WARNING If you are easily offended you may choose not to read this review.

Political correctness has taken a week off and everything is reported as it happened, so please don’t shoot the messenger.

It was a circus from the moment I stepped in.

The guy leaving as I walked in supported himself on a knobbly walking stick and had a patch over one eye – all he needed was a parrot and I’d have sworn Long John Silver was leaving the building.

Anyway, his departure left a group of six completely battered blokes sat around two tables arguing vociferously and swearing at each other with gay abandon.

The swearing was an art form in itself – the F word was used as a noun, a verb, an adjective and several other things I’ve forgotten from my English lessons.

And what a motley crew they were.

The guy in the blacked-out glasses, armed with a white stick, was affectionately labelled Mr Magoo and was asked if he wanted a drink.

The trouble was his answer was lost as the bloke who asked him appeared to be deaf – he was certainly deaf to further drink requests.

At this point another fellow, who’d been sitting quietly in his wheelchair a few yards away, hauled himself up and gripping the railing for all he was worth dragged himself round to join them.

He was welcomed into the fold.

But soon afterwards, one of the group was offended by a comment he felt was too close to the mark and stormed off.

Given what had already gone on I shudder to think what caused him such umbrage.

By now wheelchair man had decided to return and his compadres did their best to help but were far too well-oiled to support him so he slumped to the floor.

His pink shirt was a little slippery but I managed to scoop him up and support/carry him back to his wheels.

He was generous in his thanks and admitted he was far too pickled to steer the chair around the scaffolding so I helped again.

I’d already quaffed an extremely average, somewhat watery-tasting, Doombar so I returned from the ‘garden’ (scaffolding-dominated concrete yard) to the inner sanctum of the pub.

As I ordered a pint of Moretti, the diminutive barman told me The Ranelagh had only been partly done up but promises had been made it would get more work before Pride and a whole lot more afterwards – time will tell.

Returning to sit, straddling the scaffolding at a triangular table, the only other two people in the builders’ yard were having a blazing row – the woman was fearsome.

Heaven knows what the woman in the pink top with sunglasses on her head thought the bloke had done, but she could argue for England.

He seemed immune to the ranting so maybe he was her husband but nothing stopped her flow.

At this point the man who took offence and left earlier, screamed from the other side of the street, in broken English, that it wasn’t fair to take the mick out of people with speech impediments.

Uproarious laughter followed with several impressions done of stutterers, including the guy with a stutter.

Then, a woman with no teeth walked in and said hello to the angry woman.

She was immediately told not to even consider sitting down and to make herself scarce.

She had the common sense not to argue.

What else is there to say about The Ranelagh?

There are some guitars stuck on the outside walls, the entire place is encased in scaffolding, there’s a jukebox and they

also host live music – you can hear the Will Johns band this Sunday.

Again I was interrupted as a phone went off.

Looking out from under his straw hat in his inebriated state it took the man a full two minutes to find the phone and by this time he realised it was his wife so he was quite happy to let it ring.

I asked the barmaid if she enjoyed working there but she didn’t want to comment as the early starts and late finishes mean she’s leaving in a week or so.

Apparently the pressure of the pub on top of her day job, at a nursery and after school club, has proved too much.

Apart from the angriest woman in the world the banter was good natured and I loved the spectacle, but The Ranelagh is not for the faint-hearted.

Thank goodness no one tried to climb the scaffolding.


Decor: ★☆☆☆☆ (Horrendous, scaffolding the best feature)

Drink: ★★☆☆☆ (The Doombar a disaster, Moretti better)

Price: ★★★☆☆ (Doombar £3.95, the Moretti £4.55)

Atmosphere: ★★☆☆☆ (Interesting)

Staff: ★★★★☆ (Both were very helpful and equally chatty)