Straight into the new GBG20 entries, then. I expect Duncan did them in 1987, mind.

None of you guessed No.1.

Keeping the red flag flying in coastal Essex.

Of course, it was the Red Lion in Maldon. Almost a clue in the name. Sort of.

Mrs RM and I met Joan and Dave Southworth there and used up lots of Spoons vouchers on Shefford’s SOD, which was a very Essex NBSS 3.5.

But if I had to use one phrase to sum it up, it wouldn’t be NBSS 3.5. It would be “detritus“.

Look how different the same beers appear pulled 30 seconds apart;

All SODs

The next day I headed to one of a mere two Cambridgeshire new entries.


The Three Horseshoes in Houghton is a pleasantly dull hour’s walk from Huntingdon station, a bit less across the Ouse from Godmanchester.


I’m certain I’d been here before, possibly as a two year old when my parents brought me to Houghton Mill for boat trips on the pond. My sister, six months old at the time, will remember the scores for the lemonade.

Nearly fell in here in 1967
Closest I got to a foreign holiday till 1975

Houghton is a pretty village, but you can only live here if you thatch your house with a key historical scene. Preferably not Cromwell.

In this scene we see Duncan and Simon arguing about who gets to post about the new GBG first.

Duncan wins

Huntingdonshire pubs always look old because;

a) They’re old

b) That Mann’s signage really dates them.


What would have been wrong with three horseshoes on the sign though

It’s just gone twelve, the sun has brought the grey pound out to the Mill, and I prepare for the greeter.

Writing on the wall a warning sign

But there’s no greeter. In fact it’s quite pubby, and the menu of paninis and cheesey chips in very 1987, if not 1967 (what was on a pub menu in 1967 ?).

All the beers are from the barrel, and you’ll have heard of nearly all of them.

Kansas via Bedford

Roger Protz has alerted us to a change in the recipe for the 2004 Best Bitter award winner.

Foamy and lovely

Why change perfection ?” I hear you say. No idea if this was pre- or post- makeover, but it was easily the best IPA for a long while. NBSS 3.5 at least.

The New Yorker and cheesey chips were best described as “filling”.

Balanced diet

A proper pub lunch, in fact, accompanied by all your favourites ’70s hits. “Billy Don’t Be A Hero”, “All Right Now”, “Anarchy in the UK“.

I’m mentally prepared for being the only customer at lunchtimes, so I was pleased when a couple of gentlefolk did turn up for lunch after half an hour.

What’s your lowest alcohol beer ? Do you have Ghost Ship”

“Our lowest is 3.6%”

“Oh. That’s far too strong. I’ll have a lime and lemonade

And we wonder why real ale sales have fallen off a cliff.



  1. “Look how different the same beers appear pulled 30 seconds apart” but I wouldn’t expect a head, let alone lacings, on beer straight from the cask, which is how all cask beer was served until someone invented the handpump.
    I stayed in Houghton Mill forty years ago when it was a Youth Hostel.


  2. Yup.
    ” Life-enhancing ” quotes on the wall is another thing that gets right on my wick.
    Along with people wearing T- shirts with messages roughly translated as saying ” look at me I’m a twat without a life “.
    Tatts on middle-aged people is another thing guaranteed to send my bile duct into overdrive.
    And small yappy dogs.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’t really countenance violence against small yappy things.
        But with John Bercow I’d make an exception.
        I mean what other person on this planet uses pettifogging as an insult.
        Another solid gold tosser.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Rees_Moog? Is that some sort of posh synthesiser? I would have thought the man himself would prefer a spinet or perhaps a harpsichord.


      1. Absolutely not.
        A shirt with no sleeves to roll up ?
        And you’re already a legend without the need to draw attention to yourself with a twee message on it.
        Although I wonder if you’ve ever thought of copyrighting ” Staffs Mudge Rules OK ? “

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve made me realize that there are two levels to this “quotation on the wall” thing: the cheap-canvas-thing-hanging-on-the-wall approach (which could at least possibly be tossed out at some point) and the lettering-painted-directly-on-the-wall approach, which shows they’ve fully committed to it. The latter reminds me of the food court at my local shopping mall. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s a wink!

      Yes, motivational messages come just below tasters.

      I remember a girl at a festival in the 80s with a t-shirt that said

      “Take risks. You can win as well as lose”.

      Stuck with me.

      At least with beer served from the barrel it’s hard to give tasters.

      Liked by 1 person

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