25th February 2020

The actual last Wiltshire GBG pub was a couple of miles from the honeypots of Melksham and Chippenham, in the suburbs of Corsham. You’ll remember the joy the Flemish Weaver gave me last year with its “winter hours” definition.


I arrived in tiny Neston after one of the rare sunny days this year (it’s raining again this weekend) under dramatic skies.


Wiki only tells me one fact about Neston; the Fullers family, of Tokyo Pride fame, came from Neston Park.

10 minutes till 6pm opening at the almost eponymous inn; time to find the eerie church and a potential micropub conversion project.

People who died earlier than I will

The Neston Country Inn (what’s wrong with trad names like Bouncing Barrel ?) gives nothing away.


Two South Africans, our publican heroes, are running around stoking fires and tidying the bar as I push the door to at 18:01.


They seem genuinely pleased to see me; that’s not always the case.

I ask them how long they’ve been here.

“The country, or the pub ?”

The pub, of course, I’m intrigued by how long it takes to get in the GBG.

“Eleven years”

Foaming head

Perhaps they’ve only recently gone LocAle. Perhaps they only had their first NBSS scores from a local member 2 years ago. Perhaps it’s just their turn (joke).

Anyway, the Stonehenge is crisp and cool and looks immaculate, and I score it a 3.5 to single handedly keep it in the GBG for 2022.

The Landlady chats about weather and real fires, and I marvel at her ability to make a pub look so effortlessly simple and unmodernised despite relying on food.

Right on cue a couple of local husbands and wives tip up for their tea; the first pint of Box Steam is already being poured.

“I’ve dropped a spike in my toploader” says the Landlady, to much merriment.

I know nothing about beer, and still have no idea what that means, but I do hope it’s not a euphemism. I return my gaze to the fire.


ICYMI, here’s that Wilts glory again.



  1. Well done on completing another County what a month its been. I see the LocAle pump clip header is 2 versions behind the latest CAMRA one so I would suggest that they have been accredited for quite a while (Says I as the LocAle officer for Surrey Hants Borders ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting that the pub was being run by people from South Africa. Do you often encounter pubs where the people running it are from a distant land?

    We used to have a local faux-Irish pub in the neighborhood and I remember they’d hired a genuine Irish guy to work behind the bar. When I ordered a pint of Boddies one time, he made quite a dramatic moment of delivering the glass to me: “There you are, my friend: Boddingtons, the cream of Manchester!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet you were thrilled by that, Mark ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Believe or not, the very next GBG pub I write about is also run by a South African!

      Not unknown. And apart from stocking biltong they weren’t much different from a trad English boozer.

      Liked by 1 person

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