THE MARVELLOUS MEDWAY

CHATHAM CHATTER

I was hoping to persuade Kentish Paul to book a weekend away in the Medway Towns if/when the Lockdown is lifted. A man can get bored of Tonbridge, and needs his sea air.

Medway

The main towns are, from west to east: Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, and Rainham. Five stations too, though of course it’s always more fun walking through industrial estates and McDonalds drive-throughs.

Sadly, my blog only gives me enough material for one highlights post for all five. Whether that’s because it’s nothing much changes, or they’re all micropubs, who can say.

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Strood

Talking of micros.

The 10:50 From Victoria is a little slice of South-East London pub life underneath the arches.

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Not the greatest frontage

Perhaps the best micropub beer garden in the Guide,and certainly the only thing I can tell you about Strood.

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Just like being in a Munich beer garden

Rochester

roch

Rochester deserves its own post, but it’s a decade since I did it justice.

A marvellously Dickensian High Street, Proper Church, artisan cheese, robust free houses to match Gravesend, and loads of ‘istree.

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No idea

The Flippin’ Frog had interesting bar meals, toilet humour,

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Not an actualfrog

and two locals desperate to be in my shot (😊) and talk about new micros (😕).

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I get in all the photos in here when the micropub tourists come” (or words to that effect).

Chatham

Chatham is in the news again today for the wrong reasons, I see. It’s a scruffy gem, and you know how much Mrs RM and I love our scruffy gems.

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Boats

James considered coming to Uni here, but somehow Sheffield came out top. Beer is a few pence cheaper, I guess. The recent closure of infamous Dickens World may also have influenced his decision.

If you’re walking, you’ll notice how hilly it is. Think of those calf muscles.

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NOT Joker Steps despite similarity

Long-standing GBG “Proper Pub” the King George V is actually in Brompton, a controversial stand-in for the Brompton in West London in the film “Notting Hill”.

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Your best bet for American pub tourists

Tellingly, the 2 recent Guide entries are a Stonegate and Spoons, growling at each other from across the road. I loved the Prince of Wales, now improved by CAMRA discount in the Stonegate chain.

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Sunday boozin’

A lively pub, exemplified by one overhead line;

Can I see your giant sausage ?”

No giant sausages in the Spoons, but some duff beer, weird cider dispense and some proper hats.

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Or are they oversized jam jars ?
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Hats

Talking of heads;

Image result for brian moore's head planetarium

Gillingham

The best known of the Medway 5 due to famed Gills fanzine Brian Moore’s Head Looks Uncannily Like London Planetarium,

“For many years it’s offered lower league fans a reliable pre-match back street crawl – Will Adams, Dog & Bone, Frog & Toad and the Barge. All good free houses meeting the 1974 Beer Guide definition of a working-man’s pub. “

I found a more bucolic Gillingham on my last visit, and I’ll bet that Lockdown has seen the return of nature to the streets.

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Calm

Talking of which, back in 2016

“I took a look at The Barge (closed lunchtime) for old times sake; it is the only pub where I have been attacked by a sheep, which was still safer than Paul’s kebabs on the Strand.”

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Be careful in the garden

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Which brings us to our finale.
Rainham

Seemingly a one street town of discount shops, vaping stores and micros, which means it knows its audience.

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Good beer here

If you’re looking for an authentic “micro pub experience“, this is for you. If nothing else, a good place to stock up on those CAMRA magazines, Dave.

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Grief, I’m suddenly missing pubs. Even micros.

24 thoughts on “THE MARVELLOUS MEDWAY

  1. That boat looks big enough to be called a ship. Rochester has been on my list a while. We have always based in Faversham though. Would Rochester have hot water In the showers? A luxury we have not found in Faversham.

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  2. That fine “W & Co Ld / ESTd 1750” plaque will be for the Woodhams & Co Ltd brewery founded in Victoria Street, Rochester in 1750 and acquired by Style & winch Ltd in 1918.

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  3. Whilst it might be some time before pubs are allowed to reopen Martin, I will take you up on a weekend away in the Medway towns. This is despite my preference for sea air in gentler and more refined places, such as Rye, Broadstairs or anywhere along the coast of Romney Marsh.

    One proviso, proper pubs only rather than identi-kit micros – unless the latter are the only licensed premises to make it through the pandemic. No Spoons, either. Will there be enough pubs to see us through a weekend, at this rate??

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    1. T’other Paul,
      You’ve got me thinking that no “identi-kit micros” and “No Spoons” would be good policies for the Beer and Pubs Forum’s Proper Days Out.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You know things have gotten desperate when you start missing the micros. 😉

    Your mentioning of it encouraged me to Google “Brian Moore’s Head Looks Uncannily Like London Planetarium”. I mean, if you’re going to go for a wordy title, you might as well go all the way!

    I’d love to know what was said in response to ““Can I see your giant sausage?”

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      1. One of Stafford and Stone Branch’s favourite pubs years ago was the Hunter at Saverley Green but somehow when listed in the branch diary it would be “Saveloy Green”. We had to have something to give us a bit of a laugh through the ‘eighties !

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You got me.

        Yes, although his misdeed was in the 1980s he wasn’t banged to rights until then.

        “Justice postponed is justice denied”

        Seems longer ago now.

        And the 1980s didn’t have anything quite like this, although they did last ten years…

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      3. Well, it’s odd. Usually I can’t believe how long ago things were, that seem like only yesterday – as many people do.

        However, on this incident it must be that the later trial somehow got back-linked in my mind to the original scandal. Or something…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah yes, saveloy, a – if I dare use that word again – populism, of cervelas or servelat, ultimately from the Latin cerebrus. It was a pig brain sausage, particularly associated with Switzerland…alloy…Wood’s metal has a melting point which can be below water’s boiling point. is commonly used as a filler when bending thin-walled metal tubes. For this use, the tubing is filled with molten Wood’s metal. After this filler solidifies, the tubing is bent. The filler prevents the tube collapsing. The Wood’s metal is then removed by heating, often by immersion in boiling water.

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    1. A fun trick when I was a youth (student) was to mould a teaspoon from Wood’s metal and leave it prominently in the kitchen. The astonishment when the next one to find it stirred their tea and were left just holding the handle made the effort all worthwhile. Course, you then had to snatch it away from them to stop them drinking from the poisoned chalice!

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