GREAT BOOKHAM – WISH YOU WERE HERE

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9th January 2020

Surrey. Underrated county, overrated beer, BRAPA-unfriendly pubs in waiting.

Fourteen new entries in GBG 20, the usual mix of Michelin stars, micros and posh mummies and daddies.

Anchor

Great Bookham is a pleasant but safe bit of suburbia next to the mighty Leatherhead, but it does have Box Hill and a string of National Trust piles to keep it company, which is nice.

The village is home to two famous Britons.

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Referee Ray Lewis, the “Great Booker from Great Bookham” achieved a UK record of 1,237 bookings and 85 red cards over a 24 year career, though VAR may yet upgrade some of those yellows.

There was also some prog rock chap from the ’70s, but his last number 1 was in 1979.

See the source image

Stafford Paul will have more interest in the Hodgsons’ tiling on the Old Crown.

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Classic font

The Anchor is the classic gentlefolk pub, right down to the font beloved of Home Counties Courage pubs since 1962.

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Looks awfully familiar

Surrey pulls this sort of pub off perfectly, from the opening on the dot of 11:30, to the padded seats,

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to the roaring but unnecessary fire,

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Events !

to the weird homemade homebrew clip.

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No idea if it was drinking well

to the classic Courage and Pride range.

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Courage purchase approved off

Actually, I say it was open on the dot of 11:30 but the venerable Landlady described opening times as “loose” these days, which was what us pub tickers want to hear.

The other thing with Surrey pubs is I always fail to have enough coins ready in my hand to pay, particularly after a week of £1.50 or £1.75 being plenty.

The Courage was a flat 2.5, OK but hardly Doom Bar standards, and the only sound a crackling fire and the inevitable phone calls from Colonels to book lunch, which looked splendidly unpretentious.

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Perfectly pleasant, though it left me with a nagging feeling I’d been before.

A feeling confirmed when I opened up my giant spreadsheet a day later and realised I’d been here before the internet. Poor record keeping, but I’ll live.

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7 thoughts on “GREAT BOOKHAM – WISH YOU WERE HERE

      1. I think it’s “Our chips are cooked in the fryer along with processed peas” which is since they gave up trying to cook broccoli to their customers’ satisfaction.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “Stafford Paul will have more interest in the Hodgsons’ tiling on the Old Crown” – yes, a reminder of Hodgson’s Kingston Brewery, established about 1610, acquired by Courage in 1943, closed in 1965 and demolished in 1971. .

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  2. That Hodgson’s tiling is gorgeous. I sense your efforts to make Surrey interesting are testing your powers but have every faith in you. Remember Ray Lewis- did you give him that very apt title? Ah the days when they told you where the ref was from.

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