No, no that like. The actual marbles that Elgin stole. Always wanted to see them.

Rare appearance for the Navigator. Disgraceful lack of pink marker.

Mrs RM and I had passed through Elgin on our mammoth Scottish tour of June 1998. In 21 years, they seem to have lost the marbles (if they ever had them) and gained a Wetherspoons. Which is a gain in my book.

The 13:15 from Forres was unexciting, though I was richly entertained by a young couple exploring the many travel options on the ticket machine.

£24 to Aberdeen and back seemed a bit steep

Shall we go to Newcastle with our mates for your 21st ?”

They had 8 mates. What would it cost their party in total, dear reader ? One for Tom Irvin I feel.

Elgin isn’t without its charms, even on a dreich day like this.

Some lovely brickwork at 105 Shoes, a micro pub in waiting,

Wasted on a shoe shop
Tennents the sign of a decent pint

some mysterious street art for Mark,

Possibly Robbie Williams lyrics

excellent alleys, all given little plaques by the TIC,

leads to nowhere

a shop just for blokes, which must breach some rule or other,

Everyday sexism

and a splendid work-in-progress of a cathedral.

Not paying to get in while it’s raining

I’d compare it to Linlithgow, but that probably leaves you none the wiser and will cause great offence in of those two towns.

Two GBG pubs in Elgin, the first hidden down a little close. My favourite type.


Great dustbin colouring so Birmingham don’t collect them by mistake

The Drouthy Cobbler had clearly decided that their WhatPub opening times (10:00 to 00.30) were so last year, and two blokes drinking coffee looked startled when I opened the door at 13:30.

“Oh, we’re not open ’till 4pm mate” And I thought it was an English disease.

A shame, WhatPub promised excellent coffee and cakes. And gins.

No chance of the next one being closed.

Your reliable open pub
Beers you’ve heard of

A fairly plain beer range, nothing local, and at £1.29 for Deuchars (with voucher) pushing close to the minimum pricing threshold.

It wasn’t great, as I’m sure you can tell from the lacings, but the chicken dippers filled a hold till my haggis supper. In fact, my rating dropped from NBSS 2.5 to 1.5 during the course of a pint that ended tasting like tea (but not TEA).

Something not quite right

I didn’t see any takers for the Deuchars, but one chap did brave the Phoenix (£1.89/£1.39). You can’t really drink Lancashire beers in Moray, can you ?

The stop in Elgin might have been rescued by the Ionic bar, but ironically (in an Alanis Morisette way), it had no Bass.



  1. “The actual marbles that Elgin stole. Always wanted to see them.”
    I think he hid them in his namesake in Ottawa, Canada (the Lord Elgin hotel).
    “Rare appearance for the Navigator”
    I see two distilleries and an ice house. My favourite though is the Moss of Barmuckity. 🙂
    “Possibly Robbie Williams lyrics”
    Naw. The Who’s Tommy. (see me, feel me)
    “Everyday sexism”
    Now, now. These days anyone can self identify as a bloke if they so choose.
    ““Oh, we’re not open ’till 4pm mate” ”
    Bloody hell.
    “Beers you’ve heard of”‘
    Ayup. BBM has promised a pint or two of Doom Bar some time in the future (winnings apparently).

    (probably only open when the council across the street meets) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “The actual marbles that Elgin stole. Always wanted to see them.” – but Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin only took half of the Parthenon Marbles which you can more easily see across the road from the Westgate Brewery’s Museum Tavern than if they were still in Athens.

    £53.10 return for Dundee is about what I’m paying for my trip there soon.


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