Bit of a theme running through this blog, as no doubt academics would discover in 100 years if the Internet hadn’t accidentally been destroyed in the Great Fire of 2033.

The more handpumps the worse the beer, attractive pubs aren’t the best, published opening times are largely indicative, and bar blocking remains a national sport in modest market towns like Plympton.

Modest, but a great church to spend half an hour waiting for the Union to open.



The average age of folk buried in St Mary is 62.3 years, so use it or lose it, as kidz say.

Most of the kidz were in the Social Club watching England cruise past the Aussies on their way to the World Cup Final.

Here they are, watching it on a giant screen in the car park.


At 4pm there was no sign of life in the Union Inn. The front door tight shut, the side boarded up.

And no opening times, of course.


I walked the hill of bungalows and back. Devon time is half an hour behind Cambridge, after all.

Just as I passed the butcher, I heard a cheer from the Union.


A closer look found an entrance from the car park, and a packed pub with lights dimmed. Do Devonians have lock-ins when the pub’s opened, I wondered.

I felt a real outsider, the only bloke (it was all blokes) not in shorts, standing at the bar. It could have been a West London pub in November.


Make way for the gent, ‘ee wants to see the beers”

I really didn’t, anything would do.

They’ve got loads of them real ales ‘ere mate.”

Actually, they were a lovely bunch, and the Exeter Fraid Not was a cool and gorgeous NBSS 3. 5.

Clearly anticipating a visit from Mark Crilley, they’d put on Karma Chameleon and Jealous Guy especially.

I just wish they’d have sat down.



  1. Did you know, that owing to Welsh orthography, there is no way in written Welsh to finish a word, with the sound that would be rendered by “sh” in English, such as “fish”?


  2. Thanks for the shout out as always, Martin! I must say Culture Club was not my thing back in the 80s; I was more of a Haircut 100 kind of guy. 🙂

    Your photo with the dog in it got me thinking of how the presence of dogs in some pubs is one of the things that makes pubs distinctive. (Though many pub enthusiasts dislike pubs having dogs in them, I gather). I know you basically never see a dog in an American bar, and I wonder if you see dogs in comparable drinking establishments in France, Germany, Spain, etc? It’s one of those things that adds to the “you’re in somebody’s home” feeling.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I put those in just to get a reaction. It always works.

      Yes, the Clubbers and the Haircuts are worlds apart. The 3rd Culture Club LP (Waking Up…) is actually criminally underrated and probably better than The White Album if played backwards.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Reg,
      Yes, the presence of dogs in some pubs is one of the things that makes pubs distinctive and the absence of them adds to the monotony of Wetherspoons venues.
      Just think how a Jack Russell or two might despatch a few rats without need to call in the pest controllers and attracting national publicity for the problem yet again. .

      Liked by 1 person

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