A short break from the real world of Thimbleby and Willoughby Waterleys as I return to the fictional town of Cambridge, where Punk IPA costs us £6 and our new cutting-edge Station Tap is run by Youngs.

We also have year-round sunshine here, which means retired folk like me can watch cricket at Fenners AND get sunburnt for pence.

Until the big cloud comes along and you wish you’d brought a coat.  And it wasn’t free, it was a fiver, which either means Cambridge University are skint or I sneaked in without paying last year.

Lancashire are hardly the top draw of the Summer here, as the “Authentics” (?) hit town on 20th June, but the scorecard does acknowledge guests from;

a beautiful city* that has fuelled the wealth of our nation since the industrial revolution“.

You don’t see welcomes like that extended to Milton Keynes when they play at Wimbledon, do you ?

Fenners in June is a good place to see the season’s fashions, and our guests from Manchester certainly contributed (see top) to a festive atmosphere in a crowd of about 200, made up of folk like me, young club pros and schoolchildren on scooters.

Not sure what Mr Everitt would make of the banter, but “a lovely story of Ray Lindwall“, endless recollections from 1981, and two pros performing SWOT analyses on their girlfriends (figuratively not literally) had BRAPA potential.  All to the backdrop of folk in Panama hats with Waitrose bags acquired as minimum purchase to get a free coffee.

This is real cricket, the sort you can’t actually see from the boundary rope as the ball whizzes past the students ears for five balls out of six.  That’s why I tend to enjoy cricket via Cricinfo rather than in real life. Perhaps they could make the ball bigger and colour it orange or something ?

Jimmy !

But Jimmy Anderson is a wizard, a true star, and he was pretty much unplayable when finally brought on second change.

Five wickets for ten runs (all edges) in eleven overs. I remembered why I never took up cricket, or any sport frankly. It looked scary out there.

BUT THERE WAS NO BAR.  Or certainly not one the plebs could use.  The two next to me had some Italian liqueur and Prosecco, a young chap lugged round a giant bottle of Dandelion and Burdock.  You could have been in Crewe Wetherspoons.

As Jimmy was applauded off I made for the nearest GBG pub.


With 40 minutes for lunch, you’re spoilt for choice around Fenners, but I was overdue a return to the Live & Let Live.  Frankly, I was a little surprised it was open Monday lunchtime.

Very definitely one of Mill Road’s classics, though I’ve not always been as big a fan of the Nethergate beers as the pub is.

But Oakham Citra works perfectly on a sunny day, and looks the business.


If that pint looks slightly hazy, it cleared due to magical powers present in the pub as I found the best seat (i.e. the one where I can see everything). As you can see.


Cellar cool, flat, rich and leaving a taste in the mouth after I left Café de Paris, this was an NBSS 4.5 beer in a Top 100 pub.  A beer drinkers pubs with a nod to the 20th century (rum and coffee), proper seating, civilised but lively, and with the best beer I’ve ever had there.

The chap behind me had a half-and-half of Oakham’s Green Devil with his Citra, which is the sort of off-menu ordering I approve of.  A group of Lancastrians (Scousers, actually), seemed equally entranced by the place, particularly when his odd request for a dark beer was successful.


If I’d brought my book I’d have stayed put, but I felt obliged to return for the afternoon session as Lancashire’s batsman made hay.

Astonishingly, within an hour the University had them at 45 for 7, so what do I know.  Enter Jimmy to steady the ship, just like he did against the Indians back whenever.

I nodded off mid-afternoon, which is what you’re supposed to do at proper cricket. By the time I woke up it was somehow all over.  25 wickets in the day.

*This is presumably Burnley but could conceivably refer to Liverpool.

25 thoughts on “JIMMY, JIMMY

  1. The Live is consistently the best of surprisingly few permanent outlets for Oakham in Cambridge, and as you say, a classic drinkers pub.

    That you fell asleep after your visit makes me wonder if you forgot to mention a pint of Green Devil in this post.


      1. I dont think i have ever drank to the guidelines set by the health police since i was 15 and even had drinks when having a weeks stay in the Queens Medical centre in the late 80s, which my wife brought in for me,i drank them in the smoke room while watching TV.
        Most of my mates drink like that and one of my mates who is a Labour counciler confessed to a GP that he drank over 200 units a week,all beer,i have been up to that amount in the 90s but have slowed down a bit now and probably do roughly 120 units on an average week,Christmas and holidays and the amount of units goes through the roof.
        Will i now get arrested by the health police for posting this on your blog Martin.


  2. My missus still reminds me of the day I had 6 pints of Green Devil before 2pm on the day of Mill Road Christmas market. “I leave you alone for 2 hours with your friends, and look what happens, etc etc”.

    One of my companions, a Cambridge native for over 40 years, attempted to rejoin his family by the grafton centre, and ended up slumped in a doorway somewhere by the botanical gardens. They had to go and find him as he had the car keys.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I went on a charabanc trip to Limerick last weekend to watch a rugby game and everyone was so pissed that when we stopped for a pint in Charleville on the way back the bastards left me behind when I strolled off for some chips.
      It was an hour away from home so to kill the time while the missus came to pick me up I caught a taxi to Buttevant and found a boozer still going strong at 1am.
      We finally got home about three-ish when herself informed me that my days of 15 pints were a long way behind me.
      She’s right,of course,but I won’t admit it.
      Might as well nail me up in a box.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That Anderson chap might have a promising career ahead of him if he moves to a more fashionable county.
    The Live & Let Live of my (hazy) memory was an ind Coope tenancy boasting few memorable features.
    It looks like I may be paying an all too brief visit to the dreaming spires in June; the list of pubs to (re) visit is already looking daunting.
    Oh, and by the way, we’ll have no more cynical asides about Gaffers Row in Crewe; even the babies are in the WKD, none of that non alcoholic sugar based muck.


  4. Well thats ok then,i will carry on doing what i have done for nearly the last 40 years with no fear of them arresting me or my mates.
    It did not do me too much harm,i have two grown up children and two grandchildren and not far off being 55 when i can draw my final salary company pensions and have a really good time spending the extra money coming in on me and the wife.
    Lots of Forest away days for next season,where no doubt we will see then lose,only 2 away wins all this season,but the day out is always good,so a win is the icing on the cake.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. NO i would not like the Premiership,or First division as it should be called,trips the Brentford and Brighton seem more appealing that LIverpool and Man Utd.


  5. The two people in the opening picture, and for that matter sadly you Martin, should surely be arrested on a charge of drunk and disorderly behaviour for falling asleep. Upper middle aged people at cricket matches should not be treated any differently to Middlesbrough supporters. We’re going to lose heavily today.

    Brighton is another plastic ground now. Oxford is a pain in the arse, a crap club and a crap ground. The terrace at Brentford is superb. The entrance to the away end at the Kennel is one of the great sights of English football. The first division is shite, the second division is quickly becoming shite. We will go down this season, start next season with less players than this one and go down with 7 points if we are lucky. Div 3 here we come, and when we get there we will be glad of it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If that happens I will walk over the causeway to Lindisfarne in my underpants. If we just do the winning the league part I will walk over the Clifton Suspension Bridge in my underpants.

        Marco Silva will not be manager of Hull City AFC at the start of next season.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I had planned on high tide, but as I didn’t specify in the bet I presume there is some form of independent adjudicator to settle such matters.

        Liked by 1 person

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