An outrageous claim for my 500th post; the hardest pub to find in Braintree district.

I love a challenge. Pub Curmudgeon is fortunate to live close enough to the famous Nursery Inn to know how to get to it. In the days before Google Maps (and possibly before Stockport was mapped), I had real problems finding the then National Pub of the Year with just my Childcatcher like pub sensor.

These days the CAMRA Apps make it fairly impossible to find any pub.  Unless it’s the Wethersfield Club near Finchingfield, North West Essex CAMRA’s Club of the Year. Or pubs that are in different villages to the listed in the Beer Guide, like Altarnun.

This is, after all, the branch that has already given us the Guide entry only accessible by microlight (that’s what I told Mr Everitt anyway).

Wethersfield is a tiny village just outside Finchingfield, a honeypot of a village you may not realise was shortlisted as the setting for Series 3 of “The Wire”.

It was also on the route of the foreign cycle race in 2014, and in homage to that the village was a buzz of bikers on Sunday afternoon.  There’s few more attractive places in Essex, but there’s actually not a lot to see, and the graffiti count is low.

That tranquil hum of bikes

The three remaining villages pubs aren’t in the Beer Guide, but they look less flowery than you might expect, with a trio of cafes mopping up the custom of people who are scared of pubs (or bikers).

It’s another example that the Beer Guide is about beer, not pubs, as any of Finchingfield’s pubs look more likely candidates than Wethersfield’s club.

After 10 minutes I actually phoned up and asked for directions. From a lady.  Another sign of the End Of Times. The helpful lady made it seem very simple, but 5 minutes later I was in a cul-de-sac asking a youth on a scooter if he knew where it was.  He didn’t.

Luckily I then saw a puff of smoke which I tracked back to the “entrance”.  The limited opening hours here make it probable any Guide tickers will be visiting in the dark; I wish you well Simon.


On the upside, there will be a wealth of banter for BRAPA to report; the cost of weddings, things the best man got up to with the bride (home-brewing I think), and other over-indulgences.  I followed the three Courage (NBSS 2.5) drinkers’ lead, wondering who on earth would go for the Black Sheep.

The comforting tones of Peter Allis on satellite TV seemed somehow incongruous in a plain village hall atmosphere. Peter may have stopped talking by the time you get there.

QUIZ TIME – What was missing in Finchingfield ?


  1. One possibility for the missing ducks would be mink! Over the years many mink have been released into the wild, either inadvertently or deliberately by so-called animal rights people. I know this was the case some years ago on a section of the Stratford-on-Avon Canal where there were no ducks or other marine birds for quite some time. That would be my guess!


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