BRIDGE OVER UNTROUBLED CHARWELTON

Blimey, I’m catching up a bit.

In fact, I’m about to put Northamptonshire to bed, the best place for it.

Award yourself a half of Doom Bar if you knew where Charwelton is.

Daventry” is close enough.

Not quite Clun, but I was able to stand in the middle of the A361 to take this shot of the medieval packhorse bridge.

Yes, it’s the Crowland of the Midlands, a treasured position.

Only one jogger passed me out on the Jurassic way, where the eponymous film was shot in 1992.

Northants is an understated county, with much to be understated about.

190 of the village’s 220 residents came out to say hello, perhaps wondering if I was going to take on the vacant Rector’s post.

But I’m not.

I suspect the Fox and Hounds gets more visitors than the Church of the Good Shepherd. Use it or lose it.

It’s not the best Northants pub in the Guide, not even in the top 50.

A bit too “Bucks”.

But the welcome was warm, and if everyone else was eating at least they knew each other and said “ello“.

And they all wore hats indoors, cos that’s how you get ahead.

I made the classic mistake of ordering the North Cotswold homebrew, which fluctuated wildly between NBSS 2.37 and 3.07. And back again.

I’m sure the barman was trying to warn me off. The next Old Boy had the Sheep.

The barman showed folk through to the dining room, but had my number sussed and didn’t ask if I was eating .

I only had a high table and a supply of County magazines to entertain myself, but sometimes that’s enough.

Miss Jane Fortescue-Spenlock married Master Charles Foddlesham in Canons Ashby, it probably tells me.

I was more interested in the adverts in the surprisingly colourful Daventry tourist brochure.

Go on. Treat yourself to a weekend in Daventry. I dare you.

For once in my life” gave way to “Let’s stay together“, and two octagenarians loudly discussed their hatred of turkey.

You don’t HAVE to do Christmas at all” I seethed, silently.

And then returned to the thin glass from hell.

25 thoughts on “BRIDGE OVER UNTROUBLED CHARWELTON

  1. When you refer to one of the beers you see on the bar as ‘homebrew’ (partly in jest, I’m guessing), does it mainly mean that it’s a smaller local brewery that you’re trying out for the first time? Or is there an element of you sensing that it is indeed a new, small brewery, possibly a little inexperienced, selling beers that might turn out to be a bit ‘amateur’ compared to the more familiar breweries?

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    1. “Homebrew” is my term for the dull tastealike beer produced by 90% of the small brewers lauded on CAMRA pages.

      It’s rarely bad beer, or weird, just dull. Since no-one else will name good and bad, I’ll put Weltons in that camp.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree with you about Weltons Martin, but not about the 90%.

        There’s plenty of good “new wave” beer to be had out there if you open your eyes and stop summarily dismissing it, before even trying it. 😀

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    2. The latter, I would say. I suppose Martin feels an obligation to go for the unfamiliar, just as with new GBG pubs, rather than sticking with the Sheep.

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      1. It is largely home brew though. There’s 2,000 odd breweries and I only see them as one-offs in free houses or at local beer fests.

        The quality on the bar is a lottery because 90% of drinkers stick to reliable choices; it’s just the ones who expect a different line-up each day make a lot of noise in CAMRA media.

        Let me be specific. I haven’t had a really good Old Dairy beer for5 years, it’s always a 2.5/3, and I always go for their beer as I remember how good it was when they launched.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Definitely the latter, though I’m normally the one who will go for the better known beer as I expect it to be faster-selling. Turns out Black Sheep was the stock beer here, and I’m a big fan of Black Sheep, so my error. The thin glass is the pub’s…

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      3. I find those that have grown significantly over a decade or two to a reasonable size – such as Titanic, Slaters and Lymestone – to brew good beer but maybe 89% of the new little ones – such as Uttoxeter, izaac Walton and Vine Rugeley – to be no better than homebrew.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It’s very often the ones that brew largely for their own pub that are weakest.

        Slater’s can be a bit wishy washy though the sexist beer that had to change its name was generally reliable.

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      1. Yes, definitely.

        I also remember some truly terrible food in alternative pubs that we tried along the route. Fox and Hounds was definitely the best.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “I’m about to put Northamptonshire to bed, the best place for it”

    There’s soooo many things I could type here; but I won’t. 🙂

    “Award yourself a half of Doom Bar if you knew where Charwelton is.”

    I did, but I’m going to feign ignorance to avoid the half of Doom Bar.*

    * – Kidding. No bloody idea where it is.

    “to take this shot of the medieval packhorse bridge.”

    Are packhorses considered midieval because barge travel came along soon after?

    “where the eponymous film was shot in 1992.”

    Surely they filmed it at the Jurassic Way in Stamford? 😉

    (and eponymous? – you’re making us work for our reading that’s for sure!)

    “wondering if I was going to take on the vacant Rector’s post.”

    We were worried about our paper lady being replaced for December. But luckily some old gent has decided to do it (but much later in the day).

    “Use it or lose it.”

    Words I tell my darling wife every week.

    “cos that’s how you get ahead.”

    (slow golf cla… on second thought; groooooan).

    “The next Old Boy had the Sheep.”

    No comment. 🙂

    “I was more interested in the adverts in the surprisingly colourful Daventry tourist brochure.”

    Hmmm. In-house cleaning. Surely that’s code for getting rid of all the blood ‘n stuff after a family ‘row’. 😉

    “You don’t HAVE to do Christmas at all”

    Yup. Save it for Thanksgiving, like we do. 🙂

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Surprised about the Old Dairy, Martin. We did have an excellent pint of OD at the Ypres, back in February, if you remember. Perhaps Old Dairy needs a good landlord, like Jeff to bring out the best in it.

    I agree with your point about CAMRA wanting an ever changing line up on the bar, but despite the inevitable duff beers there are still plenty of good ones out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your memory is holding up better than mine, Paul?

      You’re right about the Ypres, of course, though I was driving that day unfortunately 😉

      What I’m saying is that excellent beers like Landlord, Old Dairy and Harvey’s can seem very drab when you’re only pouring one pint an hour rather than a dozen, creating a vicious circle that leads folk like Mrs RM to the keg.

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