This blog celebrates publicans, not brewers, and my admiration for the vast majority of them grows by the year. Despite the odd gripe about opening times.

I’m always impressed by landlords and staff who go the extra mile to promote their pub, like the Spoons bar manager who came over to ask how my Otter was, or the landlady in Darlington’s Olde Vic who pointedly tasted all the beers before serving them.

When you run a pub a mile from Malton, between the Moors and the Wolds, you need to stand out from the crowd to make folk stop en route to the great pubs of Scarborough.


The exterior of the Ham & Cheese in Scagglethorpe isn’t perhaps the most promising,


but the welcome at 11am was second to none.  I peered round the door, aware that “11am opening” didn’t always mean beer served at that civilised time.


Are you after a beer.  Good weather for it !”

Whatever trauma was visited on them by the visit of BRAPA last year, they seemed to have got over it.

Clearly this is the Yorkshire of Bairstow, not of Boycott.  Miserable codgers would have hated everything about this place.

Photo – pub website

The Ham & Cheese clearly survives on dining trade, and folk staying here to visit Flamingo Land, or as a base for exploring Wetwang.  But I’ve rarely felt more welcome as a drinker in a dining pub.

I was surprised to see a couple of “ladies who lunch” tucking into their scampi at ten past eleven, but it’s nice to be able to break the rules.

The Theakston was a decent half first out the pumps (NBSS 3), though the Brass Castle glass had raised my hopes for a “Sunshine” for a moment.


I complimented the landlady on the decoration, and got the full building programme; redecoration of the yard and installation of the obligatory micro brewery.

Hopefully Arthur will be unaffected by the changes.


As I rose to leave, the phone rang, and I had the extra bonus of what sounded like the world’s fussiest people attempting to reconfirm their room booking, get painfully exact directions and give a painfully exact arrival time.

Some folk would have put the phone down and sighed, making a joke about the caller.  Not this lady.  She was pleased to have the business. That’s the attitude.


5 thoughts on “GOING THE EXTRA MILE

  1. Wonder where you disappeared to on Saturday, obviously just down the road to see your mate Sir Geoffrey in Boston Spa.

    Fond memories of the Ham and Cheese as a child in the back of the car going to Scarbro. The main road went through the middle of Malton and right past the Ham & Cheese. Reaching this landmark you knew you were on the last stretch of the journey. As well as the Malton bottleneck, one also had to negotiate Tadcaster and York city centre, took about 3 – 4 hours from Penistone. Notably, all the pubs had ‘No coaches’ or ‘Coaches by appointment only’, they could afford to turn trade away in them days! Or were village and small town publicans content to just make a simple living, get stuck in and get their hands dirty, not sat the wrong side of the bar lording it up while an army of staff serve on, hoping to get rich quick. Pubcos won’t let anyone do this now, anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s