Having seen how I can stretch out a post where I spend 27.5 minutes in a pub drinking a half of lemonade, you might fear for the blogging generated by a meeting in the home of CAMRA with these pub legends;
- Roger Protz – the best dressed man in pubdom. Oh, and THE GBG editor.
- Pete Allen – Carling ambassador extraordinaire.
- The man known as StephenPie even though he isn’t a Stephen. And Lulu.
- Cheryl Coldwell – the crafty Yorkie. And her irritating hubby.
- Citra – the man after which that beer you always get in new GBG pubs is named.
- Stafford Paul – keeping pubs (and Marston’s) alive single-handedly.
Oh, and Pubmeister Duncan, who’s only gone and done the whole book (though his record-keeping is so shoddy I reckon there’s a case for judicial review).
Duncan is the one smiling below; he realises he doesn’t have to go to Maidenhead again.
And the star of our show, a copy of West Berkshire’s premier beer magazine and inflammatory/inflammable material Ullage, of which more later.
Sadly, due to something called “Life” we were denied the mercurial presence of The Great Curmudgeon, which probably explained the paucity of pub cats on the route. Oh, and that BRAPA chap was burning effigies of Catholics. We missed them both.
The day starts, as all the best stories must, behind a Milly Vanilli impersonator at St Albans City Station.
Oddly, despite working down the road in the late ’90s (see: Harperbury Bowls Club below) and regularly having interminable meetings in the city hospital, I’d never been to this majestic station before.
Luckily the train from St Pancras gave me an hour to line my stomach before the fun started, which was to prove crucial later. This is the view from Café Alfresco.
I had time for a look around the grim, smoky terraces (joke) of Snorbans. Little street art, but a unique furry drinking horn in Alexander Road,
and the UK’s biggest charity box, just for our twitchers.
Anyway, here’s the official route;
As you read every word on here, you’ll remember our starting point from its Guide debut last year;
Peter (the real one) was already there contemplating his first Carling of the day, and contemplating adding this craft glass to his collection in Stirchley.
What a great pub the Robin Hood is.
I could just leave it there, really. But here’s gourmet picked eggs.
There also more younger lads here than you normally find in pubs at lunchtime. They were probably in IT.
Shakin’ Stevens on the jukebox, shaking of hands all round. We spent far too long here, but could have spent all day. I was on halves after Bradford, and Harvey’s Best isn’t a beer to drink in anything less than a gallon, but still a highlight of the day.
But here’s the picture from Newbury Tim. If you can lip-read, you’ll notice that Roger is saying “Why is there a lady with a pashmina on the front ?”.
More later, you’ve had your 543 words; I’m going down the pub now.