proper little ‘local’ boozer.”
Several centuries old, the Eagle and Child stands but a few feet away from the busy road to Finningley in one direction, and Doncaster in the other. In season, it is always colourfully bedecked with flowers in baskets and tubs. The Eagle is home to quiz and karaoke nights, offers a commendable range of foods, and some good real ales. Among others, a refreshingly lively Doom Bar was featured when I visited, as well as the ubiquitous Black Sheep. You can imagine that a while back the place being a veritable warren of snugs, tap bars and hidey-holes, but today it has all be sympathetically opened-up.
There are some deep easy chairs, memorabilia on the walls, traditional pub games to play, and even – on a mid-week lunchtime – a lot of contented regulars. Better yet, there’s more than ample off-road parking, a good-sized beer garden and a large play and activity area to occupy the attentions of the smaller folk while their elders take some refreshment.
“It’s what a proper pub should be,” that chap on the bus added, and on investigation, he wasn’t wrong. I was beginning to suspect that he might be the landlord, singing the praises of his own pub. He wasn’t – just a very happy punter anticipating an evening visit.
The Eagle and Child, 24 Main Street, Auckley, South Yorkshire, DN9 3HS. Telephone: 01302 770406.