Just to prove that “Pub Bloggers Are Good People, Even If Beer People Aren’t“, here’s your hero on Solent Radio this morning, sounding surprisingly sane.

Simon recounts the joy of a three hour trip to a closed pub in Chaldon Herring, capturing something of the dedication us tickers have to the cause.

My “Closed Pub” misfortunes in Gurnage are about as dramatic as a Haysi Fantayzee LP against BRAPA’s “Lexicon of Love“, another LP on rotation on the Isle of Wight. I’m grateful to the mysterious David (surely not his real name) for pointing out the Wight dialling code is 1983.

Random old Fullers sign from Wight

The Southern Vectis No.1 bus to Cowes failed to provide the thrills, spills and bellyaches of its western cousin.


The bus dropped me at the round house stop, coincidentally opposite an actual round house,

Future micro called something ironic like “The Round House

leaving me only a 5 minute walk to the Portland, another one of Wight’s endless supply of open-all-hour pubs.




That was nearly an hour to wait. It would take me an hour to walk into Cowes and back for my last two pubs, so I decided to hang around and “Do Gurnage”.

Wiki tells us that “Gurnard’s main street features a pub (Portland Inn), Doughty Newnham Chartered Surveyors office, a few shops and a few houses.”

You’re a hardy lot, but I think Doughty Newnham Chartered Surveyors office might be too much excitement for a Monday night (or 1959 if you’re in America).

So here’s the bay, down by Gurnard Sailing Club. Seen better, seen worse.

Mind the tide

I was desperate for a comfort break I’d been saving for the Portland Inn (always the way), but of course posh retirement villages like Gurnard have very little in the way of natural amenities, so I had to find a secluded spot as far as possible from civilisation and the scout hut.

It would be lovely to tell you the Portland Inn was worth the wait, but it was one of the most efficiently ordinary pubs I’ve ever been in, an amalgam of every Surrey diner in the Guide.

Best I could do

That’s not a criticism.  The Landlady was cheery and charming, and apologised for a domestic incident that had caused her to close the pub in the afternoon for the first time since 1999.

I also give her credit for her upselling efforts; “Would you like any crisps with that ?” a too rarely heard question in pubs these days.

Your exciting beer range (no, really)

An adequate (NBSS 2.5) Landlord, and some deep cuts from a lost Barry White album, and that was it.  I caught the 17.12 into Cowes.

17 thoughts on “THE GURNARD GRIND

  1. I have a friend in Gurnard, not 50 metres from the pub. If only you’d thought to call, I’d have arranged your comfort break for you. As it is, I expect you’ll be featuring in the next Safer Neighbourhood bulletin.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “here’s your hero on Solent Radio this morning, sounding surprisingly sane.”

    Blimey! He’s fookin famous! 🙂

    “so I had to find a secluded spot as far as possible from civilisation and the scout hut.”

    I’m still speechless from Si’s two minutes of fame to come up with anything witty. 🙂

    “I also give her credit for her upselling efforts”

    Obviously she worked part time at McDonald’s in her earlier days. 😉

    “and that was it. ”

    With the opening to this post, no bloody wonder!


    PS – (sigh); I didn’t catch up during this weekend as planned. I don’t understand these folk who say they’re (semi) retired and are bored witless. Whilst my head won’t explode* due to the plethora of posts I’m behind on, I may die of shame.**

    * – Yes, I saw what you wrote on Pubmeister’s blog

    ** – A ray of hope! My wife is gone for five days starting Feb 27th. Besides keeping her business afloat I plan to catch up on all of the blogs. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, yes it is. Its owner is into cruise ships I gather, and has bigger fish to fry. The site is apparently unstaffed and unmaintained.

      There seems to have been an upsurge in activity of late nonetheless.

      It’s a pity, because it had some good points and was very easy to use, giving the information that you wanted quickly. That is, which is the best rated pub in a given area, and how many people had rated it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “sounding surprisingly sane.” –Chuckled at this! Yes, I did think if anyone hearing him on the radio went to read his blog they might be surprised that he is occasionally a bit more ‘earthy’, shall we say, than he sounded during that interview. But then they’d love him all the more, surely. 🙂

    If a bartender ever asked me “like any crisps with that” I suspect I’d say yes reflexively whether I wanted them or not!

    Liked by 1 person

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