Norwich comedian Dan McKee read my recent blog about Steve Coogan’s planned film Paul Raymond’s Wonderful World of Erotica and my stories of wrestling bouts in the Raymond Revuebar entrance lounge and a cheetah which was trained to strip the underwear off girls with his teeth.
“There used to be an old wrestler up here in Norwich,” Dan tells me, “who drank in a very strange pub I frequented called the Ironmongers Arms. He was called ‘Bear’ and he once told me a story about wrestling in a strip club in what he called ‘naughtly Soho’ down in London.
“One night, when Bear was halfway through a bout with another wrestler in this club, a ‘fucking massive cat’ leapt into the ring and, not wanting to break the ‘kayfaybe’ of the moment, he ended up wrestling the beast for a few minutes before it got bored and walked off.”
This does, indeed, sound like the Raymond Revuebar, but the Ironmongers Arms in Norwich appears to be just as bizarre. For starters, Dan tells me it is the only pub in the UK with that name.
“The peculiarities of the old Ironmongers Arms knew no bounds,” Dan tells me. “The landlord had no tongue, but he did have a pet jackdaw which hopped around the bar and Friday night entertainment consisted of a young lady singing the hits of Tina Turner. She didn’t sing to karaoke tracks but actually sang over the original Tina Turner records on the juke box and she just tried to sing louder than Tina’s vocals.
“Then there was the night somebody brought a sheep in for a pint. We asked him why he had come in with a sheep and he replied: Well, I couldn’t very well leave it at home.
“As we couldn’t fault his logic, we didn’t ask any more questions. We always hoped he might come in again, but he never did.”
I worked in Norwich for two years. This sounds relatively normal.
(There is more about the sheep mentioned in this blog in a 2013 posting…)