When I or Duncan or BeerMat post about some village that never makes the news, like Rochford or Kiev, I wonder if there’s anything else posted about the place on the interweb.

Search for “South Woodham Ferrers pubs” and prepare to be disappointed.

The jewel in the Chelmsford-Basildon axis

It’s a while since the pub at the station, mysteriously called “The Railway” was in the Guide. I suspect BeerMat would love it.


Just for you, I spent my hour waiting for the Crouch Vale Tap to open exploring this town of 16,453 (less the residents who died of shock when they saw my Bass T-Shirt rushing past them).

It’s not Bath, I’ll tell you that much. But there’s plenty of leafy footpaths to the modern town centre (opened by Her Maj in 1981 to celebrate the release of “Dare”).


What a strange place. I guess you could think of it as a posh Rainhill or East Angular’s Glenrothes, neither of which will have you rushing there this weekend. But it’s clean and litter-free, if that sort of thing matters to you.

Greene King pub the centrepiece
Christmas market and Bar Vino

I can’t be bothered to oversell SWF, but I must recount my attempt to buy a double espresso in McDonalds.

I was given a small paper cup that was palpably devoid of hot liquid.ย  I looked blankly at the lady who had just said “Double espresso ?” to me.

You have to fill it up yourself“.ย  Oh.

At the machine, I was approached by the manager.

Do you want help Sir ?” Do I look that incapable in my 54th year. Soon beer will be self-serve, you know.

“You’ve never been here before, have you Sir ? ”

I actually felt more an outsider at that point than I had in Bucharest, not helped by my feeble attempts to get out of the monstrous shopping complex on foot.

Anyhow, I made it to Crouch Vale, with its unprepossessing Room 19.


It was shut. Oh no.

Then a light came on, and a young man, standing in for his Dad came to the door and said “Sorry, sorry“. I forgave him the 3 minutes delay.

It’s a plain tap, but jolly.


For Russ

No-one else turned up while I was there, but the young man was great company, and very chatty.

yeah yeah

Basically, Crouch Vale IS Brewers Gold, as good as when it won Beer of the Year (NBSS 4).


And I can forgive the scratchings coming from Chelmsford market rather than Coseley.


Clearly there is no finer place on earth to finish the Essex GBG entries for this year than on an industrial estate in South Woodham Ferrers. Really.



  1. “The jewel in the Chelmsford-Basildon axis”

    Definitely farm country by the looks of it.

    “Christmas market and Bar Vino”

    Good lord. You could’ve snuck that into one of your Bucharest posts and we wouldn’t be the wiser. ๐Ÿ™‚

    “Itโ€™s a plain tap, but jolly.”

    Not sure those boots really fit the decor.

    “For Russ”

    LOL! Thanks for that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    “And I can forgive the scratchings coming from Chelmsford market rather than Coseley.”

    I think it’s the slogan that clinched it. “Pleased to meet you. Meat to please you.” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    “than on an industrial estate in South Woodham Ferrers”

    (checks Streetview) Yup, that’s industrial all right. ๐Ÿ™‚



    1. I like it when I’m queuing for the cashier at the supermarket, and the attendant says to me “come with me and I will put you through the self-checkout” – they never do, they just begin and then walk away – and the response, when I explain that I want to be served in the proper manner, and that I am happy to wait. Quite often they have a second try, more insistent, at which point I find it hard not to laugh. What are they going to do? Pull a gun on me?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s too much palaver, to juggle shopping items, wallet, card, bags, reading glasses, reading glasses case, etc. etc.

        You get the picture.

        Also I just want to Go Shopping. I do not want to work, unpaid, in a shop.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. You’re all doing it wrong. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Self checkout, hand held scanner. You don’t even have to take things out of the basket or cart (which you still have to do with a cashier). ๐Ÿ˜‰


      3. Russ. Please. You don’t get this with one of those either:

        “Would you like any help with your packing, Sir?”

        “Packing? Madam, I’ll have you know, that this is all the real thing”


    2. Some of the staff at a MuckDonalds near me are prisoners not far from being released with the intention of them then getting into gainful employment rather than returning to drug dealing and prison again.


  2. I think you will get the hang of McDonalds eventually. Not saying thatโ€™s a good thing. Did that tap last year as an extra after Wibblers but still need the other ten new entries in Essex. Next year sometime….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved the slogan on the pork scratchings: “Pleased to meet you, meat to please you.”

    Interesting that the country of origin is “English.” Makes me curious to try the scratchings that are produced in nearby countries, like Irish. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Except that the “d” is missing from “pleased”.
      A butcher near me fifty years ago proclaimed “โ€œPleased to meet you with meat to please you.โ€

      Liked by 1 person

    2. And, as scratchings rather than being proper meat and just a by product of the pig it could perhaps be argued that they’re suitable for vegetarians.


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