Yippee ! A new town, a Protected Food type, a GBG tick and pre-emptive (possibly), and an old-fashioned Tayside derby at the coldest football ground in Britain.

Yes, I’d been looking forward to Arbroath all year.


15 minutes on the train from Dundee to a Proper Town.

Typical Station pub

Yes, a scruffy place, with just a hint of humour.

Carpets for discos

The Gillingham of the North, I thought, and I don’t mean the one in Dorset.

But the High Street is neat and colourful and nearly steep, which Gillingham isn’t.

Colourful High Street

The Spoons looks like the grandest building in town now the Abbey is in ruins. That’s why Gentlefolk flock to Wetherspoons in their hundreds from Arbroath to Andover.

Typical Scottish Spoons with bloke in Man Utd shirt

That, and the cheap beer.

Actual cask being served. In Scotland. Oh, just tasters.

At the bar a chap asked for tasters of two of the cask ales, including the Strathaven, turning both down in favour of a Punk IPA. #TheBattleIsLost.

And then asking for a top-up.

Would have been a bargain if any good

I only switched to the Abbot late on as someone brave had just ordered a pint.

It looked OK, was clearly selling well, and produced some decent lacings.

There’s a pub

BUT it was much too sweet and I couldn’t finish it.

With an hour till kick-off at Gayfield I did the tourist trail.


I’d picked up a programme outside the ground, and found out that Arbroath FC had played Signing Of Declaration FC on that day in 1320. Sadly records of the score had been lost.

Duncan remembers the Supplementary Cup fondly

Luckily, an annual recreation of that match is played at the Abbey annually (below).

Strangely no VAR

I still had time for a half in the Lochlands. an occasional GBG entry.

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All blokes watching Hearts v Hibs, but all very chatty and cheery, a BRAPA of a pub.

A reckless late Hibs sliding tackle caused a near riot that actually improved my very decent Deuchars (NBSS 3=).

Old school

Just time for the smokies. Scott will tell me that Stuart’s isn’t my best choice, but my warmed portion was startlingly tasty for £3 odd.

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That didn’t stop me falling badly for the steak and black pudding pie at the ground though. The best football food in the UK, Kidderminster apart. You need hot food, the sea wind bites right through you.

The tiny club bar celebrates their 36-0 win over Bon Accord in 1885, a tie that will be replayed after VAR is applied retrospectively.

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Just the one Arbroath goal today against neighbours Montrose, but that would have been enough to guarantee promotion until a 93rd minute Raith equaliser delayed the pitch invasion till a week later at Brechin.

The carpet disco would have to wait, but at least there was no lack of culinary delights to ward off the biting cold.



  1. Like the slideshows. Nice to not have to scroll through the photos. Keep it up. No chance of boredom with these posts. Arbroath looks like a great place to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not keen on slideshow but otherwise you get 20+ images to work through. Goodness knows how many Si will take.

      The train journey along the coast was worthwhile, but it’s one for the purist


  2. Signing of Declaration result was later overturned on appeal. Good effort v Celtic in 1974. There have been a few hard won then easily lost GBG entries in Arbroath over the years that you would have enjoyed. But you certainly made the most of your visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Arbroath’s a cracking little town. I had really good smokies from Stuart’s too. A better Spoons experience than you had but then again I tend to swerve the Abbot.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Quick update as I’m too pissed to wax lyrical.
    Two brewpubs,three other bars and a long boozy lunch.
    And the sun is still high in the sky.
    As I suspect I will be when it’s time for Bedfordshire.
    You know,neat tequila isn’t so bad when you get used to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would like to submit a counter claim to the coldest football ground in Britain – Odsal. Okay, you can argue it is actually a rugby league ground or a speedway stadium, but when Bradford City played there after the tragic fire, I can tell you it was freezing, week in week out.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Every time I have worked at Odsal Top it has been freezing. The clue is in the name, it surely is at the top end of Bradford, bleak, windy, cold all that is missing is cries of ‘Cathy’ and ‘Heathcliffe’, not far from the Richard Dunn sports centre, remember him?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. We had a Scotch pie in Perth -was horrified to find it full of boiling hot liquid/grease -eating on the hoof was very difficult & we got into a right mess.Our Lancastrian chums (being more experienced pie eaters ) took it on the chin -literally.Scotch pies not for me & these were award winners allegedly .Reading earlier comments – noted Richard commented that Odsal was coldest sports ground -I agree -I fell asleep in the stand once -I think it was hypothermia setting in .(so sad to see his comments -I was only just getting to “know ” him )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is just a “Only Yorkshire makes proper pies, comment, isn’t it Pauline !

      I would say the crisp pastry and hot filling in pies at Arbroath FC and later that year at Huntly FC were culinary highlights of any year.


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