This raiding of the archives is fine, but it’s no substitute for the permanent exploration I was doing ’till a month ago.
Frankly, much as I miss the pubs, I’d give anything just to walk round a new village near Maidenhead. Preferably one with an open Chinese takeaway, mind.
Next door village Cottenham will just have to do for now. And even the chippy there has shut up shop, as I discovered on my 58:37 minute walk yesterday.
The slightly coarser elder brother of Waterbeach, Cottenham sees itself as the epicentre of Fen Edge entertainment, with reed cutting workshops, eel reels and palm reading with Dennis of Grunty Fen at the Village College.
CVC is where my lads went, leaving less of an impression than I did. Mind, my impression was made with a bunsen burner on the science lab ceiling in 1979, round about the time the Clash’s London Calling became one of my first 7″ purchases.
Lacking the barracks of Waterbeach and the fruit farms of Histon, Cottenham has the horseracing (never been) and the travellers’ site.
And a rather gorgeous High Street I probably didn’t appreciate at 14.
The queue for the Co-op is too long to brave a visit for essential supplies, and I regretted the recent closure of the wall mounted chocolate dispenser.
The Nestle machine was last used by Pepys, who appears to have TWO houses named after him near the church.
Elsewhere, the top of the windmill will no doubt see life as a micropub at some stage.
Near the windmill you’ll find the attractive Dissenters Cemetery,
the resting place for a sizeable number of the C of E clergy opposed to the growth of craft beer in the late 18th century.
They needn’t have worried.
The nearest Cottenham got to craft was the Wherry at the Jolly Millers, starting point for an 8 pub crawl on my (ex?) brother-in-law’s stag night in May 1986. I suspect 6 of those were Tolly (no NBSS scores survive).
8 pubs was about 6 pubs too far for a 21 year old beer weakling back then.
Only 4 left today, and even those seemed less than fixtures, even before the lockdown.
Proper Greene King boozers,
the on/off foody place at the war memorial,
and the frankly bizarre Waggon & Horses, or whatever the remaining letters spell.
Tucked away in the warren of residential streets between church and college, this one is a real mystery, the sort of place that puts the “b” in basic boozer.
Talking of bees.