12th January 2020

I need to get a move on. 28 pubs from the West Country to come, two of them retiredmartin Top 10 entries.

But first a second trip to Ramsgate in five days, leaving me to stare longingly at the sole gap on the Kent map at Charcott. Wherever that is.


I’d popped down to Thanet to say hello/goodbye for now to Nick of Erlanger Nick fame. Nick was a great host while in Germany and a bit of an expert on Thanet’s 837 micros, bless him.


His journey from Erlangen to Ramsgate is probably best left for Nick’s book, if I’m honest, but I sent Sunday night hearing the edited highlights which make BRAPA’s blog seem like the Arsenal 1994-95 Season Review.

By a stroke of misfortune the GBG micro was closing. At 6pm.

Micro. Closed.

So we met at the Artillery Arms, which cruelly isn’t even in the GBG these days.

But what a cracker.

Proper windows
Churchill and gin

The reassuring sight of smokers at the door (sorry Nick), pints left unguarded at the bar, and a busier Sunday crowd than anywhere in Newbury or Maidstone or Cambridge.

View from the bar stool. The free snacks had finished.

Waiting for Nick and Crystal (woof !) on the bar stool I had chance to read the mission statement, which makes a lot more sense than most NHS mission statements ever did.


The keys words there are “hub of the locality” and “fun“. Compare that to the list of “Thou shalt nots” nailed to the front of a “Proper” micropub.

The beer is rather secondary to the fun.


By the time Nick arrived I was two pints of Gadds up/down, the Dogbolter edging out the No.5 by 3.5 to 3.

Nice lacings

I found us a nice table on the homely raised section of the pub where Nick could feed Crystal and watched magic happen.

Nick and Crystal

Perhaps it was the impact of the rhubard cider (NRCSS 4),

Actual colour

but I had one of those “Wow” moments you get once a month in a pub if you’re lucky.

Arthur Brown’s Fire gave way to a Mozart concerto (I think Crystal identified that one) and “We Have All The Time In the World” took on special meaning as Nick talked through life, love and loathing in Vegas.

It was what pubs are there for. I wish it had ended there after five pints, but it never does, does it ?



  1. Good news that Nick is back. Has he now realised his dream of settling in Thanet?

    Artillery Arms, always a good bet, although several years now since my last visit.


  2. Not sure if I’ve commented on it before, but I had a poor experience in here, being given distinctly sub-standard beer that they quibbled about changing. I seem to be a bit out of step, but I wasn’t impressed in general by Ramsgate’s pubs. The Rose of England and Great Tree were also disappointing.


    1. You did mention it, and I agree that a quibble about changing beer is always a downer.

      I had five different beers here, my longest stint in one pub for many years. The first was a bit off my Gadds standard, the others progressively good or better.

      Perhaps the characters of pubs here trumps beer quality a bit, and I veer toward the scruffier end of the market in my tastes. I always preferred Spread Eagle and Tiviot to the Arden Arms in Stockport πŸ˜‰

      Ramsgate does it for me, particularly when the sun is out. The pale red and blue of those basic Thorley Taverns pubs are especially appealing.


      1. This presumably is why it’s cruelly not in the GBG…

        Concerned that Nick is back off to the USA – can’t see that ending well.


  3. I see that Gadds ( any relation to Paul Gadd ? ) have taken up the Dogbolter name once a common sight in David Bruce’s Firkin pubs.


    1. I trust that the good author meant safe in the physical sense, and not necessarily in topics of conversation or in humour, Scott.

      But some people like hanging around with gangsters and with hoods, on the other hand.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I first read this on my phone at work & for some reason the photos weren’t showing -I thought Crystal was a young lady who made you go “Woof ” ,like Lord Flashheart or something. A lovely pooch by the way

    Liked by 1 person

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