Coro St drives group to drink

02:53, Nov 29 2012
Phil Amberger
CORO CLUB: Back from left: Peter Palmer, Claire Newcombe, Jack Bier and Bill Prosser. Front: Mike Glew and Bob Newcombe.

A club formed by people seeking alternative entertainment while their partners are at home watching Coronation Street is now in its sixth year.

The Coro Club was formed by Jim Cross, Mick Glew and Bob Newcombe who said they were tired of the weekly routine of their partners watching Coronation Street because the programme seemed to run for ages and they preferred to spend their time engrossed in "deep and meaningful conversation".

Members have been meeting on Tuesday evenings in the Sprig and Fern in Milton St for the last four years.

Before that they said they had tried almost every pub in Nelson but had been unable to find anything suitable.

"There are too many pubs with televisions and one-armed bandits and loud music where you can't really talk," Mike said.

Several members said the fact the Milton St pub had recently been voted as the best bar in New Zealand (at the Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence) showed they had made a good choice.


However, Coro Club members Rob Gall and Claire Newcombe found it ironic that "the best bar in New Zealand" doesn't supply beer mats.

"We bring our own beer mats instead," Claire laughed, showing a collection of beer mats from places ranging from Mexico to Nelson.

Jim said the Coro Club had a hard core of seven members but they could get anywhere between six and 20 people attending on a Tuesday night.

When The Leader visited the group last Tuesday, some members joked that although the club was formed in opposition to people watching Coronation Street, it appeared that founder member Bob Newcombe secretly watched the programme.

This was because he invariably turned up late, generally after Coronation Street had finished screening.

Bob admitted he was a closet fan but said he also enjoyed the company of the others.

Claire said that as well as a lack of interest in Coronation Street, another hobby most people had in common was an interest in motorbikes. Several members had been on cycle tours around the country together with the Nelson Classic Motorcycle Club.

"And although most of us are now New Zealand citizens, only one of us, Peter Palmer, was actually born here," Claire said.

She said most of the other members were originally from England, apart from Jack Bier, who is from Holland.

On the night The Leader visited, Jack was getting a hard time for his Dutch heritage but proved he was capable of holding his own during the group's many sharp exchanges of humour.

"The difference between a Dutchman and a Kiwi is that a Dutchman is too honest to be polite whereas a Kiwi is too polite to be honest," he retorted.

The Coro Club have their own table in one corner of the pub and members also use the occasion to exchange any surplus produce they may have, such as homegrown vegetables.