Oh, look. Oxfordshire has fallen. Yawn.

Not a great county, for sights or suds, and to be honest I did the best of it (Stoke Lyne, Lewknor, Hook Norton itself) years ago. The new entries tend towards the gastro these days.

Anyway, the moral from the last tick, the Crown in Marcham is…don’t follow the WhatPub instructions.

That pin is wrong

I spent 20 minutes looking for the Crown using the red pin, walking past it twice, as I negotiated every inch of Marcham’s kerbless nightmare.

That pin is the location for 77 year old Doris Chatham of The Green, a modern housing development with scarier dogs than the Greyhound.

The Crown

Anyway, eventually it clicked. The Crown looked closed to the world, and as the only customer on Friday afternoon I started to wish I’d accepted Doris’s offer of tea and Victoria sponge.


But the welcome was warm, and it’s always a joy to see Otter on the bar. It was OK, NBSS 3 perhaps, but lacking the freshness of a busy pub.


Ahead of the oval ball nonsense, some soap opera nonsense was on the telly box. Probably Neighbours.

I guess this is why plain village pubs are giving up on lunchtimes and opening at 5pm these days.

Without the cheap deals of the chains to pull in gentlefolk, or the destination dining to attract ladies who lunch and their dogs, the plain pub only has a large TV. And so does everyone else now.


  1. It’s often not the pubs fault neither. More the way we live these days. People in small villages tend to commute to, I guess it’s often London in these parts, hence there are no people in these villages at lunch time. Gone are the days when pretty villages are inhabited by ordinary folk who work locally maybe on shifts or having days off in the week, even farm workers work early till late and you can’t really pop for a pint when you’re driving round in a £250k tractor all day. Add to that fickle seasonal tourists who can’t get into the pubs at lunch time anyway because they’re closed, and the presence of second homes and you can see that it’s a very negative cycle.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It is. We lost our village shop a few years back, pointless having a shop open if everyone is in Leeds, York or Harrogate all day and then buys everything at a supermarket during lunch hour or on their way home.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes but there’s better things to do than sit in the pub all day every day, especially when the pub only sells the same old, same old. As the man said – The times they are a changing.


    1. So true. I’m currently on the southern edge of the Forest of Bowland. Most of the villages have lost their shop and the pubs in most villages look tired and have very limited opening hours. The post office shop person said most people commute in to Manchester so there’s no local demand for shops. Compare it to where I live in the Peak District..Too far for a Manchester/Sheffield/Derby commute, enough affluent retired folk and the pubs and shops are ok with tourist support..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good grief ! Must have been very lower reaches. I did got through a spell of watching a game a day in early ’90s all over the place but the threat of divorce brought me back to pub ticking.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “don’t follow the WhatPub instructions.”

    Google Maps has it right where the orange drinky thingy is on the map. 🙂


    And here was me thinking that meant the flags (i.e. Scotland and Wales are England’s neighbours). 🙂

    “Without the cheap deals of the chains to pull in gentlefolk, or the destination dining to attract ladies who lunch and their dogs”

    Ugh. So no happy middle ground then. 😦



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