Yes, that’s lovely Ed Sheeran beaming out at you from the cover of the new Wetherspoons magazine, which brings you news of their many openings.

Spoons openings
Good news for Abbot fans in Dublin, anyway

Hopefully Duncan was able to tick the Silver Penny on his emergency, Presleyesque stop in Ireland this week.

The prospects for my dream of a Spoons in Waterbeach look poor, even though I’ve identified my house for conversion, so it’s a good job Fakenham (pop. 7,617) got their Limes in before the retrenchment.

Cromwell not amused

This little market town, notable only for occasional horsey races and an annual Christmas nostalgiafest, is now home to a Spoons, a Hungry Horse and a Marston’s diner.

But only 3 pubs, the Limes, an unremarkable keg boozer and a licensed bistro with a lone Doom Bar pump remain in the centre, once host to several lively GBG bars.

Not that “lively” is a word to describe Fakenham.


“Night Commons”, mills, Augustinian Priory, waymarked walks.


The only drama comes when I’m confronted by an aggressive chicken and a small horse.

Danger !

The town itself is large enough to detain you for about 72 seconds, unless you walk as ponderously as the citizens of Fakenham.

Future mi…
Stately church
Vaguely interesting old fire station

The Spoons is magnificently dull, unless you’re a keen cyclist.

Scrum at the bar

I’ve rarely seen a Spoons so quiet, except in Wells last year. Though of course, most Norfolk pubs would be delighted to have 30 customers for a quiet session.

Most of those 30 are families, with just a couple of Professional Drinkers following the racing from Bath on their I-Phone.

Able to count pints pulled from here (one pint)

I thought of a killer question to ask the barman while he poured by Grafton Stout (NBSS 3, tasty but thin), and came up with,

Why is no-one eating ?”

“It’s Norfolk mate, they only eat at Proper times”.

Exciting line-up

I felt a heathen, grazing on my chicken bites at 4pm.

It’s a different world here, as Curry Charles will tell you.


    1. I go to pubs for conversations like the one I heard tonight.
      ” I called into the Cotton Ball last week and you’ll never guess who I saw ? ”
      “Who ? ”
      ” Clinically Dead Fred ”
      ” F*ck off, I thought he was dead ”
      ” Nope, alive and kicking although he told me he’s retired as a barman on health grounds.”
      ” Why is he called Clinically Dead Fred ? ” Because he always looks clinically dead.”
      ” I thought he looked like Marty Feldman with big bug-eyes going in different directions. Always a bastard to catch his eye for a pint because you never knew which one was really looking at you.”
      ” Remember that time he went home so drunk he couldn’t get his key into the front-door keyhole.His old mam shouted down are you okay ? ”
      “Yes ” he shouted back ” but is there any chance you can throw down a keyhole because I’ve lost the f*cker ”
      Then the pub went quiet for a while before Noel the Bowler said ” F*cking hell, Clinically Dead Fred is still alive.There’s hope for us all.”
      And then we got back to chatting to the lad who’d just flown in from Uganda via Amsterdam and hadn’t slept for two days but was hoping to complete the full 20 pints for the journey to get a good night’s sleep.
      I love pubs me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always liked the Great Eastern on Brandon railway station.
        The level crossing gates closing meant “drink up, it’s time to go home”.


  1. No mention of the gasworks museum? I did go to the Silver Penny during my enforced break in Dublin, but I didn’t realise it was such a recent opening. It had loads of cask beer on. Not bad considering we only had 2 hours left before closing time in the city.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gasworks Museum?

      The Tourist Office forgot to offer that as part of the 5* highlights package.

      Good going in Dublin. I guess it’s only getting in the GBG if Northern Ireland branch take on surveying but poss not worth the trouble (no pun intended).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In addition to a great many other things, your blog provides an interesting comparison of various “sculptural signposts/monuments in public parks” (like the one in the photo you captioned ‘yawn’). It’s surprising how many of them are more than a little eccentric!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. When we do, they’re deadly dull. Honestly the only places in my area that are really interesting are the small local cemeteries here and there, which do indeed stretch pretty far back into the 19th century.


      2. The cycleways and footpaths around Cardiff have near-identical signage, apparently made by the same artisans.

        Did your yawn perhaps relate to the fact that you have seen them all over the place too? Or was once enough?

        I like the little yellow arrows, which run out at a crossway in the middle of nowhere best.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “the new Wetherspoons magazine, which brings you news of their many openings” but no mention of the annual closure lists.
    He’s a very dodgy bloke that Tim. .


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