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.
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