More places you’ve never heard of, unless you live in Iron Acton. I couldn’t have placed it on a map (sounds like a suburb of Telford), and my Navigator is so “pre-loved” that it’s hard to make it out on the map.


Two points of interest.  Proximity to Chipping Sodbury, the town immortalised by John Cale on “Graham Greene”,

and proximity of Bass and Butcombe in the two marvellously robust Beer Guide pubs in Frampton Cotterell.

As you’ll see from the Guide extract below, I was making decent progress in GBG Gloucestershire by the end of August. It’s a punishing county, whether you’re doing it from Cambridge or Paisley or York.


But at least The Lamb promised me an 11am start.


The opening hours section of the GBG is about as much use as the Brewery chapter, completely pointless. Obviously, it was shut.

No answer at 11.20, no opening times on the door.  You’ll know I’ve been here before.

Obviously, it then started to rain.

Luckily, there was a Garden Centre over the road.  The average age of the customers was 71, the average age of the staff was 17.


Obviously, the tremendous looking breakfasts had just ended.  It was 11.27.  They could have told me they had a lunch menu starting at 11.30 that looked very similar to breakfast, but why would they do that ?  Cake for breakfast is a mortal sin, though it was gorgeous apple cake.

Fortified at least, I had 20 minutes to explore Iron Acton.

Well, it’s totally beautiful, almost Finchingfield standard.




Hardly a local about, of course, let alone a tourist, so I couldn’t ask what the Fursman did. I didn’t really want to know.


My notes also say “fundamentally decent“, which seems an odd comment.  Perhaps my surprise that the inevitable Greene King place looked so good.


Two pubs in a village of a few hundred and a maypole seemed a luxury, particularly as the only shop I saw was the inevitable Osteomyologist*.

The Lamb opened dead on noon as if it had done so since the dawn of time, and soon filled up with folk who were too hip for the Garden Centre.  They looked at me suspiciously, so I got my shots in quick.


It’s good to see a traditional village pub selling beers you’ve heard of (even Wickwar BOB) in the Guide.


An OK Butcombe (NBSS 2.5) a friendly welcome, and a sense of a pub not run for diners.


But the highlight was some classic porcelain in the Gents.


Nice pub, great village.  Or as the kids say, it’s Yate.


*For American and Canadian readers, the Osteomyologist sells kits to repel the advance of craft beer in rural English villages.


  1. I’ve a virtually identical photo of one of those lovely old ceramic West Country Ales plaques, somewhere at home.

    Your example is in excellent condition (mine was too, but the photo – or was it a slide, was taken 30 years ago). I bet the brewery didn’t expect the plaques to outlast them!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Was that the exterior of the former Rose & Crown? Its owner closed the pub without warning in around 2005 and also evicted Iron Acton’s football club, who had used a pitch and changing rooms to the pub’s rear for decades. They are reduced to using a council pitch in Yate.

        I also don’t have a clue what Fursman did. It was already a disused shop in the late 1980s, but the sign has lived on.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Although I couldn’t place it on the map, I think I would have put Iron Acton somewhere in Gloucestershire as they go in for names like that. Cold Aston is another.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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