Having delivered BRAPA into the warm bosom of the Fens, it was time for Mrs RM and I to set off in our campervan for Bridport.

The M25 and M3 (now “intelligent”) were quite accommodating, but I’d had enough driving by the time we got to Winchester, and there were two ticks there.  I always used to get it mixed up with Salisbury, but I won’t be making that mistake again.


Actually, we picked Winchester because we could park the campervan overnight for free on a Saturday night in the giant car park of the eponymous hotel. Just ten minutes from my first tick.


It was a lovely evening to explore an underrated cathedral town.  The GBG Albion looked appealing with its purple setting.

#Unfiltered, as they say
#Gorgeous #HappyTimes #ShutUp

The light shone out of The Westgate, illuminating the splendid Great Hall.

The Westgate

I fair bounded to the door, in anticipation of an evening of top class Doom Bar in a Hampshire gastro pub.

Gets better and better, doesn’t it ?

It was closed, for a private function (not the Michael Palin type).

Do you know the meaning of public house ?

How can this be ?  A whole day closure on a Saturday in April.  Don’t they get enough money selling warm halves to pub tickers.

I was distraught that I couldn’t tick Winchester off.  Only Mrs RM stopped me from impersonating the bride to get in.

Naff ’80s music inside too

At about the same time, Simon was getting refused a pint at Peterborough’s giant Oakham tap, due to a charity event.

Don’t these people read our blogs ?  If they did they’d know our pubbing plans and arrange their silly wedding accordingly. And anyway, pubs are for drinking

And you won’t believe what we found round the corner in the pre-emptive;









  1. Is this some sort of test post ?
    I have never previously seen a RM post with no comments on it.
    Or has everyone been remanded in custody for agreeing with RM that closed pubs are a no-no, and kicking the doors down ?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thirty years ago I much preferred Salisbury to Winchester. I cannot really say why except that Salisbury cathedral was a personal favorite then. Now I much prefer Winchester as a town and I prefer its cathedral. I’m not sure if I have changed or one of the towns has changed. Winchester looks great in your photos. Where are the people though. Looks like Wolverhampton.


      1. Winchester and Salisbury both have proper cathedrals which is more than can be said for Coventry.


  3. “#Unfiltered, as they say”

    Very nice pics Martin… again. 🙂

    “At about the same time, Simon was getting refused a pint at Peterborough’s giant Oakham tap, due to a charity event.”

    Bloody hell. 😦

    Not much one can add to that except… sheesh.


    Liked by 1 person

      1. It is a mystery, isn’t it? Every time I try, the software rejects me. 😦

        Would you say the practice of closing a pub entirely for a “private function” is a relatively recent phenomenon? Or would pub goers in the 1950s and 60s have encountered similar circumstances?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “It is a mystery, isn’t it? Every time I try, the software rejects me. 😦”

        Ah, struggle as in trying to appease the software rather than trying to find something to say with regards to Si’s comments. 😉

        I know that if I try to reply from my phone half the time I lose them (very annoying). It seems to work from my desktop (oh, and his comments does not like smiley icon thingies at all!).


        Liked by 2 people

      3. I think, back in the day, many pubs had a separate function room for private parties, wedding receptions, funeral wakes, etc but many of these have disappeared. Almost every time I go into the British Oak on a Saturday I find that the back room is taken up by a private party which makes seating at a premium in the rest of the pub.

        From the pub’s view, though, is it better to have a guaranteed income from a private ‘do’ or gamble on the Saturday trade? I would have expected that the regular Saturday night trade would win…but what do I know?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I certainly agree that, at least locally in East London, the practise has increased in recent years and indeed in the last two weeks I have encountered pubs three times when all (once) or part (twice) has been closed off for private functions. I certainly agree with the comment above that even a partial closure makes finding a seat difficult in the open part – having to walk with a frame at the moment means that I can’t stand for long. so no seat means ‘go somewhere else’. Usually this means Wetherspoons – they have a raised area of seating which can be roped off for functions but this is only a minority of the seats in the pub and I have never seen the whole of the pub closed off.

    What is particularly annoying is that these are pubs that I go to regularly but have seen no notices of impending closures (whole or part). It also seems to me that the people who organise these events have little concept of what ‘public house’ means and, whilst some of the organisers might be regulars at the pub, the attendees tend not to be and will not be seen there again. So I definitely agree that the managers are sacrificing the long term loyalty of regulars for a one night boost in income.

    I would be interested to know if there is any real ‘extra income’ in the first place. The average attendee at beer festivals drinks four pints, and regulars at my local pubs seem to do about the same, so do party-goers really put down enough more to justify closing the pub for them? I don’t know if, and how much, the managers charge rent for these events, but I suspect it would have to be relatively high to justify the annoyance to regulars.

    TIP – I don’t recall seeing any ticker reports on the North Star in London E11 but they are about the worse in the for these closures so phone first to avoid disappointment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The North Star is EXACTLY the sort of E11/E17 pub I had in mind when I thought about pubs taken over by private parties (or overrun by families on Sundays). Luckily I visited Browning ST on the day in Se 2005 that England effectively won the Ashes.


  5. A couple of the ‘Spoons branches in the City do not open at all at weekends, but can be hired for private functions. Hence, the private function does not deprive drinkers of their pub !

    I have wondered whether managers charging for functions always declare the income to their brewery or pubco. Or is this “a bit on the side” ?


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