March 2020

The end of Week 1 of the Distancing.

No pubs, just one unit of Kernel Saison shared with Mrs RM, no football, no gigs, and worst of all, NO CHINESE TAKEAWAY.

Yes, Chung Hwa has closed. Now this is serious.

On Sunday afternoon I took a walk around closed pubs in north Cambridge.


As you’ll know by now, that walk was 56 minutes more than I’ll be allowed today.

Matthew did a Geography project on the Kings Hedges and Arbury estates, which are Cambridge’s Cheetham Hill or Edgeley.

His study was more about social geography than the Romans. What did the Romans ever do for us ?

All they left us was Peroni

It’s a drab mile from the new Orchard Park estate (the one with Travelodge and Premier Inn you can see from the A14), but it passes arguably Cambridge’s last surviving estate boozer.

Some very unhappy Old Boys round here at the moment

For five points, what was unique about this former pub in Arbury Court?

Ah, memories

I used to ride in a delivery van with my dad (or mum, sexist) to delivery fruit and veg and flowers to the shops in Arbury, so I can tell you where the best places to get sherbert dib-dabs were 45 years ago, anyway.

Looks like those Derby estates Life After Football blogs on

Dull walking, though the blossoms as you reach Chesterton and Cambridge proper are quite something.


Approaching the Universities I saw the Carpenters was doing decent trade in pizza and Peroni. No cartons of Eagle, sadly.

Rare Wells pub

Dave demanded hills; he shall have hills. Right by the Council offices.

Hilly as it gets
Used for cover of Hergest Ridge
View from the castle mound

Nothing open, of course, though Kettles Yard Gallery had kindly left their current exhibition on display in the window.

Perhaps “cat fighting” is due a comeback.

Takes all sorts

Cambridge’s charms are thriving with less visitors.

You can stand in the middle of the cycle lane, hear birdsong outside McDonalds, dolphins are once again swimming in the Cam, and craft is banished from the land.

H20 discovered here or something
Does what it says on the tin
Spot the human

And finally, here’s what the beer shelves at Sainsbury’s look like.


£2 for Old Tom. Not bad.

As is now traditional. I leave you with some appropriate music from Soccer Mommy, whose new album is wonderful. And I know you all trust my music recommendations.

In the absence of pubs, football and crispy beef, music needs to get me through now.

27 thoughts on “BLOSSOM

  1. Odd that Old Tom would be the last beer on that shelf. Will you be permitted to walk outdoors going forward? I have not seen your regulations yet. We’re headed back to complete normalcy within days I hear. Herr Fabulist just told us so. We’re apparently headed to a generational war in the coming weeks.


    1. Guidance is a walk of an hour maximum, preferably on your own. No driving to walks, of course. Basically, stay at home.

      Best to avoid shops and supermarkets altogether if you can but very difficult to get a slot for home delivery.

      I’m feeling the loss of the Chung Hwa badly. Kebab ban still open.


      1. I do see people when I walk, but when possible they give each other a wide berth. It’s odd how the England statistics don’t seem to hit the news here. I see much more on Italy than England. Obviously Italy is further along with the virus, but I would think we would see England stats more frequently.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I’m surprised too, not just because of history but because we’re similar (or not).

        It’s more the pressure on the NHS than the numbers themselves, I think. No planned (elective) care


      3. Any sense why Chung Hwa would close? I’ve heard over here that people were avoiding Chinese restaurants.


      1. But it looks like £2 for a pack of twelve bottles.
        At least I had a pint of Old Tom, gravity dispense, in Macclesfield two months ago.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. On my walk today I found a herd of alpacas -about half a mile from my house -obviously not wild -they belong to some rich (even richer than us ) people at Allington Castle.I was delighted -one of the events I had to cancel was a walk & talk with alpacas in Northumberland so we will be able to get an alpaca fix close to home ! Small pleasures.My music fix at the moment is a Rammstein mix on Spotify- very loud

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “What was unique about this former pub in Arbury Court?”
    Not that “it was the site of three assaults in a single night”?
    Not that’s it’s been converted to a Sikh temple. The Ship Aground in Lower Clapton also has.
    Definitely not that it was a Greene King pub in Cambridge.

    “Rare Wells pub”.
    I remember the Ancient Druids, Elm Tree and Wrestlers being the three Charles Wells pubs in Cambridge.


    1. Druids is a Chinese restaurant, Elm Tree owned by Wells but run by (or was) Shefford, and Wrestlers a Thai restaurant with Wells beers, and our favourite place to eat in Cambridge.
      There’s also the Dobblers, a very rare drinkers pub.


  4. From the Lost Pubs Project:

    The Grove.

    The Grove was situated in Arbury Court. This pub closed in 2011.
    Source: Phil Rodgers.

    This pub was previously known as The Snow Cat. It had a distinctive sloping copper roof and gravity fed beer from the attic.
    Jason Hoare (May 2012).

    Is that it, Martin?


      1. I remember in the 1970s Greene King opening “a fun pub”, the first time I had heard that term, that had beer by gravity from a ‘cellar’ upstairs. This was most probably it.


      2. I quite like the sound of that in principle.

        If it were high enough, then you’d get enough pressure to use a sparkler – if you were that way given.

        I imagine that keeping it cool, with summer sun on the roof, and warmth rising, might have been a problem though?


      3. Etu,
        Yes room temperature and more effort moving full casks upstairs rather than downstairs will be reasons why I’ve only heard of it here and in a couple of central Liverpool pubs.


  5. Not a fan of craft beer then eh?
    I think I’m still sitting on the fence on that one, some are good but others are overpriced fruit-laden tosh.
    Only Old Tom left on the shelf… The last Time I was in my local Sainsbury’s it was pretty much the same save for a solitary box of Fuller’s 1845 which I was very tempted to save from its isolation but didn’t. Rather wish I had now…


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