I hope some of you (OK, Quosh) will appreciate the art in my leading image today.  I had to wait nearly seven minutes for the boat to add some weight to that delightful image of England’s favourite beer (although probably I like Plum Porter more than all the Doom Bar lovers put together).


A walk in Littleport is a hard sell, which shows just how bored Mrs RM must have been after a whole day stuck at home.  3 train stops and 20 minutes out of Cambridge, this is the point where Cambridge commuter overflow crashes into the Fens.

Now that Gidea Park and Coventry are considered London suburbs, it’s conceivable that Littleport will eventually get a bit of the “gentrification/modernisation/craftication” that you can see signs of in Ely or Waterbeach (we’ve got Punk IPA in the Sun).

Most folk drive in to town though. By way of compensation for queuing for an hour on the A10, you get the big “Big Skies” like this one later that evening;


I know quite a few adventurous people who live in Littleport, but none of them read this stuff so I can be as brutal as I like.

But I won’t be.  It was quite a pleasant walk, even with Mrs RM hobbling.  Just as well the only steep bit in Littleport is when you step from the platform onto the train.

We walked to the water tower, the only point of interest marked on the OS map.  I’ll let you be the judge of its historical merits.


The walk along Padnal Drove takes in bungalows, new housing and mobile homes.  If I knew the difference between a blue tit and an eagle I’m sure I could have identified something interesting for the ornithologists among you.


Mrs RM was glad to reach the Swan on the River, an odd name change for what was always the Black Horse. It’s the only riverside pub for miles in either direction, and therefore pleasingly busy on a midweek lunchtime; twenty odd folk basking by the river.

Despite the extra custom, I feared the worst.


Yes, that’s Worthington White Shield on cask. So what did I do ?

You pulled any beer today ?”  I asked the cheery barman.

Oh yes.”  “I pull through each morning to get the beer I use in the beer batter

So there you have it.  The beer used in their fish batter comes from the pump, not Brakes Bros.  Well done them.

I still went for the Doom Bar (actually, I gave it to Mrs RM; it was a diacetyl-tinged NBSS 2.5). I just couldn’t bear to have my memory of Worthy from the Bass Museum sullied by a pint of vinegar here. Goodness know how I’d have coped if they’d had Draught Bass on.

On inspection, only two of those twenty were drinking alcohol, and it wasn’t Worthington White Shield.

The highlights of Downtown Littleport are select, but worth tracking down.

What is going on here;


And this combined recording studio/martial arts centre/cinema/church is surely unique.


The High Street is a proper slice of Fen life, with tarot readings, tattoos, tie die and proper kebab shops. Mrs RM’s Facebook friends say it’s the best tattoo shop in the region, so there you go.

Shabby but quirky.

Tourist strapline – At least we’re not Holbeach.



Just the Crown in the centre, which seemed to offer Wherry (the East Cambs favourite), and Tribute for variety.  The last time the Crown was in the Beer Guide, Ely was still an island.

We’ll go back and do the rest of Littleport for you when Mrs RM’s foot recovers.  I might even take in the Plough & Harrow, in the darkness on the edge of town. They appear to have Pedigree.

NB If you want to hear what the local music scene is like, here’s a review of the enigmatically named Fen’s latest LP by my son Matt.



  1. How recently does the beer need to be pulled for it to mean the beer will be fresh? Obviously the more recently the better, but how long after the beer for the batter is pulled would you consider it recent enough for the beer to be freshly pulled?


    1. If the beer in the cellar has gone off, it makes little difference how often it’s pulled through, although I dare say fresh vinegar is better than stale. The water tower seems to be a handy place for mobile phone companies to bung their gear on.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Interweb does just about make it, rather soggily, to the Isle of Wight. I think the meaning is quite clear. Difficult to generalise – depends on the bore of the pipe, whether there is in-line cooling, and the quality of the airlock in the pump.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It seems strange seeing a water tower in the Fens,i always though that they had been trying to drain the water from the Fens for centuries.

    Liked by 1 person

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