EXPLORING THE A10 – STRETHAM

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March 2020

Day 2 without pubs, though with a few posts still to bring you from last week with (Parental Advisory) a consoling pub visit in them.

There’ll be quite a few trips up the A10 in the next few weeks, as I attempt to find you something attractive about the Fens.

Stretham

Five minutes up the road from RetiredMartin Towers is a large lay-by where the A10 magically crosses the Great Ouse.

Fenlanders know it as the Lazy Otter, a haven for gentlefolk who like staring at the sweet trolley watching the river from a 1980s conservatory.

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Unique pub name ?

A decent pint of Adnams here over the years, good enough for it to compete the similar Five Miles From Anywhere (No Hurry) for a coveted GBG place, but having been shut for a while the planned mid-March re-opening looks optimistic.

Strethm2

A five mile walk round the bounds of Stretham is a good place to practice your social isolation (I met one dog walker),

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Scary cat
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This chap sadly didn’t make it

and observe the joy of footpaths signs based on pubs (closed ones, sadly). Don’t take your pleasures for granted.

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Don’t where the third fingerpost is pointing to, possibly the 5 Miles

In the Summer of ’76, with Punk replacing Prog in the charts, this was Number One. (WARNING : Dave Lee Travis).

In my last year at Milton Primary School, we went on a Big Trip to the honeypots of the Fen Edge, including the Pumping Station at Stretham Old Engine.

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Closed till…..who knows ?
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Your big skies
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For Pete

A single track road past yelping guard dogs leads to the one pub, one shop, one Chinese takeaway village of Stretham.

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Illustrative village sign on the millennium green
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Will Wok top name, decent takeaway I haven’t used for years

Loads of new housing on the A142 to Soham, but it’s essentially a dormitory village for Cambridge and Ely, envying Waterbeach with its railway station. Nice windmill though (top).

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Blossom
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Typical Fen Edge church

The Red Lion was a basic on-off GBG Fen pub with a decent sweet cabinet till about 20 years ago, when it had a disastrous Robinsons-style modernisation,

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The ivy has gone

When Kentish Paul stayed here a few years ago it seemed to have gone back to basics, and started selling Marston beers (rare in Cambs).

Joy of joys, it still is.

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All you need

On the downside, one Old Boy on Stella in the Public, and one Old Boy (OK, same age as me) drinking Lost & Grounded DIPA Stella in the Lounge.

I got a great welcome.

“Straight or Handle ?”

“Straight. Thanks for asking”

“There you go darling”

I’m afraid I go to the pub for that simple personal interaction, and the chat with the Old Boy about the weather, not for the beer.

Even a cool, creamy pint of Marston’s Saddle Tank like this.

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Jamie Oliver. The hero we need right now.

Very much a pint in the tradition of Hinckley, I thought, like the beer twat I am.

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Lacings

Having scored it a 3.5 on WhatPub, it did fade a little (see also: London Pride) to a 3 as it reached the bottom, but that’s still a whole point better than I expected.

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Still lacings. Sign of a good pub.

As school ended, a cheery Dad came into the Public with two lads and ordered a Fosters and cokes. The 8 year old wanted to put the jukebox on.

Dad asked me, “Is it OK if I put the music on, mate“. What a joy to be asked.

And what a great Dad, I think, introducing children to pubs, being respectful of other pub users, and letting them choose the music.

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Great dad

The lad gets on the stall and searches for someone called AG Tracey, who I assume is a cartoon character given the lad’s 8 years old.

No luck.

I do a search. “Ah, A J Tracey“. That works. “Thanks mate“.

Not what I was expecting, and thank heavens our children can still upset us with their musical choices.

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*Which is why home delivery and off-sales mean nothing to me.

7 thoughts on “EXPLORING THE A10 – STRETHAM

  1. “Unique pub name ?”
    I think there used to be a Lazy Otter near Newark.
    And that’s got me trying to remember what Newark’s famous for ?

    Liked by 1 person

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