First of all, an apology to anyone who didn’t get to read “An old soak in Basingstoke” before it mysteriously disappeared from my site last night. It was one of my best, probably selling for 88p on the dark net. I blame the Russians. Or Russ. Or Basingstoke Tourist Office. If I can be bothered I might reconstruct it at some point.

Here’s a short bonus post, especially for Meccano fans, from the bit of Hampshire they call the Test Valley due to its proximity to Porton Down, tucked between Andover, Salisbury and Winchester and surrounded by sheep.


Not a lot to say about Broughton, bar a pleasing millennium sign,

No idea

stumpy church,

No that Stumpy

and an enterprising village shop that sold me overpriced Reece’s peanut butter bars that kept me going till Fleet.

Two pubs on the hunting theme, with the Greyhound edged out by the Tally Ho.

Not you
It’s you

It’s not going to win any prizes for “trad pub seating”, but those low pouffes did eventually provide the best views of proceedings.

High stools, low pouffes

Now here’s a beer choice dilemma.


I should have gone Ringwood, the locals’ pint, but a long walk had fuggled my judgement and I asked for what the nice lady described as “an experimental brew“.

Looks ok

The fox eyed my choice with suspicion.


But to be fair, it was very tasty, if a little thin (NBSS 3+). Not all microbrews made in old socks(possibly) in potting sheds within a golf shot of Porton Down is rubbish.

The pub had a good village mix, some impenetrable accents, and the sort of old tat to delight a bloke in his late 50s brought up on Dinky toys. Music, oddly from Duran Duran’s 1993 revival phase.

Dog could smell my Reece’s bar

A day after national beer day, here’s some convincing generic beer advertising from Ye Olden Days.



  1. Ringwood still provide properly named pump clips if you ask for them. You would get strange looks round here if you asked for “Razorback”. They should have called it “Hampshire Hog” if they wanted a daft name.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To me Ringwood Best was never anything to write home about and nothings changed under Marstons ownership. Ringwood 4X Porter was another matter, lovely, not sure its still brewed anymore.


  3. “I blame the Russians. Or Russ.”

    Well, Russ is the beginning of the word Russians. 😉

    “from the bit of Hampshire they call the Test Valley”

    I can make out almost bugger all on that OS map.

    “bar a pleasing millennium sign,”

    I think future archaeologists, when they find this sign, will be scratching their heads.

    “High stools, low pouffes”

    There’s a joke in there somewhere about bowel movements and happy people* but I will take the high road (or stool as it were). 🙂

    “I should have gone Ringwood,”

    I would have, if only due to reading Pub Hermit. 🙂

    “a bloke in his late 50s brought up on Dinky toys.”

    You can tell it’s been a long week when I read that as “drinky toys”. 🙂


    * – Philosophically, those who have regular bowel movements are most likely to be happy people.


      1. Is it Confucius ?
        Man who goes to sleep with sex problem on his mind wakes up with solution in hand.


      2. I think Martin’s confusing philosophy with an adage. Like the old saying:

        “A bowel movement a day keeps the doctor away”. 🙂


  4. “Music, oddly from Duran Duran’s 1993 revival phase.” –This made me smile. They must have been over the moon, getting a radio hit in 1993; I wouldn’t have predicted it, that’s for sure.

    Among the many joys of your blog is the interplay between the words and photos. The transition from “pleasing millennium sign,” to the photo, to “No idea” was inspired!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. With a name like Test Brewing hardly any point in calling it an experimental brew surely…

    Isn’t Test Brewing a subsidiary of Porton Down?….

    Definitely should have gone for Ringwood Best…or Tally Ho …same thing I suspect…


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