It may be cold but it’s also crisp which is ideal for a walk round East Hertfordshire‘s lethal ‘hoods before ticking off my last Guide entry for the year in Ware.

Much Hadham promises much, with my OS Map showing “Winding Hill“, “Palace” and “Waltons“.  The latter left for Virginia a century ago, which just shows you can’t rely on printed documents these days.

Talking of which, no Much Hadham entries in this years Guide, and you need What Pub to see that 2 of the 3 pubs are currently closed.  So a well-off linear village has just the Bull, a proper all-rounder with excellent Brakspear the last time I visited.

The Red Lion Hotel gave up its licence many years ago. It’s always good to see residential owners retaining the name of a closed pub, isn’t it ?


That’s a recurrent theme in the village, whose buildings include Old Post Office, Old Drapery and the Old Court House, among others. Appropriately, the few visitors to the inevitable garden centre and café were octogenarians, drawn by that comforting smell of bonfires and burning coal.

Ware looked brighter, and busier, than on my visit a year ago , which I can only attribute to the opening of the new Asda superstore next to my target tick.  This being 2016, the Maltings was opening at the pub tourist friendly time of 4.30pm.


The Maltings looked suddenly familiar from a distant visit.  The return of my 4G enabled a quick comparison between my pubs spreadsheet and What Pub.  This indeed was the famous Worpell, a pub I have absolutely no recollection of (it’s Greene King).

The campaign to ban renaming of pubs starts here.


Alan Winfield regularly reminds me of the need to check What Pub before travelling, but then I wouldn’t have the joy of needless trips to outer-London suburbia, which as Simon will know make life that bit more special.

This all made my real last Hertfordshire pub even more disappointing.  I always like to finish a GBG county on a high.

17 thoughts on “GBG DESPAIR IN WARE

  1. So easy to take your eye off the Whatpub ball. Must catch me out on average 5 times a year, and I think that is lucky!

    I once read the people of Ware watch more online porn than anywhere else in the U.K., which surely has to be factored into a pub post on the town.


    1. Don’t blame me I was only there 20 minutes and my 4G was intermittent. My post last year may have hinted at those qualities; all the women ae at the big garden centre while the men stay home.

      So you now have to check every pub on What Pub do you ? Perhaps a little symbol in GBG to indicate recent name change, or just say it in the text rather than commenting on the chairs.


      1. I went in the Worpell on the 25th June 2005 when doing almost all pubs in Ware,i went there to pick up McMullens pubs and did 8 of them so well pleased,i did 17 pubs in the town which i thought was a decent amount for the size of it.
        It is so easy to plan opening times through What Pub,i always do over 20 pubs when on a pub crawl and get most opening times down,they tend not to do the keg only pubs but sometimes they do,so if you are going in five or six pubs it should be no problem in finding the opening times out.
        When i do a post on my Northampton crawl i will include a hand drawn map with pubs marked off on it and opening times,i did it for the trip down there with my brother and if i do not have an A-Z of a town i will always do an hand drawn map.
        Consider this as a reprimand.


  2. The name change is either a way to fool people into returning or the Worpell family required to change as they joined the temperance movement.


  3. Hawthorne Leisure does not sound like a company with an estate of pubs. If asked what they do, most people would guess that they own a chain of gymnasiums or similar modern shite. My theory is that the owners decided that Worpell does not attract the prosecco swilling thermedor eating arse monkeys that such a leisure company wants to develop its estate for. If I am right, there will be more changes to come, possibly in one foul swoop as the pub closes for a fortnight for refurbishment with all pub details send the way of the North Stand Clock.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Just anger at what most modern pub companies seem to do these days. Although I am mightily pissed off at City’s less abysmal than usual performance (it is not successful unless you actually win the thing) in the tin pots coinciding with my boycott of them through refusing to give money to a fat lying Egyptian bastard.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hawthorne has an extensive pub estate and has been around for years. I think they are now based in Birmingham; they certainly have at least 300 pubs, including recent purchases from Wetherspoons.


    1. I’m really interested in the business logic that a smaller company can run wet-led Wetherspoons (I assume) better than Spoons themselves. That’s a genuine interest, not cynicism.


  5. It’s an interesting one. I’ve looked at some of the Spoons disposal sites and they are genuinely difficult to value.
    Freehold are usually judged by a multiple of turnover, but this doesn’t work in Spoons case; their margins are much smaller than normal and it is a challenge to predict turnover when you change the model significantly.
    Plus there is an undefinable “brand” element whereby done customers visit specifically because it is a Spoons.
    I would hesitate to suggest I could run a Spoons style offer on lower wage costs, given the service “standards”.
    I suspect purchasers who don’t plan a major change in direction ( as in the case,say, of Brewhouse & Kitchen) attempt to predict the price elasticity on the key brands.
    For those who know Didsbury, it’s interesting to note that New World Trading Co have bought the Milsom Rhodes; that will certainly be a change in direction. The Rhodes is a leasehold and Spoons, I assume, calculate that some of their customers will find their way to the Gateway at Parrs Wood.

    Liked by 1 person

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