MY MISSION this week took me further afield as I headed out to discover the delights of Lancing.

My first stopping off point was The Farmers in South Street – one of those hefty lumps of a pub built on a corner and designed in an arc shape.

I must have looked famished as within seconds, long before I had the chance to ask the question myself, a punter sat at the bar informed me I’d get no food here.

If he’d also told me there and then just how difficult it would be to get a decent drink I’d have high-tailed it out immediately – but unfortunately, he didn’t.

No, realising someone coming into a pub might like a drink he started yelling “Lucy” at the top of his voice. This had no effect whatsoever, so he tried four more times – still nothing.

But, as the non-responsive barmaid could be heard rustling about and chatting somewhere in a back room, other locals took up the game and the challenge. It was only when the powerhouse of a voice in the M Weeks Construction sweatshirt joined in she finally emerged.

Not that she put her mobile phone down, oh no, she carried on yacking while she reached for a glass. I might not have been quite so offended if it didn’t turn out she was actually ignoring me to talk to a dog. Having thanked Simon for looking after her pampered pooch while she “worked” (that’s a laugh) she then had a conversation with “Maddikins”.

When the Doom Bar finally arrived, it was appalling and completely undrinkable. I returned the offending pint of swill and exchanged it. This time I was served an even worse pint of Worthington. To which Lucy, finally off the phone, said: “I’m not surprised that’s bad, no one drinks it”.

Astonished, I went for third time lucky and eventually got a serviceable pint of Guinness.

Having finally got my hands on a drink I checked out the huge bar on the right-hand side of the place. This was a massive space with two pool tables, two dartboards and a pair of huge screens playing a re-run of the Grand Prix to an entirely non-existent audience.

There was an advert for pool, darts and poker so I’m assuming there must be games nights at some point and the pub must run a number of sides in the local pool/darts leagues.

Back in the inhabited bar Lucy was AWOL again but had tuned in the screen here to knock out extremely dodgy 80s videos. There was definitely a theme to the stuff on the screen – perhaps epitomised best by Eric Prydz classic number Call On Me – watch the video yourself and let me know what you think.

By the time the screen had flicked to the Pussycat Dolls performing Don’t Cha we still had a similar theme for the video, but Lucy had decided the tune was worth making an appearance in the bar, so she could gyrate herself.

I popped out to the gents at this point and was greeted by some of the worst looking toilets I’ve seen anywhere. Incredibly, they didn’t smell that bad and the old porcelain urinals looked as if they may qualify as antiques. If the gents are ever gutted, these would be the bits to save. Elsewhere the lino is peeling so far back off the walls it’s beyond saving and there are large, gaping patches where the tiles have literally dropped off the walls. The right-hand wall sports what must be one of the rustiest radiators in existence. For some reason the woodwork in the toilets has been painted a much brighter shade of green than the rest of the pub – perhaps a warning.

Back in the bar the local sitting to the left is clearly astute when it comes to the prices of drinks as he’s able to purchase his red wine much cheaper by the bottle and was just cracking into his second.

By this stage I was ravenous and determined to find a pub in Lancing which served food. Questioning of the locals resulted in a mixed response. It seems the New Sussex Hotel might not be considered a truly traditional boozer, but you’ve got a much better chance of being fed. The only other local pub they could think of was The Railway, but the very mention of this one led to many tsk, tsks, the raising of eyebrows and warnings about what to expect – and that’s coming from locals at The Farmers!

Perhaps I’ll have to report back on these two Lancing legends in another report – watch this space.

In line with a lot of other places, the Christmas decorations are up at The Farmers so it’s clearly thinking long term, but surely it will have to change dramatically if it really wants to survive for future generations?

The Farmers – 17 South Street, Lancing BN15 8AE

Decor: Three stars - The pub isn’t too bad, but the toilets look like a war zone.

Drink: One star - Unlike Meatloaf’s famous lyric, two out of three definitely were bad.

Price: Three stars - £3.85 for a pint of Doom Bar, Worthington and Guinness (eventually).

Atmosphere: Three stars - You have to ask why they’re there, but at least the locals were chatty.

Staff: Lucy wasn’t present long enough, or care enough, to warrant a mark.

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