JUSTIFIED ANCIENTS OF WYMONDHAM

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That’s right, lure you in with a KLF line and then burn a million quid in front of you.  (Hoping even Pub Curmudgeon will get that reference).

One of the downsides of following the Beer Guide trail is that you’re limited in the number of pubs you can revisit (if you did all the pubs in Leicester or Birmingham on a crawl you’d be dead).

Equally, if a town such as Wymondham never gets a new Guide entry, you might not visit for years on end, and miss its remarkable transformation from quaint middle-class town to quaint middle-class town in just 20 years.

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So here we have a proper train station, a dismantled railway, a moot hill, several pits and some Abbey remains that managed to hold our attention for more than 5 minutes.  Perhaps a first.

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Scarcely believably, this tiny place apparently has 14,000 residents, presumably living in the sprawling suburbs to the north.

The other remarkable feature of Wymondham is the number of Conservative Women Outfitters, on a par with Great Malvern.

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Despite that, it’s clearly not as essential a stop on the Norfolk tourist trail as Dereham, but attractive enough to count Bill Bryson and “the bloke out the Darkness” as residents, it seems.

We didn’t see Justin in town, but there were about 300 Retired Gentlefolk on stroll(er)s, staring intently at buildings like this .

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Abbey apart, officially the standout is this Market Cross, surely a future micro pub if the Tourist Office ever gets bored. They could call it “Cask at the Cross”, or something equally witty.

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That might allow it to confuse people looking for the Cross Keys, the other occasional half-timbered Guide pub.

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That’s impressive enough, but you really come here for the 14th century Green Dragon, which is where Mrs RM was headed, at a ferocious pace.

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Mrs RM already in there

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Now it’s at least a decade since I last came here, and I had an image of a museum piece of a gastropub, selling Adnams and Wherry to the grey parade.

I got the beers right.

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But everything else about this place was local boozer heaven.  BRAPA will love this place, and I know this one will still be here when Si gets here in 2025.

A cheery, unpretentious public house, with couples and mates talking rubbish in a mid-afternoon drinking session.

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Two blokes were holding a conversation on Skype with their wife (presumably only wife to one of them), who seemed to be trying to get them to do some shopping.  I didn’t rate her chances.

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They seemed set for the duration, as was Mrs RM who was enjoying a Moongazer/Facebook session of her own. The beer was as good as that lacing suggests.

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All the women in the pub were drinking pints, which I don’t comment on lightly, but I think it says something about the character of the pub.  Conversations about trips to see the Ashes in Oz, events from 1986, and pilgramages to Wicklewood (five miles away) were absolutely thrilling.

We may have caught it at its best, after the lunch trade, but this was a joy of a pub visit, with a tight range of quality beers and enthusiastic topers in an atmospheric pub.

 

NB Next time you meet me, ask about Wicklewood PCT. 

 

 

24 thoughts on “JUSTIFIED ANCIENTS OF WYMONDHAM

  1. This is just another example of the South East winning out at the expense of the better regions of the UK – why have they still got pits when they closed all ours down?

    Pub looks/sounds good, not so sure about the beer choice? Are they owned by an E.Anglian based company per chance?

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      1. I know mate. Just having a cheap poke and a poor joke at Martin’s use of ‘Pits’ and a possible double meaning and the North/South divide. Something which Martin has decided he is on the wrong side of, methinks. Although, I’m not sure what sort of pits he refers to? Chalk Pits? Burial Pits? Please explain Mr T.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The Green Dragon looks like a great pub. It was on our list to visit when we were in Norwich(2012). Sorry we missed it.

    Conservative Woman Outfitters, is that the Norfolk equivalent of the Haslington Hookers we saw at the Hawk on our recent trip?

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      1. Thank you, Paul. I do not think I would have picked that up by the time Si gets to Wymondham, or Nottinghamshire, for that matter.

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  3. Enjoyed a decent lunch and a decent couple of pints at the Green Dragon, about 18 months ago, on one of my frequent trips up to Norfolk.

    My sister lived in the town, before she emigrated to the United States. Just a bit of trivia, I thought I’d mention.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wymondham is the nearest town to my girlfriend’s parents’ place, so we actually get in the Green Dragon a fair bit. They often have a couple of more interesting beers on. There’s also a good quiz on Thursday nights.

      Does everyone know how to pronounce “Wymondham” correctly, though?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Winned em”, roughly. The “mon” is silent for no adequately explained reason.

        But yes, last time we were there they had one of these newfangled “best bitters”, Trawlerboys, from hot young craft upstarts Green Jack. There have apparently been Oakham sightings. Scenes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I got that ! It won’t be long before I read CAMRA folk bemoaning the omnipresence of Oakham and Dark Star in pubs like they do about Fullers and Adnams now though. An obsession with the new.

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