What an extraordinary place Keynsham turns out to be, hidden between the scary craft of Bristol and the Spoons queues of Bath , and surrounded by garden centres.


Home to Keynsham Humpy Tumps (I’m not making this up), Jacob Rees-Mogg and an old Cadbury factory now converted into posh housing. As they say, a heady mixture.

Your chance to live on a chocolate factory

There’s also one of Young’s better pubs in the west,


a second-hand record shop playing “My Best Friend’s Girl“, and a faggot shop.


The big surprise was the sort of urban regeneration via cafes and flats normally only seen in Epsom,


Unmapped handpump in Bonzo Lounge  !

Finally, to cap it all, cheesy chips. (In a box).


The A4 that now bypasses the town does it some favours, unclogging the dull High Street and making sure old folk don’t get mown down.  Not that there were many folk in the High Street on Saturday morning.


They were probably all in my new Beer Guide tick (2017 edition, 2018 is embargoed, of course), across the road from the parish church.



The Old Bank isn’t a pub where I’d expect to see Mr Rees-Mogg drinking a pint of Otter.  With six hungry mouths to feed, I expect he favours the excellent value of the nearby Hungry Horse.

In the shameful absence of a Spoons, the Bank had the 10am drinkers to itself; 6 at the bar and 4 out back smoking by 10 past.

And pints of cask were clearly being poured.


I leant over the bar to see which tap was dripping, jumped back when spotted, and went for the Otter. The red one.


It was decent (NBSS 3), though perhaps not as attractively presented as whatever was in the Courage glass.  A 0.25 deduction for barrel seating.

It was a man’s pub, which is possibly the entirety of its GBG description in 1977.  A chap came in and asked for a can of Natch, crestfallen to learn only the draught was available.  Looking at the photos now I see the John Smiths dispensed from cans too.


A plain pub, in the sports bar style, set up for the fight between two old blokes later on that night, but with top quality bantz about asbestos, “Queensbury rules“, and overpaid sportsmen.

You remember that old boy lived on flagons of cider and crisps ?” asked Old Boy 1.

He lived well !”  remembered Old Boy 2.

He didn’t live long”  confirmed Old Boy 3.



  1. Martin, tonight you have educated me. I previously thought that faggots were solely a Black Country delicacy, primarily enjoyed in Walsall. I didn’t know they existed in Somerset.

    Is it pronounced Keen-shem or Cane-shem?

    The Danish pastries on the bar look superiffic.


    1. It’s pronounced Quinoa (is a) Sham.

      I didn’t know faggots had migrated as far as Somerset, I presume Rees-Mogg has a faggot farm somewhere. I have seen them in Dunstable, which is like Keynsham.


  2. I’ve seen that cheesy chips photo elsewhere. Not sure if it was on your site or someone else’s ( and I’m not sure what that says about me!) 😏



  3. Good to see a beer range in a GBG pub consisting entirely of BBBs 😀

    People drinking cans is a sign of either a proper down-to-earth pub or of it being craaaaft. I suppose a lot depends on the size of the cans.

    Keynsham was of course immortalised by Horace Batchelor – and even I am too young to remember that at first-hand. It’s Cane-sham, btw.


  4. It may be more appropriate to ask when is it not Happy Hour?

    Remember my first encounter with Cheesy Chips – Douglas IOM, LCGB 50th anniversary weekender, 0300 – 0400 (appx) on windy promenade, we’d been to see Edwin Starr (but he’d died on the Wednesday before!) too much beer, too much talking and when I picked one chip up they all came up together, splash!

    Will never forget that weekend, particularly the overnight ferry Heysham – Douglas; Claro Connection SC (or was it ConnectionSCUK by then?), The Edwin Starr Band and some very surprised lorry drivers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is in my Top 5 comments on this blog (along with a few from Tom and Alan, of course).

      Was dead Edwin any good ? What is Douglas like at 4am ? Actually we took the overnight ferry from Heysham and arrived about 6am, eerie.


  5. The Edwin Starr band was headed up by his nephew(?) Angelo Starr. They were top drawer. I believe they are still going strong. The set we saw was a ‘tribute’ and then they just kept on going. Was sad news at the time – awesome singer/performer.

    Douglas at 4am is probably a very quiet and serene place, but when we were there it was overrun by hordes of Scoterists whose cheesy chips had all glued together. More funny stories from that weekender than you can shake a hairy stick at. We watched Leeds beat Arsenal 3 – 2 and stay in the Premier League on the Sunday afternoon. I was sat on one of those sort of column shaped stand alone ash trays and when Viduka put the winner in I put my hand through the false ceiling when I jumped up! Oh Happy Days.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My Mam used to send me to the butchers which was across the busy A52 at the time to get hot faggots with gravy,i had to take a bowl over and they would fill it up with the faggots and gravy.

    We do not like sitting at barrels as there is no leg room,we had to sit at one in the Ship Inn in Megavissey,not comfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve just introduced your blog to a mate who lives in the posh housing, while we were enjoying a few beers 300 miles north in Tynemouth. He was quite surprised that GBG pub tickers are a thing!

    Liked by 1 person

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