CAMBOURNE – NEW TOWN, OLD PROBLEMS

 

dav

Well, not technically a town yet, but (Cambridge’s) Cambourne has that feel already.

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Note Caxton Gibbet, still in use for Craft Criminals

Best known for hosting the only Morrisons for miles (and therefore having the best cakes), it’s a curates egg of a place.

10,000 people, 1 chippy, 1 Indian restaurant, 1 supermarket, 1 large church and 1 “pub”.  And no train station to bring people to the giant Council and NHS offices on the business park, so a triumph for planning of whatever type.

But for a place built on flattish South Cambs farmland, it’s quite attractive, with proper footpaths, hills and lakes.

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Almost bucolic for Cambs

The shopping street and civic buildings are functional, or beautifully simplistic, depending on your view.

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The Church

I quite rate the housing developments too, though of course what we now call affordable housing is at a premium.

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Googleview

But now the estimable Pint & Pubs brings exciting news;

I bet the residents of Cambourne had another dining pub/hotel at the top of their wish lists.  When the Council ask the people, they tend to ask for a McDonalds and dwile flonking pitches before pubs.

But if there’s a pint of AK being served on De La Warr Way in a year’s time, no doubt I’ll be there criticising it for being too warm.

dav
McMullens here now !

I doubt Marston’s are quaking in their boots.  There seems to be a market for the combination of Carlsberg and cheesy chips provided at the Monkfield Arms.

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Marstons’ South Cambs outpost

At 3pm today there were a dozen folk in, not bad for a Wednesday, half of them having abandoned their glistening glasses of Northampton’s finest on high tablesfor a fag in the sun.

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I won’t nick your pints

Light and cheery, the Monkfield has a shiny bar which spares us the Evil Keg but gives us a Warsteiner, presumably in response to customer demand.

Four beers on, usually including Pedi, which makes the choice easy.

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Nice Pedi head

Well, it was poured from a Pedi pump, anyway. It could have been the Wainwright and I’d have been none the wiser.  An overwhelming taste of diacetyl, anyway.

Diacetyl will never be the saviour of real ale, however many exotic beers you put on (and Wainwright is exotic round here).  Not bad enough to take back (NBSS 2), but cask is dead if it’s served at NBSS 2 standards.

Of course, read the local CAMRA magazines (I did) and you’ll see pubs just like the Monkfield applauded for extending choice or exhorted to put on a “guest beer”.  And that’s half the problem with real ale.

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NBSS 2

But I enjoyed the soundtrack; “Girl You Know It’s True” and some recent Quo.  And £3.20 is a small price to pay to observe pub life in all its glory; tradesmen talking tax, a businessmen seemingly counting his takings, OAPs debating puddings.

While I was buying quinoa in Morrisons they made an announcement about their beer retailing awards, so I had a look.  Hmmm.

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Killing pubs

Only the kegs vaguely appealed.

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Trooper

But then I realised I was leaving Mrs RM for the joys of Skegness tomorrow, and succumbed to the usual “4 for £6” trick. Should last her ’till Friday.

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21 thoughts on “CAMBOURNE – NEW TOWN, OLD PROBLEMS

  1. I like the Ash Plantation on the map. I assume that’s where all the tobacco plants that didn’t make the cut get put to the flame? 🙂

    “Not bad enough to take back (NBSS 2), but cask is dead if it’s served at NBSS 2 standards.”

    Ugh. 😦

    “and succumbed to the usual “4 for £6” trick.”

    Are those 650ml bottles? I bought a 4-pack of 650ml bottles over here the other day, all 6% or higher, and it cost me almost £13. There might be something to the “killing pubs” if that’s the difference in cost. I seem to recall way back in the 80’s that it was just as cheap to go the pub as buy from the off license in the UK. (sigh)

    Cheers

    PS – “so a triumph for planning of whatever tyoe.”

    I think you ‘typed’ one word incorrectly. 😉

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      1. My big bugbear is the lack of inconsistency of ranges in brewery-owned pubs these days. You can’t even guarantee getting Wizard in Robbies pubs, or even Pedigree in Marstons. Was in a Greene King pub the other week that didn’t have IPA on !

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    1. Stockport as not been in Cheshire for years,it is in Greater Manchester,just as Oldham,Bolton,Bury and Rochdale are not in Lancashire but Greater Manchester.

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    1. There does seem to be. The Fitzgerald dining places always seemed to be a bit more classy and interesting up your way; don’t know if they still are. Same with the new wave of Italian restaurants, which is why they’re struggling.

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      1. Fitzgeralds have lost their way a bit by heading down the ‘fine dining’ road, which equates to charging more for the same food. The refurbished the Briardene in Whitley Bay last year to the tune of £2m and it’s been a flop. Beer as ever is good though.

        Liked by 1 person

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