I’ve had a good response to my hand-coloured maps (thanks Duncan) so here’s another one, with bonus shadow.


This is a stretch of the Vale of Mowbray, named after the Boro’s robust captain from the late ’80s, whose promotion winning tackle was (probably) made in Burslem.

At the top you can see Hutton Rudby, suffering from not being Stokesley, but otherwise a very fine posh village in the style of Goostrey, though without the large aerial.

Three pubs, a Spar and a horse trainer on a long and attractive main street with just a few too many twitching curtains for comfort.  Right on 5.30pm, the twitching stopped and folk started leaving their smart terraced houses for the King’s Head.  I’ve only just now found out that that’s when Happy Hour starts.


It’s a fine traditionally furnished Marston’s house, with all the horseshoes and real fires that people hiding from the modern world expect. Clearly not food-driven either, with no meals being served over the weekend, a real rarity.

There were two distinct groups in the main bar.  A little cluster watching Liverpool v Arsenal including a Sunderland supporter who kept racing past the bar to vent frustration at the Newcastle game being shown on the back wall.  It wasn’t elegant.


A second group of smartly dressed Guardian readers dug in for the duration of Happy Hour, giving the pub the feel of a house party rather than a public house.  The chaps discussed Simone Biles, for no apparent reason, the ladies bitched about female colleagues.

If I hadn’t felt like an intruder I’d have quite enjoyed the spectacle.


The real bright spot was the beer, a Boondoggle as good as I’ve had in years (NBSS 3.5), though my disappointment at the lack of the promised Strongarm was palpable.

As I mentioned earlier, if you’ve come this far you really need to head on to Stokesley.

2 thoughts on “IN THE VALE OF MOWBRAY

  1. Very nice but though a bit cold and empty on my visit, though the barmaid was part of an Ed Milliband fan club.

    Happy hour isn’t something I see enough of, it’s never 12 noon on Saturday is it?


    1. I timed it right at 5.30 on Friday, though even with Happy Hour and 2 matches on there was only 9 people in.

      Ed is on his way back, Si. Running a fried chicken shop in Redcar.


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