Ah, it’s not there now, but the memories are, even though the site is now occupied by one rather large supermarket.
For years it was a landmark, an official ‘bus stop’ and meeting place.
Everyone knew The Retreat’ and that its customers would double five minutes after the last strains of the organ were heard in the church opposite. People flocked in, usually followed by the organist and the vicar, under the pretense of keeping his eye on his flock.
It was popular for wedding receptions, pub brawls over girlfriends or spouses, and had a snug for pensioners to sip their stout and sherry as they reminisced about ‘The Old Days’.
No pool tables, but there was shove ha#penny table and a tatty dartboard that looked pregnant and about to birth a treble nineteen.
For me, it was a means of release, a place to play a piano and bring a little joy to some old folks with a sing song. Some of the keys stuck, and a few on the bass seemed to have their own snare drum, but I’d get a tune or twenty out of it, have as much lemonade as I could drink, and go home with something like a fiver in my pocket when they passed the hat.