Oh deep joy, another Bedfordshire pub” said no-one ever.

But this was my last one (see lovely pinked page 36 above) from a meagre four newbies, none of which will have BRAPA wishing he’d returned to Beds this year.

But Pavenham has it’s merits.  A few miles north of the county town, in the posh bit, there appear to be undulations, Dick’s (and Tucker’s) Islands, and a Bunyan trail.

EVERY village in Bedfordshire has a Bunyan trail.

All happening here

I had 40 minutes before opening to find things to tell you about Pavenham, and to find the mythical (if not mystical) Osier Beds.

Our endless British summer did its best to make it look bucolic.

Osier beds down there

In most villages like this I’m met with deep suspicion at 3.30pm, and not because I’m hovering outside a school.

Here, Old Folk said “Fare thee well stranger” and “Nice weather for it“, just as they would have to Bunyan.

Pavenham smells of bonfire night and affluence, with decomposing apples and rotting hay adding to the excitement of my stroll.  Fans of thatching and ornate windows will be in their element.

A tradesmen’s paradise
Not a car or person for miles
Rare Kempston Rovers FC badge
Black & White as recommended to me by Google Photos

The only activity was at the Golf Club, which I now see has a bar that’s bound to be in the next Guide with its unconventional opening times.

I was glad to see the Cock open promptly at 4pm.

Note again deserted streets

And not just because I was desperate for a “comfort break“.  No, the last GBG tick in a county is always a test of nerve. Will it be closed for winter/staff party/to go shopping at Bedford Primark ?

The Cock is the only apparent facility in the village, so just as well it’s a Proper Pub.  Discrete dining area, proper seating, huge bar.

Those hooks again

And what would be a sensible beer range to most sensible people.

Top pint

The Irish landlord knows how to run a pub, and pull a pint.  If he’s disappointed I go for IPA rather than his exciting guest he doesn’t show it.  I do wonder if “Most Improved Pub” is simply a term for “Most Likely To Get A Beer You Haven’t Heard Of“.

A cool foamy IPA somewhere between NBSS 3 and 3.5 is very GBG worthy, but the Landlord is a Wizard, a True Star (today’s obscure ’70s rock reference for you).

Nice bit of IPA scum for you

I hope it gets the custom it deserves, and that no-one has actually nicked the cheeses from the skittles table.






      1. A bit of recalibration now and then is maybe a good thing. I once thought that no president could be worse than G. W. Bush, for instance.

        But back to business, does the skittles table count as “today’s mystery object”, I wonder?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I expect that “most sensible people” are the “84% of ale drinkers want to see at least one nationally recognised ale brand on the bar”, not that that means that t’other 16% are silly.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Only in a RetiredMartin post are you going to find a line like “decomposing apples and rotting hay adding to the excitement of my stroll”, and that’s what keeps me coming back here again and again. (Perhaps because it would also constitute excitement in my world!)

    Did someone actually say “Fare thee well stranger” to you? Because I’m going to assume that person is a time traveller from the 17th century. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I confess “Fare thee well stranger” is poetic licence, even in rural Bedfordshire. Much more likely it was “Beware the full moon”.

      Funny thing about the sights and smells is I only remembered them looking at photos and notes, but the decomposing apples really quite striking. In a busier village with more traffic you wouldn’t have time to appreciate it all. And Bedfordshire isn’t that exciting :-0

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I sense they’d clear the table to play, they certainly had the usual pub games. Used to be plenty of skittles along the A14 – Leighton Bromswold and Stoke Doyle near Oundle, and a bit further north in Everards country.


    1. Is it ? Genuinely intrigued where you’ve enjoyed it. Must search your blog. Used to enjoy it in 90s but it’s fallen well below Doom Bar, let alone Pedi etc as preferred mainstream beer. Did have good pint near the brewery last month, so I think the issue is volumes; drinkers have switched from IPA to Peroni or Strongbow Fruits, while Doom Bar still has devotees believe it or not !


      1. I do like to get specifics. Many bloggers just say “I had a good pint” or “It was rubbish” without naming the pub, so as not to upset anyone, but completely useless for the rest of us.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Popped in today, seems the Landlord is no longer Irish (some mutterings at the bar about previous licensees drinking the profits!). Anyhoo, lovely village (yes, I had 40 minutes to kill too), but quite the dullest afternoon pint with wealthy cashmere jumpered long-time retired (no offence!) ex-company directors I’ve had the displeasure of for quite a long time. The landlord actually said “That Wells Eagle went quicker than I thought it would”, and of the Pedi, “I’m just starting to get the hang of looking after that properly” 🙄 It’s still got a good skittles table though…

    The Fox down the road at Carlton was ‘everything’ the Cock sadly isn’t at the mo…


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