Among the items on my To Do list are essential things like “Break into CAMRA HQ and steal the new GBG” and “Bring Mrs RM another beer“.
Lower down the list is “Put NBSS scores onto WhatPub“. One of the reasons I record scores on this blog is so I can recall them later, but I’ve fallen behind. Quite a bit.
Sadly, it’s becoming just as important to record closures as NBSS scores, particularly in isolated North Wales villages like Cerrigydrudion.
I’ll stand corrected by Pubmeister, but I don’t recall many pubs on the A5 between Llangollen and Capel Curig, bar the Lees house in beautiful Carrog (the Grouse was home of the world’s biggest Cumberland sausage, oddly).
Sadly, despite offering them for free, I’ve still got hundreds of CAMRA branch guides with all the pubs in them, including this Clwyd classic from 1993.
As you’ll see, Tetley and Lees were stalwarts of the North Wales scene, and Lees still runs some pubs in the Beer Guide like this Menai Strait one.
The Queens closed shortly after this Guide came out, but I was looking forward to visiting the White Lion and Saracen’s Head, which seems to have been miraculously revived.
Firstly, the highlights of Cerrigydrudion.
Starting, and ending, with the go karts.
That’s not totally fair. We found a lamb with its head stuck in the fence. A long walk up the farm track to advise the owner provided a mildly scary experience (they thought we were from Wrexham, I sense).
We should have known prospects of life were small after walking the mile into the village to be greeted by the radioactive Welsh cake pile,
and a too large graveyard.
But no life at all.
What would have been a vital staging post on the Thomas Telford Way a hundred years ago now seems a bit pointless with Betws and Llangollen ten miles away in either direction.
The last pub in the village was a sad sight.
But the roadside Saracens was even sadder, though the café next door may compensate the bikers.
Oddly despite no pubs, there’s a well-stocked Londis, school, library, occasional cinema and almshouses.
Even a decent information board.
You won’t need telling that the Londis even sold the ubiquitous Brew Dog, which tells you something about Ellon’s world domination. We had a bottle while doing the blog (thanks to Newbury Tim for the Redchurch).
Let’s see if the micropub revolution makes it to Conwy.