VROOM FROME

 

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No, not a special edition to commemorate some bloke from Kenya overtaking some bloke from Ghent in our bicycling affections, but it could be, couldn’t it ?

Into Somerset (just) for Frome, a South-Western Hebden Bridge, or at least a Todmorden.

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The reputation as a “Cool Town” is a bit odd given the decline of industry that’s hit all the neighbouring west Wiltshire towns, but I guess that’s the most famous local Jenson Button’s magic cool dust taking effect.  We can only guess what Melksham would look like if he’d been born there instead.

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In much the same way as Glossop, I find it oddly attractive, particularly the chaotic street layouts and imposing architecture, though it’s only really had the Milk Street tap to shout about pub wise for years.

On my third visit, it got even better.

Some top things about Frome

  • It’s hilly. Not Lincoln hilly, but good enough.

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  • There’s some very narrow pedestrianised streets.

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  • A leat runs through Cheap Street.
  • The fish and chips from Barnaby Bills are sensational.

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  • There’s a couple of “craft bars“, called things like “Brewed Boy” and “Palmer Street Bottle” that were bringing unexpected weekday drinking to the centre.

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  • There’s a lot of tat in people’s windows.

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  • The new GBG pub has a painting of a chastity belt.

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And here’s a bad thing about Frome

  • As you leave the railway station, a sign to the Town Centre takes you to Westbury.
  • You don’t want to go to Westbury.

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The Three Swans  is that rarity, a slightly upmarket boozer.  Oddly, and perhaps uniquely, the only meals are served on Sunday evening.  It looks scruffy from outside, part of a look carefully cultivated to help push Frome up the Times “Cool List“.

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So you get “tasteful” paintings, Tears for Fears album tracks from 1985, solid furniture, a crisps cabinet, and folk who play fiddle in a  Mumford & Sons tribute act.  Called Mumford & Sons.

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One of these people is probably a musician

It’s bubbly rather than boisterous, and a pleasant place to admire a decent if slightly soapy Butcombe (NBSS 3).  Hardly bringing craft to Frome though.

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The toilets will, however, appeal to the next broadsheet journalist on expenses to visit the town looking to promote a £300 a night hotel in the nearby village, while playing up Frome’s alternative credentials.

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Mrs RM would have loved it.

Now I’ll just sit back and wait for someone from Yorkshire to tell me it’s pronounced “Throw-me” or something.

 

 

16 thoughts on “VROOM FROME

  1. Frome is just over the border into Somerset, of course 😛

    From my brief visit I’d say it has most of the classic “historic town” elements thrown together in an apparently random manner.

    In the early 90s, I acquired a copy of “Beer, Bed and Breakfast” and had a brief phase of staying in pubs. However, the Sun in Frome rather put me off the idea, Arriving at 5 pm on a Sunday and finding it didn’t let any guests in until 7 didn’t exactly fill me with delight.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You awarded me five pints some three months ago, and I still haven’t had my winnings or the vouchers to claim them !

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    1. I don’t care how good the contents are, but fish and chips should not come in a cardboard box. Before anybody pipes up, nor should they come in a polystyrene tray.

      The quarries at Merehead and Whatley are still very much active. I suspect that they are responsible for most of the industry in the area.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If I ate chips in just my pants I’m sure I would cause locals to have heart attacks and probably end up arrested, barred from the chippie and worse possible the pub. Just to find out, if City win by more than 10 (ten) at Aberystwyth on Sunday, I shall do it.

    Martin, the ARC 59/1s were painted yellow, indeed they likely still are, so I presume that yes, they are gold quarries. It will be where they got the raw materials for the streets of London from.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Did you leave the Fish and Chips on the road to take a photo before you ate them Martin or was they just there,if so it looks like a waste of a good meal.
    Short story coming up
    Many years ago before i met my wife and i was drinking with my best mate after a long session and after closing hours we would go to a local chinese and get two separate meals and them mix them so we had the best of both,we were pretty pissed one night and it went wrong and we dropped it onto the ground next to a busy crossroads with traffic lights,we looked at the pile of Chinese on the ground and decided to eat it off the ground,not sure what the car drivers though as they were waiting at the traffic lights,but we did not care,it got more of a frenzied grabbing of chinese food and soon grit was being eaten along with the remaining food.
    Good times.

    Liked by 1 person

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