Driving BRAPA around is a bit like rubbernecking, waiting for the pints to kick in around the 3rd or 4th pub.  Of course, you’d never see me in a state like that.

But he’s always so polite and cheery, at least until the micro pub decides to take the month off and not tell anyone.

Or he takes umbrage at the atrocious pub sign (a B and an H) for Rampton’s Black Horse (after a short stop to survey the wondrous King’s Head in Wilburton, which I haven’t seen open in 20 years).

Round trip resembles a constellation of stars I suspect

Rampton is most famous as the setting for the setting for the murder in Sebastian Faulks’s Engleby (great read).  And you can see why.

That said, there’s a very attractive Bass clock, which as you’ll know would make a nice watch if I was a giant.

No Bass here since 1889

Despite being about 5 miles away from Waterbeach I’d only been in here twice when it made the Guide after what is politely called “a rescue” from Greene King.  The beer was good enough but I never quite saw why it would beat the Sun to the GBG (NBSS votes ! screams someone).

At the door, we’re met by one of those famed fake Scrumpy Jack hand pumps that so inflamed London CAMRA in the mid ’90s, before cask breathers and Punch became the new thing to rail against.

Antique, already

This classic piece of fakery was keeping the door shut.  And why not ?

It’s a simple village pub, one room for drinkers, one for the family diners.

Scampi fries out of sight

Simon headed to the loo, leaving me to the difficult decision.

Never go for the Christmas beer
Rare gravity dispense

The gravity dispense gives it a “rustic Suffolk” feel, and that’s fair. A soundtrack of Soft Cell and Luther’s “Never Too Much” kept us firmly in 1981, eight years after the murder in Engleby*.

I had a half of Tring, as good as I’ve had anywhere NBSS 3.5+.  As you can probably tell from the aerial shot of the classic foamy head.

Photo by Sussex Drones Ltd
Good effort at lacings

Simon returned with tales of more broken doors, which I didn’t believe ’till I also knocked the latch off the loo door onto the ground ten minutes later.  It was falling apart, literally.

Still, good beer, friendly landlady, an argument over green v pink markers, and a race against the couple at the bar to be first to shut the door every 2 minutes when it swung open.

Also, Simon had a draw underneath his table, just like at school.  He wasn’t impressed.

Action shot

I think I preferred the Black Horse to Simon, who suddenly said “Waistcoat Scampi Family” quite loudly as the diners stood at the door.  It was very Mark E Smith, and I wrote it down very quickly.

“Waistcoat Scampi Family”

Then I dragged him out before things really kicked off.  He needed a nice cup of tea.



*There wasn’t a real murder, it’s just a book.


  1. “Round trip resembles a constellation of stars I suspect”

    It looks a bit like a dancing elf holding a sparkler.

    “if I was a giant.”

    You are a giant to many of us my good man.

    “Never go for the Christmas beer”

    And why is ‘todays’ lacking an apostrophe?

    “Photo by Sussex Drones Ltd”

    When they’re not doing flybys of Gatwick?

    “Good effort at lacings”

    Better than me at any rate. I still have trouble keeping my shoelaces tied.

    “an argument over green v pink markers,”

    I never gave it much but both of you use Christmas colours. 😉

    “He needed a nice cup of tea.”

    The British answer to most everything. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sussex Police are now saying the whole drone thing may have been imagined. This was after arresting a local couple who turned out to be completely innocent, and letting the press have a field day with them.

        Despite this, I still think that the unrestricted sale of drones is not a good idea.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You mean, that whole referendum madness might have just been mass hysteria too Paul?

        Well, if it (fill in your favourite lunacy) works for Trump, then maybe it can work for seventeen million here?

        Let’s see what the New Year has in store eh, Paul?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. “the whole drone thing may have been imagined” – yes, bleary eyed after their annual visit to the pub several reindeer and a sleigh can easily be mistaken for drones by security staff.


  2. It would have been Wolf Coyote for me, although I’ve nothing against Tring, apart from the daft names for their beers.

    With regard to the door problem, are we to understand it was blowing a gale? Or is that not unusual in the Fens?

    As for Russ, “Were they the sons of tea-sippers, who won the fields of Cressy and Agincourt, or dyed the Danube’s streams with Gallic blood?” https://www.jacobsagerweinstein.com/2005/03/the_sons_of_tea/

    Liked by 1 person

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