When I retired I didn’t have a bucket list, at least beyond the one in the annual 1032 pages of the Beer Guide. I do however, have a “Don’t Go There” list of things I will never do. This includes things like Prosecco, Coldplay, polite society and Thursford Christmas Spectacular.
Perhaps to keep the peace with Mrs RM, I’ve slipped on the social niceties in the last month. I’ve succumbed to a village drama (Steel Magnolias; no beer), tea round the neighbours, and I even drank this monstrosity at a birthday party.
My sister, as well as Mrs RM are concerned for my welfare.
But Thursford is something entirely different. A Christmas show at Norfolk’s premier musical steam engine museum, it’s a combination of Royal Variety, Black & White Minstrels, and Carols from Kings. But aimed entirely at coachloads of pensioners.
It is everything I dread, but on Monday I took up the offer of a free pair of tickets from my Mum. It’ll stop her pestering me to go each year, I reasoned.
The fact there was an unticked GBG pub 5 minutes down the road had nothing to do with it. Nothing at all. It’s a real straggler too, with this part of London-on-Sea almost devoid of GBG entries (and quite rightly in my experience).
Little Walsingham gets nearly as many visitors as Thursford, almost entirely on a pilgrimage rather different to mine.
Mrs RM tells me it’s Lourdes on the cheap, but the beer in the Black Lion was nearly £4 a pint. Apart from prices, I thought the Lion was immaculate and pleasingly non-gastro.
Mrs RM rated her Wherry highly, I thought the Ghost Ship the standout (NBSS 3.5). The extreme pro-Brexit discussions amongst two local councillors made Mrs RM’s lunch even more enjoyable, and we enjoyed exploring a bookshelf full of authors called Velikovsky and a wall full of pitchforks.
QUIZ TIME – CAN YOU BUY VELIKOVSKY NOVELS BY THE YARD LIKE IN SPOONS ?
AND WHAT ARE THE PITCHFORKS FOR ?
There are few words to describe Thursford. (I’m choosing mine very carefully now). If you like giant polar bears, kaleidoscopic colour, can-can dancers, “modern” versions of Hallelujah and cruise-ship comedy, this is for you.
Actually, it’s brilliantly done, which is why they get coachloads from Carlisle, Hull and Folkestone returning each year.
Clearly once you reach 80, you lose your taste for beer. The bar at the top had Ovaltine and Becks.