No sooner had I walked through the door than I knew I faced a dilemma.

Within seconds of looking around the William The Fourth it was obvious this is an old fashioned pub that’s had a fairly recent makeover. All the signs are there and this makes reviewing it a no-win situation.

The folks who loved its old world charm are never going to be convinced the company that took it over have improved it, so there’s no pleasing them. And the new brigade who are perfectly happy to frequent a freshly tarted-up chain pub don’t care about anything.

But, as I’m fond of saying, I can only report what I find, so here goes.

I was immediately competed for by two blonde barmaids who seemed equally keen to serve me. It was a bit like seeing double, except the cards slung round their necks informing everyone they wouldn’t be served unless they look 25, were worn at different angles – neither of them questioned my age. Not really surprising as I must have been the oldest person in.

I asked for advice and was recommended a pint of Chieftain IPA at 5.5 per cent.

It’s a decent enough, easy-drinking hoppy ale although it doesn’t have stacks of flavour. If anything, there’s something of the citrus about it.

Mrs PubSpy has gone all upmarket for the New Year so she opted for a gin and tonic, Fever Tree no less.

We took a slot at table two and Mrs P decided the one thing she wanted to say was that she liked the hanging baskets – I couldn’t see it myself but soft furnishing are her thing so I took the easiest option and nodded agreement.

From our vantage point we could see the full central bar and it’s certainly impressive. By now blonde number one was having a fag in the doorway of Gresham Blake tailors opposite and number two had wandered off so I chatted instead to the third bartender.

He reckoned I should have opted for Zamza, from Gun Brewery at 6.5 per cent. I took a taste but it was far too heavy for my liking and I stuck to the Chieftain.

Taking in the rest of my surrounding and the clientele I can confirm we were the oldest people in. Though I couldn’t be completely sure of the age of the woman with a bun in the Trusted Housesitters T shirt – I presume it’s a service for animals, not kids.

The famous Top Loader song, you know the one, was replaced by KT Tunstall’s Suddenly I See so the music was certainly passable.

As I say, I assume it’s had a complete overhaul and personally I liked it – nicely laid tiled areas next to some beautiful old wooden flooring. The mosaics up the stairs are particularly interesting.

As you climb up you get a view of the garden, complete with its Astro turf. This had a CLOSED FOR NOW sign plastered across it as the night I was in the weather was apparently too bad for venturing outside.

If you do make the effort to climb the great old brick staircase you will be treated to some of the most flowery loos you are ever likely to visit.

Back downstairs I couldn’t help noticing the abundance of mirrors on just about every surface, again a winner with Mrs Pubspy. I couldn’t make up my mind whether they are there for security or just effect.

And talking of effect, I’ve never witnessed anyone quite as affected as the woman on table 16 smoking her electronic cigarette. She looked like she’d leapt straight out of a 1950s movie. Is smoking e-cigarettes allowed in pubs?

I obviously don’t know what the original pub was like, but personally I’m impressed by what the new owner has done with William The Fourth and they definitely seem to be meeting demand. I assume it was a great pub in its hey-day but the fact Indigo has stepped in means those days have gone.

What has been created is a very welcoming pub with very pleasant bar staff and decent furnishings.

The place was full of younger folk and everyone was having a great time – no one seemed to be harking back to the good old days.

There was one sign inviting me to ask about their bourbons and another asking me not to take my glass out after 8pm. I decided not to do either and we headed into the night but I’d definitely like to make a return visit to this one.