“ARE YOU STILL WANTING THIS PIG, THEN ?” – A LUNCHTIME IN WELNEY

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BRAPA was here in the Fens yesterday. His reports will keep you entertained for weeks.

In preparation, I popped over the “Six-fingered border” on Tuesday to see how the locals were gearing up for his visit.

A couple of stealth jets flew overhead on their way back to RAF Lakenheath, possibly more defence than strictly necessary.

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BRAPA look-out

Welney is the first proper village you come to crossing the Wash into Norfolk.

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So much to enthral and terrify there; I may treat you to Manea one day.

But the Hundred Foot Washes and village ditches are enough for one day.

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Flat

You MAY have heard of Welney. Folk come here for the twitching and the incomprehensible joy of “Big skies“.

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Big skies

Give me a back alley in Ancoats anyday.

But the Lamb & Flag looks worthy of an official retiredmartin revisit (it was in the Guide before BRAPA was born).

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Actual Elgoods delivery van out of sight

As usual, I’d forgotten my OS map, but Welney.org has a lovely pub section which allows you to navigate via the dozen closed pubs of the parish.

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Victims of the snuff and whippet bans

Sadly the map couldn’t help finding a home for this beauty,

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Being sent by Northern Rail to Heaton Chap as we speak

I’d entertained, if that’s the word, notions of a trip as far as Christchurch, but there’s only so many times you can jump onto a soggy verge to dodge a tractor on a walk.

So I just did the 5 mile round trip to Tipps End and back, which I would like to suggest is as far as any sane Cambridge person would attempt in zero degrees.

Here is the highlight of that epic journey past green algae, reed beds and closed pubs.

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Turner prize nominated

Back at the Lamb & Flag at 12.30, where I expected to find a few gentlefolk in mustard cardigans and tweed sitting down to their lamb chops.

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Entrance of the week

I didn’t expect the proper bar with three Old Boys on pints.

Or three handpumps.

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Yes, it does look good

Clearly, I could have gone for the guest beer and got some witty remark like “Ah, you want some Wantsum, do you ?”. But I’m not that shallow.

And besides, Plum Porter. Just not that one.

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I’m not making this up

A little “ooh” told me this was an unexpected purchase. But it was the right one, as all it lacked was a little crispness. An easy NBSS 3.

Plum Porter, roaring fire, giant pike, irreverent banter, most of involving a word that rhymes with “duck“*and arranging to deliver a pig to Upwell. I belive that Netflix has the film rights to that one.

Would you like another one Sir

Does the Pope pray ?”

 

“I caught my finger in that door”

“I caught my ear in the car door !”

“It couldn’t miss, could it ?”

Then a young couple came in and ruined it all by ordering two large orange juice with soda water. This Dryanuary has a lot to answer for.

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*Pluck.  The word was pluck.  As in plucking ducks.

31 thoughts on ““ARE YOU STILL WANTING THIS PIG, THEN ?” – A LUNCHTIME IN WELNEY

  1. “Big skies” might not mean that much to those, who not have been subject to the oppressively small ones, of places such as Hebden Bridge and Todmorden for a large part of their lives, not only small, but seldom blue too!

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  2. I was on that Elgoods Plum Porter in the Mermaid, St Albans two months ago and thought it much nicer than anything similar, except perhaps the 6½%er, that comes from Burslem.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I thought the same as you, Mark. I suppose both Plum and Porter aren’t words you can copyright. Likewise, you can call your beer “Jenkins IPA” but you can’t called it “Fullers IPA” if you’re not Fullers.

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  3. Nice place. The Pike is not as good as the one in our current local, the Fox at Boston Spa. Nothing wrong with it, in fact is is a decent specimen, its just doesn’t look right to me. Dion’t like the small Roach or whatever it is in it’s mouth – not needed. Mind you, it would have been better to catch it and release it. I forgive the Boston Spa Pike Angler though as it was caught in nineteen 0 something and they didn’t know better then. This one looks more contemporary.

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    1. Better to not catch them at all.
      I still remember how marvellous it was just watching carp slowly swimming in the canal at Tipton about fifteen years ago as I was walking from Birmingham to Stafford.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. If people didn’t go fishing there probably wouldn’t be many places left with any fish to watch. Take the ethical side of it away and you’re left with who exactly would robustly exercise fishery management and protection?otherwise?

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      2. Well, yes, but I’m not sure if anglers or narrow boat hirers contribute most to the upkeep of our inland waterways
        I thought I was curmudgeonly but anglers are the most miserable bunch of bustards anywhere. While walking along the towpath to Penkridge one morning a few months ago there was scarcely a grunt from any of them sat angling but there was a cheery greeting from all the dog walkers.
        And the countryside would look very different if most of us didn’t enjoy a beef stew in the Stile or pork bap, or two, in the Great Western.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. “Or even out of sight ?”‘

      Technically ‘site’ would be acceptable if you think about it. 😉

      And I’m giving a pass to any other miscues; mostly due to the fact I’ve had a wonderful day with my better half (in person), a good friend in Georgia (online) and you lot. 🙂

      Cheers!

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  4. “His reports will keep you entertained for weeks.”

    At the rate he’s going it might take him bloody weeks to write it.

    “A couple of stealth jets flew overhead on their way back to RAF Lakenheath, possibly more defence than strictly necessary.”

    That takes me back. I used to monitor the Russians monitoring the SR-71 flights out of the UK that flew reeeaaaaally close to the Russian border back in the 80’s. 😉

    “I may treat you to Manea one day.”

    Is that where the Manea gene comes from?

    “But the Hundred Foot Washes”

    That’s a Muslim tradition before Yom Kippur if memory serves.

    “Big skies”

    I think Montana has that copyrighted.

    “Give me a back alley in Ancoats anyday.”

    Well aren’t you the adventurous one! 🙂

    “via the dozen closed pubs of the parish.”

    There too? LAF was just banging on about that up his way.

    “Victims of the snuff and whippet bans”

    Careful. Snuff is perilously close to smoking. 😉

    “Being sent by Northern Rail to Heaton Chap as we speak”

    Is that where Mudgie lives?

    “I’d entertained, if that’s the word, notions of a trip as far as Christchurch, ”

    Crikey. Didn’t know there were any New Zealand pubs in the GBG.

    “which I would like to suggest is as far as any sane Cambridge person would attempt in zero degrees.”

    Second time today I’ve asked this on a UK blog but… Fahrenheit or Celsius?

    “Yes, it does look good”

    I’m guessing it’s the porter since there’s no jam jars to give me a clue. 🙂

    “Clearly, I could have gone for the guest beer”

    I figured that would be the Cambridge Bitter since you were across the washes so to speak.

    “most of involving a word that rhymes with “duck“”

    Oooh, that’s easy! Anywhere near the Fens it has to be ‘muck’. 😉

    “This Dryanuary has a lot to answer for.”

    You think that’s bad? Over here some are doing Januhairy*.
    *(not shaving their armpits)

    “*Pluck. The word was pluck. As in plucking ducks.”

    That was my second guess. 🙂

    Cheers

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    1. Simon and I were discussing your humour in Vine in Coates, Russ. Both the fact your comments make the blog worth doing, and how some stuff makes no sense to you.

      I told him your Shakespeare line; he choked on his beer.

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