When I started this blogging lark I never dreamed it would lead me to meet such legends as Mr Protz, Tom Irvin, or Citra, a bloke who casually drops his heart attack into his latest pub review.

But the biggest prize of all is the privilege of driving BRAPA and his green pen around rural village pubs and waiting 27.5 minutes in the car while he makes lifetime friends with local microbreweries and small children.

I met Simon at Huntingdon station on the latest leg of his Cambridgeshire capers, enabling him to recreate that famous day back in 1973 when the original CAMRA surveyors did Huntingdonshire in an afternoon.

Mrs RM would have come but opted for the Motorhome Exhibition at the NEC; I left Matt at home with a packet of Tesco Finest Scotch Eggs.

A14 more famous than Route 66

Having visited all these pubs long ago I could now focus on the joys of soda water and lemonade, just like Tom Irvin would.

Simon is a better passenger than my Mum or Mrs RM, whose conversation tends to be “Oooh”, “Both hands”, “Watch out for the cliff” and “Not the Idles CD again“. I gave him a guided tour of the new A14 construction site, which he enjoyed immensely.

He also helped me navigate a chicken run for cars across the A14 to the village of Leighton Bromswold (B), whose Green Man is back in the Guide after a lengthy holiday while some gastropub or other north of the county town gets repainted again.

Village” is stretching it a bit, with 200 souls.  But there’s a big church so I can’t call it a hamlet, which I know will please our superstitious Scottish readers (I have two).

Scary junction marked 74 in honour of early GBG

The Green Man looked wonderful.

Sadly it’s all gone

It also looked shut when we arrived at 12.30 on Saturday.  But it was just taunting us.

Officially gorgeous

Si admired the old GBG stickers. I took his photo in characteristic pose and then strolled off for a walk, leaving him to negotiate the creaky door himself.

I’d hate to be the one to upset the great man’s concentration while he homes in on nuggets of pubby joy.

Over the hills and far away

Si had the Landlord to talk to, at least. The other 200 villagers were either behind their net curtains or headed to McDonalds at Brampton Hut. So I had the sheep to myself, as it were.

Sheep delighted Si is in the pub
As busy as it gets

The church makes full use of the Bromswold (ridge), but would probably be too big for a micropub given the lack of Saturday trade in the Green Man.

NOT a future micro

Though the village library has more potential should CAMRA declare that all villages MUST have a micro pub by 2050.

Note microwave cookbook

If you thought Pavenham was quiet, the Bromswold looked like a plague had blown through, leaving an overgrown pub, phone box full of cookery books and one egg carton.


I’ll be honest; I was glad when Simon emerged unscathed, bathed in that glow that great pubs leave you with.  Expect his report in early 2019.


  1. “The original CAMRA surveyors did Huntingdonshire in an afternoon” and some of the beer you suffered this summer might suggest that the GBG is still put together in an afternoon !.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Had the sheep all to yourself ….hmm ! Sorry to be ignorant,as I’ve been reading about BRAPA for quite a while,but what do the letters stand for British Real Ale something or other ? I enjoy his reports almost as much as yours -creep creep

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Pauline has a suspicious mind – she’s from Yorkshire. I used to drive all over the country with Mrs RM trying to see newly-born baby lambs, at one with nature.


  3. And so our latest second home exchange has taken us to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in the exotically-named Passe-A-Grille.
    Unofficial convention dictates you leave a few local beers in the fridge for your guests.
    When our American chums came to Ireland earlier in the year we left them cans of Guinness,Beamish and Murphy’s
    Arriving today I expected cans of hoppy IPA with daft names.
    Instead I opened the fridge door to a row of familiar red triangles.
    It’s not the Bass I know and love but by crikey it slips down a treat when ice-cold and free.

    The Prof.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You lucky man.

      Don’t quote me on this, but the keg Bass you get in cans and from a plastic pump on the Channel ferry is actually better than the tired Bass you sometimes get on handpump ;-(


  4. “A14 more famous than Route 66”

    At least when it comes to proper beer. 😎

    “Scary junction marked 74 in honour of early GBG”

    I see Town End Farm on the map at, well, the end of town. Although, to be fair, given the size it could be anywhere within town and still be at the end. 😋


    Those aren’t surreptitious Christmas flowers are they? 🤔

    “leaving him to negotiate the creaky door himself.”

    You sure that wasn’t his dodgy knee doing the creaking? 😏

    “So I had the sheep to myself, as it were.”

    In the interest of decorum, no comment. 😊

    “Note microwave cookbook”

    I noticed all the seeds are gone.

    “Expect his report in early 2019.”

    Very few are as prolific as you. 😎


    PS – Once again I’ve been AFK (away from keyboard) for a few days due to life’s little ups and downs. Currently checking my usual beer blogs on my phone whilst manning the front door for trick or treaters. Have to be careful though. Just lost a reply on Garden Hermit’s blog (sigh). I sadly can’t reply on my phone to BRAPA or Paul Bailey either. Will now have to add Garden Hermit to that list. 😒


      1. Thanks Etu, never thought of that.

        I think it is the web version for those sites but will check if it is the mobile one instead. I think it has something to do with not recognising my Google account or some such.

        Still, worth a look. 🙂



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