One more from Gloucestershire for now, leaving most of the Forest of Dean and the less hipster bits of Brizzle for August.  If I finish Glos before GBG19 comes out it’ll be a breakthrough year.


I’d been looking forward to a return to Chipping Sodbury, to reassure myself it’s not a fictitious joke place like Maidenhead.


Only now do I realise the Badminton Horse Trials aren’t actually anything to do with, er..

See the source image

Sod (to its mates) is immortalised in this track from John Cales’ album Paris 1919.

I hope Mr Cale plays it when I see him at End of the Road next month, rather than those silly Velvets songs.

If we didn’t already have Thame and Chipping Norton and Princes Risborough, we’d have to invent Sod to fulfill the need for a quintessential small English town. Rather gorgeous in our rather irritating Summer.


Safe from crafties

A long, wide main road with stone-built chain charity shops and Waitrose on either side, one coffee shop per resident over 65 (Coffee #1 was great), and some fairly pubby pubs in a pleasing cluster.


And then there’s the Horseshoe, on its own to the west. “Formerly Gilly’s Wine & Tapas bar”, says What Pub. Presumably not in 1678 or whenever it was built, since Tapas was only invented when they started cubing black pudding in Bury Market in 1773.

But now I read “A pub since 2014“.  Good grief.

Don’t fall backwards

People are having fun in the sun, with a drinking area 2 feet from the busy road providing some peril.

Inside, it’s a rambling, magical place, where all can hide or mingle.  I sense a Top 100 pub in the making.  And not a reserved table or menu in sight.

A pub since 2014, folks

My notes say “Wow”, “Lardy cake”, “6X mmm” and “barmaid given career advice by mansplainer”.  A real BRAPA of a pub.

That’s not my 6X, by the way

What a beer line-up that is, says Mr “One pump is sufficient” hypocritically. 6X, Palmers, Teignworthy AND Thatchers. Just add banter and you have a boozer classic. And resist the lardy cake.






      1. Aye,Patatas Bravas doesn’t sound so exotic when you say it’s diced spuds in tomato sauce.
        I rather like Pintxos in Bilbao but they’re essentially expensive but tiny bits of meat and cheese on a small slice of crusty white.
        When I’m shifting pints and feeling peckish I’m generally happy with a packet of artificially-flavoured short hollow tuber cylinders.
        Or Hula Hoops as they’re more commonly known.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. “…the old Curzon railway building…”
    Would have made a superb ‘Spoons branch, maybe even a hotel, had Brexit not hit the Tim expansion plans.
    GBG 2020 as a big micro-pub ?


  2. “not a fictitious joke place like Maidenhead.”

    Maidenheads aren’t fictitious. They’re just as scarce as hens teeth.

    Oh, you mean the PLACE. My bad. 😉

    “Only now do I realise the Badminton Horse Trials aren’t actually anything to do with, er..”

    I understand the confusion. Although, according to Wiki, the name for the game of badminton was derived from the place where the horse trials take place. 😉

    (and here was me thinking the horse trials was where they accuse certain thoroughbreds of throwing either the Ascot or the Grand National) 🙂

    “A pub since 2014, folks”

    The lady with the pink top with a dark spot had me do a double take for a second. 🙂

    “What a beer line-up that is, says Mr “One pump is sufficient” hypocritically.”

    There’s an exception to every rule. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Russ, the lady with the pink top made me do that too. And I never saw the point of the Badminton Horse Trials because you never found out whether the horse was guilty or not.


    1. “And I never saw the point of the Badminton Horse Trials because you never found out whether the horse was guilty or not.”

      I think that’s because they were mainly show (jumping) trials. 😋

      Liked by 1 person

  4. O Retired One, you’re going to see John Cale, you lucky bugger. Agree, maybe one Velvets song for the sake of form but no more. ALL of Paris 1919.
    Glad you had a good trip to Sodding Chipbury; never been to The Horseshoe, looks like a corker.
    Good luck with the Forest of Inbreeding and that Brizzle (as nobody calls it). Not a GBG venue but I can recommend the Post Office Tavern, Westbury on Trym, for a wet-led proper pub with food and a BBB sanctuary (with Bass on gravity)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I call it Brizzle, Bill, but then I’m a no-one. But then I call France le Francais and annoy people.

      I’ve been to the PoT (used to be a Beer Guide regular) before trips to the Mem, but never knew they had Bass on gravity. Wow.

      And yes, all of Paris 1919.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you make it to the POT, you’ll see a Bass pump but don’t be fooled, the sacred elixir comes straight from the cellar.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. But in Édouard Manet’s 1882 Un bar aux Folies Bergère painting it’s bottled not draught Bass that can be seen, but that’s probably because he thought that a firkin would take attention away from the barmaid.
        And not many people realise that the proper Joules Brewery in Stone were exporting to America before Bass did.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. For “We have a real passion for Pubs, and a great passion for Beer” read “I’m now doing with Joules what I previously did for Caffreys”.
        .For “mainly serves its own collection of 40 Brewery Taps” read “mainly serves its own collection of 40 Tied Houses”. That “we spend all our time thinking how we can make each the best it can be” is tragically farcical given how a heritage interior has been wrecked (Newport) and another seriously damaged (Eccleshall).
        It was in 1968, not “the early 1970’s”, that Bass Charrington took control of Joules and the bad feeling locally was that BC didn’t keep to their promise that nothing would change, i.e. the brewery would remain open.
        “Putting the entire Joule’s family of workers to the street” is just wrong as many brewery workers moved to the new distribution depot on the edge of Stone.
        Six years later isn’t “swift” although “brutal and ruthless” can perhaps be used to describe any brewery closure.
        We actually marched down not “marched up Stone Town High Street in protest”!
        There was anger in 1974 but many local drinkers now aren’t happy that a new brewery in the next county has bought a brand and pretends to brew the proper Joules beer of yesteryear.
        I think it’s actually quite good beer and wouldn’t share the opinion of a Stone resident I know who told me “I would rather drink my own piss that that new Joules beer”.


      4. Wow. Don’t know about the Newport and Eccleshall pubs but they made a decent job of the Royal Oak in Wrexham. Which, ironically, used to be a Bass pub up to the 1980s.


      5. Bill,
        I’ve used several of them and find the interiors vary a lot.
        I think, for example, that they’ve made a nice job of the Glebe in Stoke but not of the Rose and Crown in Stafford


  5. Don’t think I saw this when it was first posted, but I can’t help thinking that the woman in the top picture looks, at first sight, topless 😮


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