Lactic Enlightenment Searching for the essence of Milk and Milk Bars

Trip Report - Welshpool  

Posted on June 8th, 2004. About InSearchOfMilk.

Pictures are here

So, fresh from a hearty brunch in Shrewsbury, back in the milk-mobile to seek out the next NMB.

This one’s special though. This is in Welshpool, the Corporate nerve-centre of the NMB conglomerate. Now, various internet sites (and we know how reliable the Internet is) show two (yes 2) addresses for NMB in Welshpool. One address is 9 Church Street and one is 21 Church Street. I’m presuming that one is a Restaurant (we know this from the napkin) . The other must be a twelve storey glass edifice, housing the quiet, efficiently humming infrastructure that is the NMB executives and support staff.

Descending into Welshpool appears to dispel that myth. No 12 storey buildings in sight. Anyway, on reflection, NMB would surely be housed in something more empathetic with their surroundings.

Finding the NMB was not hard - it was on the road as we came into town. And it was BIG. I mean twice as big as Shrewsbury. Heavens above - there was even enough frontage to write ‘Restaurant’ as well as ‘National Milk Bars’ on the front.

Parking was a bit tricky (it’s hard to find spaces big enough for the milk-mobile). Safeways proved excellent, with a little alley past a canal museum. The ticket machines were out of action - so, free parking; Brucie Bonus.

Entering isn’t the simple process you might think. There are two doors - one for the Restaurant (waitress service ‘natch). The other is for the DIY section. We sat down in the posh bit (where else).

Joy of joys - a no-smoking section. I ordered a Knickerbocker Glory and a cup of tea. carys had a coffee and a nice looking (and tasting by all accounts) cream and jam scone (feel free to pronounce this word as you like. In my world, it rhymes with ‘gone’) from the DIY section (waitresses daren’t go over there, so carys had to get it herself). Apparently the choice of cakes was large and inviting.

Logos - brilliant.

There was a nice green logo, which looked very old, inlaid into the kitchen bar.

But the mirror with the logo on was just fantastic, And then I spotted a mirror with logo and map on it. Oh rapture.

carys tried a ruse to obtain a menu, but was politley refused. I asked if I could take pictures of the mirrors. The staff were clearly bemused. We thank them for their kindness and patience.

Suitably replenished. We then trawled up and down the length of Church street looking fo Corp Head Office. None found. Another Enigma to solve. I was dragged into the Tourist Information, which proved to be excellent (and has a visitors book on the desk full of comments that prove it). I bought some maps and a postcard.

In my excitement, I forgot to take a picture of the shop(s) opposite. dash - I’ll have to go back :-)

The rest of the day was taken up with finding a camp site, going to the beach and driving back home.

So first trip completed. More to come. Plan is to camp (at the camp site found above) over next weekend and take in some more National Milk Bars. Maybe I’ll see you there. We can have a good natter, and I might even tell you a joke.

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