Now to the pub I know you’ve been waiting for, the Siege of Orleans in Carterton.

“Where ?”

Why, between Crocodiles of the World and Ducklington, of course.


I’d seen it, marked just off the A40 between wonderful Witney and boring Burford, but I assumed it was a small village serving Brize Norton Airfield, which is where they fly the ready-built micro pubs into.

But I’d never heard of it, 15,769 inhabitants and all. Which is where the Good Beer Guide comes in.

I dare say there’s bigger towns in Scotland that I’ll never visit as there’ll never grace the GBG. Belshill, for instance.  But I’ve been to Carluke, and Carterton makes Carluke seem like Ludlow.

This is the main street.


Functional” would be the kindest thing to say, a bit like an East Coast seaside town without the seaside. But Wikipedia tells me there’s seven hairdressers, so at least there’s a choice of places for your mindless banter.

But turn right just after the Pizzeria and Tanning Room and you get a little bit of magic.

Positively Shoreditch

Carter’s Lane is a joy, setting out famous scenes from village/town history;

Sir Duncan of Pubmeister on his Pre-emptive tick tour of 1581


Picture depicts cauldron being prepared for visit of BRAPA in 2028
The Battle of Graffiti 2018

It looked a youthful, buzzy place, and sure enough I joined another Old Boy at the bar debating the weather after admiring the furnishings.

The 3pm rush
Beers you haven’t heard of

I couldn’t fault it, bar the lack of other customers, and the Old Geordie at the bar was chatty enough over the Indie soundtrack (notably Hard-Fi).

He recommended the Stockport Porter, and he was right to do so.  A rich, cool NBSS 4.  First Stockport beer I’d seen in months and it pops up in Oxfordshire.

Loads to do, including a board with letters of the alphabet you can rearrange to try and guess the WiFi password (or write rude things).

What can it all mean

Or you can see how many superheroes you can name on the way to the loo.


But clearly, in the Parliamentary constituency formerly held by David Cameron, there was only one topic of conversation in 2018;





    1. I blame all those people that use trendy “Card only” bars – which this looks like with its random furniture, although I’m not sure if it’s closed on Mondays and/or Tuesdays and if it has unisex toilets.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yay! Stockport beer in the Sarf. Probably the biggest RAF town. Also look up the historical significance of the Charterville Allotments nearby.


    1. Yes, just next to Carterton on the map I’ve spotted Brize Norton and that was still a very large base during the thirty years I worked for the RAF from 1976 to 2006.


      1. Of Course, RAF Brize Norton was to have been called RAF Carterton at its inception. However, the name was changed so as to avoid confusion with RAF Caddington (Is that Bedfordshire?).
        RAF Brize Norton is still in existence. A former economy drinker from the ‘Spoons branch at Cowley is currently involved in the renovation of the accommodation on the base.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Fred,
        I wouldn’t wish a beer and pubs discussion to digress too far onto the naming of RAF stations / RAF bases / RAF camps but for the ten years of my last job I drove daily past Second World War airfields at Little Onn and only recently did I learn that it was known not as RAF Little Onn but as RAF Wheaton Aston, which is over a mile away, because it was customary to name them after the nearest parish.


      3. Sorry to make fun of a typo, but I drown daily is worrying!

        The Stafford Mudgie says:
        December 10, 2018 at 7:52 pm
        I wouldn’t wish a beer and pubs discussion to digress too far onto the naming of RAF stations / RAF bases / RAF camps but for the ten years of my last job I drown daily past Second World War airfields


      4. Fred,
        You mention of Carterton not being confused with RAF Caddington and last weekend passing through Leuchars I remembered that RAF base occasionally being confused with the far away RAF Luqa when I worked for them .


  2. Never any GBG entry in Bellshill or even cask beer that I can recall, in a town of over 30k people. It used to be the location of Lanarkshire’s main maternity hospital which also reached into east end of Glasgow, so alongside Sheena other dispatches include Matt Busby and numerous other footballers.

    The rapacious banks are forcing card only and mobile/internet banking by closing branches. The only branch left open near me routinely queues out the door. When they close that footfall in the town will diminish even further. Naked greed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t expect local CAMRA to record all the keg bars in places like Bellshill on What Pub purely for my delectation, but be interested in knowing if there’s any decent keg boozers. Nearest cask appears to a Toby Carvery near the nearby theme park !

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes there is (used to have Deuchars) though I would say that should be listed as Motherwell. There is a Brewers Fayre type place in Bellshill that I think actually did sell cask at one time. Big 90s music scene came out of the town – Teenage Fanclub, Soup Dragons, BMX Bandits etc


      2. Within the Leeds CAMRA branch area you will find every establishment on WhatPub, whatever it’s calling. We pride ourselves on it’s accuracy, although obviously it’s a mammoth task, even more so for the rural branches with vast acres, few centres of population and miserable public transport. I always leave the real ale only box unchecked – sooner a decent pint of keg beer than a poor pint of (barely) real ale. I am putting a motion forward at the next AGM so that WhatPub can be filtered using categories to avoid, such as Doom Bar only, Marston’s portfolio only, etc. I did wonder whether a Draught Bass filter would work for you, only it conflicts with the Marston’s portfolio search?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. “A motion forward at the next AGM” proposed by Richard Coldwell, seconded by Pete Judge, yes, that’ll definitely be the highlight of the weekend !


      4. Martin. That version of the GBG might precipitate the odd nightmare. “England Realises To Its Horror That Rest Of Europe Now Sees It As It Does Yorkshire – Shock”


  3. The problem of cash machines disappearing from the streets of our towns and villages is a growing one, and it doesn’t just apply to obscure towns which even a seasoned traveller like Martin has never heard of.

    We are all partially to blame with our growing fixation on internet shopping, so the demand for cash is already in decline. The growth of online banking hasn’t helped either though, as it has led to the closure of many local banks and sub-branches with subsequent loss of ATM facilities as well.

    Although many shops offer cash-back, you can’t always bank on this, if you’ll pardon the pun. A couple of weeks ago, the cashier at the large Sainsbury’s superstore on the outskirts of Hastings, refused my request for cash, citing company policy. When challenged on this I was told the facility was limited to regular customers (those who have made more than three visits over the course of a year).

    It makes me wonder whether this is part of a conspiracy between the banks and the government to restrict the amount of cash in circulation, and force us all into to using cards instead. Sainsbury’s Hastings, obviously knew how many visits I’d made to their store (the one mentioned above was my second, for the record), and we all know that the use of store loyalty cards is being used to monitor our purchases.

    Google also knew I’d been there, as later that evening I received a message asking for my thoughts on the store.

    Final point. We have a growing pile of surplus pallets behind our car park at work, so if any budding hipster bar or micro-pub owner would like some to add that extra touch of “distressed wood” to their establishment, then please get in touch.


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