2 hours is a long time to kill in Masham, so I continued my aimless wander looking for pictures of sausages in French berets,


and quirky old fashioned delis.

My hopes were high for the Yorkshire ham sandwich at Reahs Deli, but wafer thin ham slices in a cheap brown roll just made me glad I’d be heading to the True North later that afternoon and away from Yorkshire’s tourist traps.

Avoid the home-made sandwiches

Finally I found the world famous weather forecasting stone, at the top of a little alley that led to Theakston’s brewery.

Sounds logical

I’d forgotten how small Theakston is.  Back in the ’90s it was one of the few breweries familiar to us southerners, and Pashmina Paulines from Pampisford would plan boutique overnighters to the town, followed by a trip to buy a slab of Wensleydale they’d never eat.

Proper old
Older than me

You know how much I detest brewery visits.  Did you know ALL the trips organised for the CAMRA AGM in Dundee in a fortnight are to breweries.  That’s how much they hate pubs.  Good job I’m making my own arrangements.

But the Theakston tap is open to the public so it might get in the Beer Guide one day and I’d feel daft if I didn’t do it while I’m there.

Note pleasing micro pub hours

A few folk at the end of tours were buying bottles, which is something I could have done without seeing, (“Is this an ale ?“) leaving me the only person actually drinking fresh beer.

Nice photo if I say so myself

I do like their pump clips, apart from the one on the right, of course.  Simple, descriptive and colourful.

Yes, of course I had the Best Bitter, to compare with the two pubs in town.  Much fresher, 3.5 at least.

And it’s a gorgeous looking little drinkers’ area, however artificial it might be.

Looks like a heritage pub; almost certainly isn’t

Not much fun being the only drinker though.  But at least I had the joy of listening to some young Theakston employees (who were tremendous) brainstorming events for the Tap.  Young farmers parties, domino drives, Geoff Boycott bingo; they had rare relish for their task.

It all reminded me of the bright and cheery Bateman Visitor Centre over in Wainfleet, and I can’t say fairer than that.


There you go.  It is possible to get fresh Theakstons on a Thursday lunchtime in March. Black Sheep on a Monday may be a tougher ask.


  1. Just FYI but I’m going to be so far behind by April I’ll never catch up!

    Heading out shortly to Edmonton, Alberta in order to see our first ever grandchild for the very first time (a boy of course, to carry on the Smith name). I’m taking the red eye to Toronto first in order to escort my 89 year old mother so that she can see her first ever great grandchild for the first time.

    Won’t be back till April. Will be busy during that time seeing family and trying to horn my way in between my darling wife (and saintly mother) to get my own chance at holding the wee one. 🙂

    See you next month!


    Liked by 3 people

  2. “Not much fun being the only drinker though” – no, not like being with all your BPF chums in the Banks’s Visitors Centre nearly a year ago.
    And “wafer thin ham slices in a cheap brown roll” compared to a hot pork bap in the Great Western.
    It’s grim up north.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The geology’s wrong for some people’s idea of the North.

        “Under the grass lies gold, under the bracken lies silver, under the heather lies starvation”, as they say in Wales.

        The Dales are limestone, covered in grass. That means relatively prosperous farmland, and not the wretchedness that folk associate with the heather-covered millstone grit “proper North”.

        (Acknowledgements to Michael Caine.)


  3. Shame about the rolls in Reah;s, I got some quality stuff in there including some good Wensleydale and Yorkshire Curd Cake (nom nom nom).
    Went to the Black Bull in Paradise and thought it was pretty good for a touristy brewery tap. proper bar and a real fire. Agree about brewery tours (Big tanks, wort, liquor, frothy frothy, beer comes out the other end, hooray!, er, that’s it)


  4. Looks like a lovely place, and hey, I’ll take “looks heritage but isn’t actually” over “looks like it was a shoe store up until last weekend.” 😉

    I have occasionally been able to find Old Peculier in bottles over here, and have always enjoyed it. Have to imagine it would be glorious on cask.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s even better in bottles beside Urquhart Castle on a hot summer afternoon hoping to catch a glimpse of Nessie… which I did! (after six bottles) 😋

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I know it’s sacrilege to folk on CAMRA’s forum, but I’ve no interest in history, heritage of provenance. That Queen Vic I loved in Aberdeen has apparently only been a pub for a few years and the Victoriana is fake !

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ve no interest in history, heritage of provenance.
        And I’ve not much interest in provenance. That’s why I don’t much mind my Oakham beer brewed in Peterborough.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Another Yorkshire place I’m ashamed to say I’ve never been to ! As you say though it would suit me(Pashmina Pauline) Sorry about your ham sandwich – wager thin is a total no no

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Fifty ‘ear ago ’twas ordinary folk what lived in a paper bag.
        The hipsters of today, they don’t know they’re born.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Martin. whilst I respect your comment about detesting brewery visits, you can’t have a decent pub without at least reasonable beer. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation, because if CAMRA was to concentrate solely on pubs, whilst ignoring breweries, we may well be in a situation with a few great pubs selling mediocre beer, and dozens of indifferent ones stocking a narrow range of global mega-brands.

    Decent pubs normally serve decent beer; the two complement each other. There are probably as many CAMRA members interested in breweries are there are in pubs. Without the interest in good beer, in all its many forms, there wouldn’t be much worth drinking in our pubs.

    Pubs need breweries and breweries need pubs.

    ps. Off up to that London place shortly, for a certain major event reported to be happening, so won’t be able to reply to further comments on this thread (assuming there are some), until this evening.


      1. Thanks Martin. As well as walking my feet off, I managed to re-visit a classic London pub, which was one of the first free-houses in the capital to offer what, for the time, was a very adventurous range of cask ales.

        Full report to follow on the blog, in due course.


      2. Their two London pubs were the successful Nags Head in Hampstead and less successful Village Blacksmith in Woolwich.

        I remember the Anglesea Arms in 1974 being, after the legendary Becky’s Dive Bar, being only about London’s second free house with a proper range of beers, soon to be followed by the Sun in Lambs Conduit Street.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s