Much of north Sussex looks like my in-laws home in the Wells; green, prosperous, as cluttered as an antiques dealer, but with faded charm. A place they put the tea in before the milk*.


Attractive towns and villages like Crowborough and weatherboarded Rotherfield are really suffering from the effects of traffic these days.  They’ll get their bypass by the time Simon gets here in 2045.

There’s still a bit of bucolic Wealds beauty visible from the Millennium park.

But there’s a real lack of youthful vitality in the dormitory places between Tunbridge and Hastings, with some crumbling shops and a lack of independent enterprise.

Nice tiling on Rothersfield High Street though.


The angel in the antiques shop is hiding from a wave of craft that will never arrive.


Beer Guide newbie the Kings Arms  is clearly trying to tempt her out of 6A Antiques for an evening of “sparkling comedy” and cutting-edge beers.


Weltons is the least cutting-edge looking beer I’ve ever seen, so Harveys it is (again). Perfectly good; cool, chewy, only slightly impaired by being served in a jug.

Beermat, Handle, Harveys, Rizla, Sun, Peroni

Angels don’t eat (perhaps Tom Irvin can be definitive on this), and this is a diner’s pub.  Twenty gentlefolk in the dining area, leaving a very pleasant drinking area to five outcasts including myself.

Actually there were six of us, but I doubt this fellow found it as pleasant as I did.


Two “ladies who drank prosecco” gave me a potted history of the local housing market. A friend had been advised against a starting price of £1.6m (“he’ll never sell it“) . £1.6m wouldn’t buy you a small Rossendale town these days.

I kid you not, the other topics were schools for the grandchildren and life assurance.  No doubt the social care policies in the Tory manifesto will be this weeks topic, along with Arsenal’s chances in the Europa League.  Their dog looked very bored.

Two lads had been perched at the bar with their Peronis, seeing in the start of the weekend in style.

You still here boys ?” said our wannabe Kirstie Allsop.

They weren’t going anywhere.

*Just wrong. I know.


  1. Is Kirsty Allsopp Danny Allsopp’s hated English relative?

    Angels don’t eat because they don’t exist. Only demons. And wankers. And arseholes. And Ehab.


      1. Danny Allsopp is an Australian centre forward who used to play for City. He partnered Ben Burgess for the bulk of the season we got promoted out of the fourth division. He made a decent if unspectacular contribution in the season we got out of the third – if Burgess hadn’t been assaulted by Paul Rachubka in the prepenultimate game against Huddersfield. I really, really hate Huddersfield Town. I think he ended up back at Melbourne Victory, not sure what happened to the fella after that.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry, the third sentance was truncated. It should read: He made a decent if unspectacular contribution in the season we got out of the third – if Burgess hadn’t been assaulted by Paul Rachubka in the prepenultimate game against Huddersfield, the pair would likely have gone further together. We may even have won a trophy.

    I still hate Huddersfield.


    1. My wifes older sister married a massive Hull City fan as they both lived in Beverley,he always told me that he and his mate who ran a paper shop in Willerby that when Hull were at rock bottom they had season tickets number 2 and 3 i did believe him as when Hull sold out and left Boothferry Park,he had a great picture of the ground taken on the last day a game was played there,it may have been against Lincoln City,the picture was signed by all of the players and the manager,i always liked to look at when i walked up the stairs as we had many weekends there.
      I did most pubs in Hull from 2009 to 2011 and found loads of estate pubs in East Hull,West Hull and on the North Hull estate,i always regret not getting to do the Bransholme estate which had four pubs at the time.
      We still see them but no longer go to Beverley to stay over.


      1. You know Alan, I never even knew that we had pass numbers at Boothferry Park, we never needed to look at them. Going into the ground, I just handed the relevant bit of paper to the gateman and gave the pass back to my Dad. For all ticket away games, we posted off a lettered coupon from the back of the pass to the ticket office. You’ve taught me something there.
        When we moved to the Circle and needed the pass number for away tickets, my pass number was 803.

        Last game at Fer Ark was against Darlington, as you’d expect for such an occasion we lost 1-0 against 10 men. There was a painting done of a home 1-1 drawn against the Gimps towards the end of our tenure at Boothferry Park. This was to commemorate the fact that the first ever game at the ground was a 0-0 draw against the same opposition. I suspect a print of this will be the picture your wife’s sister has, there were 500 copies printed if I remember correctly. I’d go back to the old place tomorrow if we could, the new place has never felt like home. I would give a lot to stand on the Kempton again. I still hate Lincoln through and through, always will.


