Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans“, as Yoko Ono once said.

So I spend my time planning trips to the Isle of Wight, wherever that is, and dreaming of making inroads into East Devon, but end up driving up and down the A68 past the mining towns of Durham.

black horse.PNG

Monday night in rural Durham isn’t fertile ground for feeding a hungry Mrs RM, particularly if you choose to steer clear of Bishop Auckland (always wise)..

The Black Horse in Ingleton, a smart one street village near the home of the first World Champions, is at least open on a Monday, an increasing rural rarity.

Only two cars parked up, one of them ruining my photo.

Black Horse, Ingleton (NOT that Ingleton)

A fairly typical thin village all-rounder, dimly lit but with tasteful touches.  The sort of place that would have had condiment drama on Easter Sunday, I suspect.


Three customers, four beers.  Not the ratio you want, but as so often happens the beer was cooler and tastier than you might have feared, so Darlington CAMRA know what they’re doing.

No-one can say the Black Horse isn’t doing its bit for the microbreweries either. One of those rare occasions when jam jars would be useful, as clearly “Stout” gives no clue as to the colour of the beer.


Of course, a quick look at What Pub would have told me there’s no food, and the pub clearly relies on dining trade, but I rarely trust What Pub these days.

And anyway, they had crisps, served with aplomb. Seabrooks may not be Pipers, but goodness me they were cheap.

And I had the pleasure of Mrs RM’s company, discussing Noam Chomsky’s book while I tried to listen to Sade’s Diamond Life.

I remembered one Chomsky quote, anyway;

“The Internet has compromised the quality of debate.”

So has the slow death of the pub, Noam.



32 thoughts on “THE A68 – CRISPS, CASK AND CHOMSKY

  1. Amber is another one that really needs a jam jar. Noam may well be right on that one as he is about most US foreign policy. I do remember though he used to be impressed by sports radio. He thought people sounded well informed and they should transfer that type of sports fervor and knowledge to talking about politics. Not sure he realized how little most of us know about sports:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A pal of mine named his dog Chomsky.
    I once tried to call our new family mutt Self-Control so that every time I took him for walk I could say I as exercising self-control.
    I could have got a decade of laughing at my own joke Every Single Day out of that.
    Sadly,Mrs Professor Pie-Tin failed to serve funny side and kyboshed the idea.
    Chomsky has a nice ring to it though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Our recent experience of WhatPub reminds me that in my working days we offered money to CAMRA to use the data in GIS for pubcos. Basically told us to go away. Didn’t want to tarnish themselves with our money.


    1. Those were the days.

      I do wonder why it isn’t in pubs interests to make sure the info in WhatPub isn’t accurate, particularly in opening times. Finding licensed hours info on websites is a real challenge, particularly now pubs have such variable hours.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m still completely non-plussed by pub websites (even some that are wet-led) that either don’t have details of opening hours and regular beers or you need patience and cunning to find it on the website.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. When I worked in the NHS finding Board papers was a similar challenge; always tucked away on a subsection of “About Us” you weren’t supposed to find.

        Pub opening times are a similar ordeal; either in “Contact Us” at the foot of the map or “About us” if you’re lucky. Some don’t distinguish between opening hours and licensed hours, so you turn up and they’re only serving coffee till noon. Don’t get me started on the lack of a sign on the door !

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Whatpub just doesn’t feature that highly in pubs’ consciousnesses, whereas they will obsess over their TripAdvisor entry so I’d at least cross-reference with TA – or just phone them if you’re going to be there pre-noon or it looks like it’s going to be a tricky one. And it also suffers from CAMRA’s awkwardness with commercial entities and general casualness – CAMRA can come across as that person in the office who says “No, no, don’t you worry, you don’t need to check up that because I’VE GOT THIS” – and then doesn’t do it.

        Any other organisation looking to put a pub into their flagship publication would do exhaustive fact-checking but we all know that CAMRA “GBG recces” are just extended pissups with no thought of gathering basic data like opening times. I know pubs that got into the GBG without the WP opening times being checked for at least 3 years.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. On the second point, I wouldn’t criticise the volunteers who maintain WhatPub,. But I always assumed that pubs in the Beer Guide were asked to confirm details of their forthcoming entry – including name, location, children policy etc. Am I wrong ?


      5. Now “Don’t get me started on the lack of a sign on the door” reminds me of someone who kept banging on and on about a high street chain that always displayed its opening hours on the door and that meant their premises not only couldn’t be faulted but also that, despite being as cheap as chips, their beer was the best anywhere and their microwaved ‘ready meals’ were equivalent to fine dining.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. You’re not talking about “Hail To The ALE” here, are you Paul ?

        Incidentally, you’d be amazed how many shops and restaurants in Cambridge had no opening hours displayed today. The bigger chains are much better than the independents.


      7. @rm Yep, you’re wrong. As I say, I know one pub that was in the GBG with the same opening times as WP, hours which hadn’t applied for at least 3 years. In theory pubs are subject to the same embargo as everyone else, they have no official notification that they’re in the GBG until it’s published, let alone being contacted to confirm details.

        So the onus of checking details falls on the local branch rather than GBG Central, and that can be a bit hit and miss, as you know!


      8. I guess I’m going by experience; Stockport and Cambridge both had processes in place to conform key details, but branches ability to do that will only get worse as volunteers die away.


  4. I’m amazed you didn’t walk out in disgust at the sight of a pumpclip proudly pronouncing itself “Busty”. A certainty to be boycotted by the Revitalised CAMRA member on sight. I don’t even want to think what the jam jar for that would look like.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That one’s over the border in Darlington branch I’m afraid. Had some very good Strongarm last time I was there. Had the Black Forest Stout at the brewery the first time they brewed it and it was actually pink, glad to see they’ve got the right colour this time!


  6. I am going to be a boring woman,but Seabrook crisps cannot be beaten in my humble opinion -even though they come from Bradford.Pipers ? Pah !

    Liked by 1 person

  7. To be fair I rarely eat crisps & see that Pipers are everywhere including the Cellars here in the Stone so I may give ’em a whirl

    Liked by 1 person

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