More “giving East Angular” a chance on Sunday with Mrs RM, who performed commendably over a 10 mile walk round the Genetics triangle. You do walk faster when you need the loo, and remember to wear appropriate footwear.
You may associate Duxford with the Imperial War Museum and the Air Show which will clog up the M11 again this weekend. Personally I think RAF Cosford in Shropshire is a better bet if you like that sort of thing, it’s certainly more hands-on.
But Greater Duxford is a major centre in South Cambridgeshire, and well worth a wander even if you bore easily of old planes.
It’s a beautiful village, even with my anti-home town bias, displaying the sort of pargetting you associate more with neighbouring Essex. Outside of Grantchester these are some of the most expensive properties in the county.
The first essential stop was at the Plough, the only pub to have made the Beer Guide in recent years, and still your best bet for the real stuff, or so I thought.
It’s one of a handful of competent but unexceptional Everards pubs around Cambridge. I rate the pub company highly but the beers less so, so I was pleased the Tiger was more than decent (NBSS 3), and the service was particularly friendly. That’s a very good beer range, though of course I consider anything more than a couple ambitious.
My hearing isn’t what it was (I blame Dirty DC), but Mrs RM was able to make out the details of a covert assignation involving a man in a corduroy jacket, which doesn’t narrow it down much in Duxford. I may have to take her with me again if I’m to compete with Simon Everitt on conversational detail.
The walk to Hinxton, whose Genetics Centre Mrs RM worked at for a while, without any obvious ill effects. For Cambridgeshire, it’s quite pleasant, but it’s the buildings that you do the walk for rather than the hedgerows.
The Red Lion would be a classic old pub if it wasn’t a restaurant. The porch (no-smoking) is wonderful though, and it was a decent place to enjoy a surprisingly good Crafty Sauvignon Blonde that Mrs RM liked a lot. I denied her the additional pleasure of a bag of crisps for a quid.
We gave the Ickleton Lion a miss and made the Wheatsheaf back in Duxford our final emergency stop. A fairly basic modernised pub with black and white prints of Ali, TV and no food trade, it produced an unexpectedly good half of Pedigree (NBSS 3.5). Just shows you can’t judge a place by the exterior.
This was also the pub I felt most comfortable with, after an afternoon of being stared at suspiciously (perhaps it was because I didn’t have the Aspalls in the others). At least you wont be called a “twit” in any of these pubs.
If we do this walk again in ten years time I’m sure we’ll find it all looking exactly the same. Whether Duxford can maintain three pubs, we’ll see. You may notice these old buildings look pristine, and you need a lot of painters and plasterers to keep them looking like that. The Sunday lunchers and Aspalls drinkers may not keep the pubs in business, but the tradesmen might.