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.
Welney is the first proper village you come to crossing the Wash into Norfolk.
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.
You MAY have heard of Welney. Folk come here for the twitching and the incomprehensible joy of “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).
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.
Sadly the map couldn’t help finding a home for this beauty,
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.
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.
I didn’t expect the proper bar with three Old Boys on pints.
Or three handpumps.
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.
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.
*Pluck. The word was pluck. As in plucking ducks.