  3. Stapleford and Sandiacre got their bypass in the early 70s,just shows how busy the road was back then when i was 10 years old.
    Another story coming up,when me and the wife went on a Nottingham Camra shindig to Henley on Thames and other nice towns like Woodstock back on the 16th July 1988 were were in a pub called the Row Barge in Henley on Thames we had previously been looking at house prices in the town and could not believe that a dilapidated terraced house cost £110,000 when ours cost £13,500 in 1985,back to the Row Barge,there was a large gang of lads round the pool table and we got chatting and house prices came up,they could not believe the price we paid for our house,we sold it for £18000 and moved to a larger semi which has four floors though the bottom one is the cellar,i would like to bet our house to this day which also has a very long garden would not be worth more than £130,000 because of the area we live in.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right about that Tom,i just presumed it was the last game at Boothferry Park.
        I was pleased to see Lincoln City get promoted into the football League again,we really like the city, and they play at a proper ground.
        I know you dislike lots of clubs what is your gripe with Lincoln City,we really hate scum with a passion and we dont have much time for lucky Arsenal,Man Utd,hardly any proper fans and we dislike Liverpool a lot,always lots of trouble up there whatever the score and we have never seen Forest win there.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. When we were in the bottom of the fourth division, a lot of clubs were touted as our local derby. The Scunts, York and Donny were the most prolific examples. Whilst Donny and the scunts are clearly despicable clubs of the highest order, Lincoln, whilst never really recognised as a derby, always had an extra edge to it. There was always a riot, we always lost, they always had a massive centre forward and a centre half. I hate the drum they have. The bloke who sounds the air raid siren when they get a corner can shove the thing up his arse sideways. It was rare for us to finish the game with 11 men. I only ever remember one win against them, a 3-0 at the Circle, when Andy Holt dismantled them down our left hand side. It was the most satisfying afternoon I have had at the Circle. Sincil Bank is the one place I would like to see us win, especially now I understand away fans are back behind the goal. In fact I want to see us win there twice. I would like to see us win there in the cup, when they see us as a big draw still, by absolutely loads, preferably putting Carlisle United out of the record books. I want to see kids coming to see them play the big club go home crying. When we are inevitably back in the fourth division with them, I would like to see us score in the dying embers of injury time, preferably on the last day of the season, from a controversially but correctly awarded corner, preferably a header from a big centre half who outmuscles one of theirs, thus relegating the Gimps on goals scored or alphabetical order or some triviality.

        I would like to have an opposition club like Forest have with the Derby scum whereby both clubs hate each other with equal venom, it is something we have never really had. Our natural rivals are Grimsby, but we have never played a league game against them in my lifetime. Even then, they have Lincoln and the Scunts. I’m not sure who they hate the most, but I understand they still chant “we all hate ‘Ull”.


  4. The hate that Forest and scum have with each other runs very deep.
    Another story coming up from the late 80s,my wife was heavily pregnant and could not go with me to that dump called the Baseball ground on a Saturday,so i took her out for a few in our local,then made my way to scum having few drinks there,we had the Osmaston End and one of my best mates who is a scum fan told me Forest had 6000 fans crammed into it,we won the game and i decided to stand on a crush barrier during the game every now and again to give the scum fans who were in the pop side some *anker signs.

    I always played snooker with my mate on a Wednesday,but the Wednesday after the game he did not turn up as usual,so the next day i got in touch with him to go out for a drink,he came in the pub with his hand bandaged,i asked him what he had done,he said 6000 Forest *ankers at the game and i saw you giving it some to us in the pop side,so he punched a post which held up the stand above it and broke some fingers so unable to play snooker.
    He did admit that it looked impressive to see 6000 Forest fans go wild when we scored a goal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You see Alan, that is the sort of thing that the authorities are trying to price out of football. Without it, football becomes sterile and crap. We lost away at Stoke this season, they’d lost four on the bounce I think, were looking like they could just about be dragged into a relegation battle, but the win effectively kept them up. The thing was, we didn’t hear a thing from them. Not even a Delilah. There was no hostility. That is not the Stoke City I know and hate.

      I would have liked to have gone to the Baseball Ground, indeed I suspect the City Ground was a far more ‘interesting’ place to visit before all the modernisation and all seater stadium regulations.

      Martin, you are right that I am bitter. I always thought that Reading’s new ground, the Maddellyjellyjetski or whatever the dickens their chairman was called, looked like it was built from Meccano. Ours is just another plastic identikit stadium built for plastic fans to sit and applaud politely when we are allowed to play at a time that doesn’t class with Hull FC’s desire to chase the egg.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you were an away fan the City Ground would have been a pretty intimidating ground to go to when i first went there from 1975 onwards,the away fans had a couple of sections in the East Stand which now has that crap stand called the Executive stand now called the Brian Clough stand,the Forest fans would stand next to the railings throwing stuff at the away fans and then climb over the railings to fight the away fans,for good measure the Trent Enders would run across the pitch to join in the fun,this is at a time before the fences were put up,i was 15 when i first went to a Forest game as my Mam and dad were scum fans and did not want me to go there.
        I have said on Martins blog before that Forest are the only club to take Chelsea’s shed end and that is in a book written by one of the Head Hunters.

        I really do miss the terraces and all that went off on them,when the fences went up the Trent End was a no go zone for the coppers me and the wife never saw a copper walk into it and we only missed a couple of home games in 15 years,once the new Trent End was built and all seater it was full of them,they must have felt braver walking along rows of seats than walking through crowds stood on the terraces.

        Liked by 1 person

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