Moving on from the Dockray and its craft, I knew I couldn’t leave Penrith without a pint of Jennings in a traditional pub like the Agricultural, the GBG stalwart. I might even get to watch a bit of World Cup Shaqiri, who seems to have metamorphosed into Robbie Williams in his time in the Potteries.

Proper Pub ahoy

I’d forgotten how gorgeous it was, all wood, windows and World Cup banter. A bustling, cheery place with the sort of characters you get in Bewdley or Portland.

The panelled bar reminds me a bit of Dussledorf, if the Germans suddenly switched their footballing allegiance to England.  And they had Dortmunder Union on.

Shorts !  Shorts !

But what’s this. No Jennings ?

Get thee back to Northumberland heathen beers

That’s the sort of line-up you’d see in a Hexham gastropub. (in fact, scarily similar to that Heart of Northumberland place).

Even the Fire rescue bear looked bemused.

Blaze Bear unhappy at lack of Cockerhoop

After feigning interest in the football for five minutes,

“He (an Icelander) sent that pen so far it ended up in Wigan”

“I’ve been doing the permutations and we’ll play Germany in the Final”

I succumbed to the beer garden.


Now, there is something about sitting in the sun with a pint in a proper glass which gets better and better as you sink it.  The Wagtail, unconvincing to the east, was a stupendous beer (NBSS 4), cool and sherberty, which is a real word.

No Jennings, but at least a glass from the Lakes to emphasise the lacings.


A wonderful pub, then ?  You took the words right out of my mouth.

The experience was only slightly compromised by the sight of Shaqiri and the Swiss being put to the sword by the Serbs.  Enough alliteration, time for craft.
















      1. One of the best pints of Allendale I’ve had was in the Beaumont Hotel in Hexham. But not in WhatPub despite having a bar area. I assume considered too posh despite letting me in.


    1. Today I have been mostly drinking Argus,a 6.6% Spanish lager from a nearby Lidl.
      It’s not to bad either but more importantly at 18cents a can I’m attempting to see if I can get pissed for under a fiver for the first time since I was 14.
      Early indications suggest it is quite possible particularly as Mrs Prof is becoming concerned that our 8pm dinner reservation is overly optimistic.
      Wahaay !

      Liked by 1 person

  1. June 1990 was when I was last in Penrith and the Agricultural Hotel and I think it was a Marstons pub then.
    I had caught the train up from Stafford then, eighteen years after the line had been shut to encourage more motorists on to the Lake District’s narrow roads, hitch hiked along the A66 to Keswick for a weeks walking holiday, the others being there for a fortnight, except that it persisted it down with rain every day so we were in the George Hotel all day every day drinking Yates’s Bitter except for the occasional visit to the Jennings pubs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely to see the flag of St George coming into its element in this world cup.
    Lots of ’em down here on the Costa Del Carling.
    Watched the Columbia game in a bar offering free shots every time England scored so the Prof and family were collectively Trippiered after the peno shootout.
    Slim pickings on the beer front so far but Dry Blackthorn is taking away the pain.
    None of your foreign muck.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I take my eye off your blog to run a festival and edit a magazine and what’s the first thing I read when I return? Friggin Wolverhampton & Dudley Brewery shite! You don’t learn do you? In Glorious Cumberland too.


  4. Rather ironic that Marston’s sold their pubs in Cumbria (which I think originated from taking over a brewery in Penrith) to Jennings, only to later, when they had actually become W&D, buy the entire Jennings business and thus get most of them back again.


    1. I am not aware of Marstons taking over a brewery in Penrith but I do remember them acquiring Bertwistles of Appleby in 1928.
      And I very much doubt if the Castle brewery in Cockermouth would still be brewing if it hadn’t been acquired in 2005 by W&DB who then invested £250,000 to expand fermenting and cask racking capacity in Cockermouth and have spent a considerable sum after the brewery was flooded twice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, when I looked it up I found it was Appleby, not Penrith. They used to have a cluster of pubs in that town, plus some extending into Wensleydale across the Yorkshire border.

        I bet Marston’s now regret selling their pubs in the Winchester area, which included some prime sites, to Greene King.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, at Appleby, Hoff, Morland, Kirkby Stephen and Raughton Head.
        And more in Hampshire mainly in the Winchester and Southampton areas but also west towards Stockbridge and Andover.


  5. “Proper Pub ahoy”

    Proper pub maybe; but the name’s a bit off putting. I feel that if I checked in I’d be sleeping in a stable or maybe a barn. 😉

    “Shorts ! Shorts !”

    That fellow with the bag is a rarity (for men); shorts, shoes (not sandals) and no socks! 🙂

    “Even the Fire rescue bear looked bemused.”

    He certainly looks like his ‘grin fell’. *

    “The Wagtail,”

    Good man. I would’ve gone for that.. proper glass or not. 🙂

    “The experience was only slightly compromised by the sight of Shaqiri and the Swiss being put to the sword by the Serbs.”

    Aren’t you getting Switzerland confused with Sweden?


    * – Sounds like Grenfell. I really shouldn’t post at the end of the day. 😉


      1. “Servs is the Slavac for Servs, of course.”

        I hear the Slavic and Slavac languages often confuse their b’s for their v’s. 🙂


      1. Ah..I get it!!!! Stoke can of course boast Nick Hancock in their celeb supporters! Not quite Liam and Noel granted but a bit of a bad boy nonetheless!!! Birmingham have Jasper Carrott and Glyn Purnell and er…that’s it. And the bloke from Homeland er..and the bloke who wrote Peaky Blinders so not up there with the tourist teams just yet!


  6. Top right of that first photograph, surely a barber wouldn’t do much business located at the top of a lighthouse.


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