Our campervan is getting some decent use, but being a tight ol’ git I’m focused on free parking places, rather than campsites that charge us £20 to use a bit of grass and a portaloo. When we stay over we don’t need electricity or water; you’ll have to ask Mrs RM for the technical details of how the grey waste works.

Using a website that lists pubs that let you park for free, we picked the closest free pub to us last Friday night, half an hour east on the A14 to the Crown & Castle at Risby.


The views from the bridge across the A14 are some of Suffolk’s finest.

Risby made a change from nearby Bury St Edmunds, which also offers bargain overnighters in their public car park.  Those lovely folk at West Suffolk CAMRA had been singing the praises of Risby’s sole pub, which I last visited before it escaped from Greene King ownership.

Having expertly parked up at the end of the car park as it opened at 5 p.m., Mrs RM remembered to do all the silly things on her list that make sure the campervan doesn’t blow up.

We decided we needed a beer before our planned 10 mile hike over the hills. In a proper pub like this;



What immediately impressed was the beer range; just Adnams on handpump and Brains Phonics on gravity from the cellar.  The crisp range was just as good.


The usual rule applied; Mrs RM’s Brains was marginally better than my Adnams, but both were cool and tasty (NBSS 3.5/3).  The Brains had a touch of the flat Bass about it.

The old Tractor Boys at the bar, pacing themselves rather better than Mrs RM and I, gave us the classic conversation we had hoped for.

You don’t exaggerate about Doug.  He could drink 18 pints in a session.”

He was the black sheep, you know. His brother was a priest, he came from Kentucky

He lost a lung (Doug ?) and goodness knows what else


Then, apropos of nothing;

VASCO DE GAMA !”   “You’re astounded by that, aren’t you ?”


The recollections of road trips were priceless.

You remember that trip to Downtown Harlow* ?  That was terrifying !”

You remember that trip to Villa Park in the Ford Cortina ?”

Never been so scared.  I wanted a programme but we had to make a run for it

I was bricking it

I assumed they were talking about the 1981 Cup semi at the height of hooliganism, but these recollections were from the chummier Prem years of 2001. From the sound of it, they haven’t left Suffolk since, and who can blame them.

I could listen to old blokes talk guff all day.  All to the accompaniment of “Be-Bop-A-Lula” too.


I hope they enjoyed our conversation about grey waste just as much.

Before tea we did a token stroll round the village in the stifling heat that is surely all the proof of climate change you need. It was less than ten miles, but perhaps more than one.

A small village with big trees and quite a bit of new housing, as you’d expect in a pretty village just off the A14.

This is our tea. Even Mrs RM resisted the puddings.


I don’t actually know what trencherman are but this was a trencherman’s portion.  A few locals joined us in the restaurant, entertaining us over pints of Kronenberg with tales of partners banished to the sofa and goats cheese that tastes like Philadelphia.  The Tractor Boys put on a better performance in the bar, to be fair.

A cracking village pub.

In the morning we explored the old Newmarket Road, housing a lonely looking White Horse, two truck stops, and an escaped gorilla atop Coopers Cabin.


If more pubs would allow campervanners to stay the night in their car park I’m sure they’d find it worth their while.

*The “Honx”, presumably


  1. I had always assumed a trencherman to be a bloke who digs trenches, however your not knowing led me to look it up. The OED definition is: “A person who eats in a specified manner, typically heartily.”
    Thus is seems I was wrong. I thank you for leading me to education today.

    My favourite part of the view from the bridge is the no entry sign to the slip road for joining vehicles. I would love to see the person who thinks they are allowed up performing the near u-turn manoeuvrer to get to see the sign and have to turn round again. Particularly if they are driving a tractor, bendy bus or similar big thing.


    1. I agree Dave,
      Me and the wife have always thought that this climate change rubbish was done by goverments and the energy companys to put up prices,in this country, we have to pay more for greener energy, our area is too built up for those crap windmills which blight the countryside.


  2. I went here for lunch yesterday. Plenty of old folk in for lunchtime service and a few locals popped in too. Tasty and good value pub grub and an ok pint of Black Sheep – Threeform, which I’d never seen before, from the cellar. A long walk round Cavenham Heath after was needed to work off the generous portions. Glad I went.

    Liked by 1 person

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