We haven’t taken the campervan on any wild camping expeditions yet, but aim to make it to Cleethorpes soon.  The surface car park at Bury St Edmunds is free on Sunday night though, and there’s nothing like a Sunday night pubbing when you don’t have to work on Monday.

Bury isn’t heaving at 8pm, but it’s a lot busier than, say, Newbury or Chichester would be.  The Wetherspoons, in particular, is doing good business even without much food trade.

The Corn Exchange is yet to grace the Beer Guide, and to be honest probably won’t with the rather dull beer quality I’ve had to date.  Mrs RM rejected the Caledonian Edinburgh Castle (NBSS 2.5) and clung grimly to a can of Fourpure IPA I’d hoped to share.  She’s definitely gone over to the dark side now, and who can blame her.

I needed a proper pub, and there is little more pubby than the Rose & Crown, for many years Greene King’s unofficial tap.  In the years when such things were legal (c.300 years ago), I often popped in here with colleagues for a pint of IPA while auditing the National Supplies Service down the road.  It was busier then that it was Sunday night.

I doubt it’s the Spoons that has done for the Sunday trade here, more a combination of social factors that Pub Curmudgeon can explain better than I can.


Despite the quiet, we loved it.  The IPA and Abbot were spot on, the décor (including porcelain pigs)  is unchanged in 40 years, and the soundtrack was similarly stuck in 1978;

  • Chas’n’Dave (Gertcha)
  • Bay City Rollers
  • Boney M
  • The Cars (Best Friends Girl)

You get the idea.  Ten points if you can guess what came next.

That should have been time, but we ran to the Dove to sneak one in.  I’ve wrote about this before, and now I’m sure it’s in my Top 10.

Packed at 10 on Sunday night, and as Mrs RM noted, all human life was there. Ten blokes sat round a table talking rubbish state monopolies in Carlisle, and day trips to Scunthorpe.

Younger folk talked University, Janette Coleman and “put you to sleep” beers.  Mrs RM tucked into the half-pint of scratchings and eulogised a Green Jack Mahseer from the jug.

To the outsider, this might all look very ordinary, but the overall effect is extraordinary. One of the owners strolled round, letting people know they’d be calling time soon, in the way your best friend would tell you it was time to leave a party.

The Dove may just be the ultimate public house.


  1. Music isn’t one of my strong points, but I reckon that Abba must have been next with, well it could be any of their classics, I’m going to plump for ‘Knowing Me; Knowing You’ as you’re almost in Alan Partridge country!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Until you declared those were Mrs. RM’s scratchings, I’d assumed your default position was as a scratchings dipped in dark mild kind of guy, a-la digestive dunked in a cuppa. Smokie was probably Lay Back in the Arms of Someone.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d have gone for ‘Living Next Door to Alice’…which just confirms that I’m not at the races when it comes to music!!

        However, ‘Lay Back in the Arms of Someone’ is a Smokie hit, ‘Arms of Mary’ was by the Sutherland Brothers and Quiver (only a bit of Wikipedia required…honest!) – so which was it?


  3. The Dove sounds perfect and a Ridleys’ beer towel to boot. Strange how the big brewers seemed he’ll bent on disposing of their ‘taps’. Even in commercial terms the likes of The Coopers Tavern and The Dove must have a benefit unless all the big brewers’ marketing children have gone edgy craft like.


    1. I’d have a thought a brewery tap would be useful for the regionals who are trying to get into the craft scene – giving them a default outlet to try new beers before launching them into the wider world?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can think of people like Slaters with their craft place in Wolves and Red Willow in Macc who are doing that. Breweries often based out of town in industrial estates so Tap doesn’t have captive audience.


  4. Lymestone now have one in Stone (the Borehole) and Joules have their Red Lion in Market Drayton, although for some reason they persist in calling all their refurbished pubs “taps”, which I find annoying in my OCD way.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Weal Ales of Chesterton now have a sort of tap in Newcastle under Lyme centre; it’s 3-4 miles from the brewery but does showcase their brands and holds about 30 people. To be honest it’s quite good; I would suggest a pre emptive tick to those interested in that sort of thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Burton Bridge Inn is a great pub. I wish we would have visited it more that once when we stayed at the high class Three Queens Hotel.


      1. Burton Bridge still up for sale, opportunity there.

        Burton in indeed a high class place, even the Burger King. Did I ever tell you about the B&B in Stapenhill ….


  6. Not been to Bury St Edmunds for a long while … 30 years maybe; lovely place, tiny pub, crap beer springs to mind. Can’t remember the pub name, but we went in what was supposedly the GK brewery tap, decent folk, dire beer. GK are on the same list as Marston’s in my book, the enemy from within, slowly tightening their stranglehold on the British pub. Can never understand why more people don’t see through all the smoke and mirrors and decidedly average beer?


  7. I went to Bury St Edmunds to seek out Greene pubs and did a massive crawl round the town,which i think is really nice,how times have changed i refused a free pint and a half of Abbot in our local Wetherspoons.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s