Very exciting progress over the last week as I single-handedly revived the Gwent tourism industry en-route to my coveted first complete GBG Welsh county. Actually, it was two nights in Newport WetherHotel, so possibly all it’s benefitting is Watford.

First stop, Ebbw Vale Spoons.  It’s all Spoons this week.

Normal travel time 3:01, new super-enhanced 2018 time 4:12. Hurrah for progress.


Steelworks and mines, all gone.  But plenty of solid tunnels,

No, after you

and some relics of the steelworks woven into the area now taken up by a flashy college.


There’s a free elevator ride from the old works to town, which is nice but pointless and costly.  I’ve painted the view from the top to irritate you.


Ebbw is one of those Valley towns with a long shopping street without much architectural joy,

Brutalism at its best

bar the dragon.

Disclaimer – not real

But it’s a lively centre, with loads of interest to those needing tattoos (7 shops), tattoo removals (8 shops)

Intense Pulsed Light the major industry in Ebbw

and general tat (18 shops).  The busiest shops are actually at one of those retail outlets just down the road (Festival Park) , and that’s got a supertubing run our boys enjoyed more than the Thorntons ice cream, when we stayed at the Premier Inn once.

In fact, I’m sure I had a drink at the Picture House back in 2012 when it wasn’t in the Guide, but sloppy spreadsheet work means I can’t be certain, and I’d hate to remember it was only a coke while on my deathbed, invalidating the whole quest.

Makes you dizzy

It’s a bit quiet for 10am on a Thursday, and coffee is beating Carling 10:1, which sounds both healthy and unhealthy at the same time.  At least no-one was forming a queue.

One chap was explaining how to a mate how the coffee machine works.  Can you mansplain to another man ?

Coffee Blokes

Not much cask competition in Ebbw central, in fact not many bars at all. But from a limited range (hurrah) I had a very flat, Bass-like beer from Rhymney that was between 3.5 and 4.


Astonishingly, the next closest GBG entry is the poshest Guide pub in Wales, the Bear at Crickhowell.  Perhaps all the Ebbw Professional Drinkers are there, drinking Draught Bass.


21 thoughts on “EBBW, EBBW HEY

  1. “Hurrah for progress.”

    For some reason I’m reminded of the story ‘the tortoise and the hare’. 🙂

    “No, after you”

    That looks like something you’d see when you’re bloody dying.


    Too true. I’ve heard that about Man U lately. 😉

    “which is nice but pointless and costly.”

    I’m confused. A free ride that is costly?

    “Brutalism at its best”

    Ugh. 😦

    “Disclaimer – not real”

    Of course not; no fire emanating from his mouth.

    “to those needing tattoos (7 shops), tattoo removals (8 shops)”


    “Makes you dizzy”

    Not as bad as the bloody carpet in The Crown in Acton.

    “At least no-one was forming a queue.”

    Ah. Read Boak and Bailey have you?

    “Coffee Blokes”

    It is indeed the end of times.

    “the Bear at Crickhowell. ”

    Ooh. I was in Abergavenney back in ’81 (had relatives there).


    PS – “ice creamwhen we”



      1. I hadn’t cottoned on to you at that time; but I did the ‘site:’ search in Google and found it. 🙂

        I wont’ comment (too much) at this time as I’m dealing with a distraught wife who’s find out half of her ancestral home town (village) has been wiped out by a raging forest fire, but…

        As one from overseas I side with a queue thingy. The idea of a rope barrier is one that’s been implemented for many a year. I distinctly remember over here way back in the 80’s having to line up at the bank line by line, and god help you if you picked the wrong one (which I seem to always do – in fact I shut my account at a bank over that at one point and moved to the bank upstairs, which had already implemented rope barrier service).

        If, as I sort of mentioned in the Boak and Bailey post, you have one line for people also ordering coffees or food or whatnot, then I don’t see a problem with having a separate ‘drinks only’ area. You can have your queue and also still retain your ‘scrum’ type of ordering for drinks. 🙂


        PS – OK, it looks like I had time comment profusely anyway. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sorry about the fire.

        My queue experience is that staff in chain pubs (Spoons especially) have NO idea who’s next. Asking “Who’s next then” annoys folk immensely.


      3. Good point about staff Martin. I liken that to (and apologies as I’m paraphrasing) pubs that don’t know how to keep their lines clean or pulled through so that the cask tastes the way it should (or keeping it properly conditioned in the cellar).

        Progress is great! … except when it’s not. 😉


        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve not used the Queen’s Hotel in Newport but having stayed in Wetherspoons hotels at Chesterfield and Minehead and am firmly of the opinion that Tim does accommodation better than he does beer or food.
    Maybe hotels are the future for his declining chain.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “Declining” is not as strong as the Exmoor Beast I enjoyed with my breakfast when staying in Tim’s Minehead hotel but I think “declining” is accurate given that Tim now has 879 “pubs” which must be about a hundred short of the near thousand he had a couple of years ago. But if his net reduction, annual closure lists less openings, is about thirty a year then there should still be a few Wetherspoon venues about throughout our lifetimes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. – and of course Tim is the biggest individual shareholder.
        but I don’t think we mind him selling off the family silver.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I was in the Picture House yesterday as was Peter and Jon and eight of Jon’s friends including one down from Scotland for the day.
        No steak though as I just had 1½ pints of Slater’s Top Totty, now with the more acceptable pumpclip.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Have to agree with Stafford Mudgie based on quite a few experiences over the last year. The exceptions seem to be where the manager is a cask advocate. Good title- now I know what they mean by Ramoaner!

    Liked by 1 person

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