Day 3 of The Easing, and a third tentative journey into eastern Huntingdonshire.

Not actual route, I did the new A14, obvs

Following Somersham and Boxworth, Wyton is a third village I could pinpoint on a map but tell you nothing about. What jinks !

The road to Wyton
Passive aggressive

This is the attractive little bit between Huntingdon and St Ives, two surprisingly workmanlike towns in Cromwell/Major land.

Loads going on

Wyton actually merged with contiguous (love that word) Houghton after the war to produce Wow!-ton as part of an ill-judged sponsorship deal.


The loss of half the population between 1971 and 2011 is thought to be a rounding error.

An hour’s walk is enough to see both villages; it’s rather lovely in a flat way.

Bucolic Hunts
Typical council house
House attacked by tree, may explain post-war depopulation
Flowers.  I think.

I’d quite like to visit ALL the Cambridgeshire pubs, particularly the perennial Guide non-entries like the Three Jolly Butchers.

Oak beams, table football and Doom Bar.  Sounds great

You can’t actually see the Wyton/Houghton join, so let’s assume it’s marked by the wobbly building making a pitch for a transfer to Lavenham.

Lil’ ol England

You’ll remember Houghton.  I was only here to greet the Three Horseshoes to the Guide in September.  They were selling draft beer at £2.50 a pint round the back, but I don’t carry a growler around with me.

Gorgeous pubs, aren’t they

I thought I’d found a micropub but it’s just another quaint Huntingdonshire garage.

Someone will like those cars

A few folk had parked in the market square, heading down to Houghton Mill to reminisce about childhood boat trips on the Great Ouse.

Quintessential National Trust

Just like I did now.



26 thoughts on “WYTON TIME

      1. You mean a tour of destruction similar to Cooks, Grays and Melbournes ceasing brewing weeks after I drank their beer ?
        That might be what happens when I go East.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Love that you took a moment to express your affection for the word “contiguous.” 🙂

    I’m a fan of pub names that have the word “Jolly” in them, such as The Jolly Butchers. But does it have a feeling of “Ye Olde” over there, i.e. an affectation of age and halcyon days and so forth?


    1. I don’t think “Jolly” pubs feel as artificial as “Ye Olde” to be fair. You probably know Dickens as much as I do; weren’t there pubs called Five Jolly Porters and the like in the 1800s ?

      What’s your favourite word, Mark ? I bet it’s favorite.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! I confess I’m always trying to avoid writing the word “favorite” in a comment that I know will be read by people in England, as I suspect it is an irritant! I thus resort to the word “fave”, which I can feel confident is a huge irritant on both sides of the Atlantic.


    2. Mark,
      The nearest, two miles, to where I grew up was the Jolly Collier, a Chadsmoor pub established long before Thatcher’s 1980s tour of destruction.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for this. The Jolly Collier has rather more internal rhyme than most pub names can boast. I must confess though that I had to Google to find out what a collier actually is– so, additional thanks to you, you’ve expanded my knowledge!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You will be delighted to know that there is a Jolly Farmer in Maidenhead, Martin.

        So let’s camp it up, as was once done for kids’ TV –

        Liked by 1 person

    1. T’other Mudgie,
      Quite possibly. Wyton was certainly a very big RAF base / camp / establishment / station / unit during the Cold War.


  2. One here for t’other Paul. Sadly I never got to sample Cooks, Grays or Melbournes.

    Weren’t Cook’s beers only available from a small number of brewery-owned off-licences?

    From memory, those three firms all vanished within a few months of each other. Gray’s demise was due to death duties that caused them to have to sell their brewery in Chelmsford town centre, whereas Melbourne’s brewery required substantial investment.

    Not sure about Cook’s, but it’s a shame these companies couldn’t have held on a little longer, given the growing interest in traditional ale, sparked by CAMRA.


    1. T’other Paul,
      Yes, Cooks was nearly all off licenses and home delivery, the only place I knew to drink it being the, first floor if I remember correctly, Tindel Bar in Chelmsford – and that was on 8th July 1974.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m impressed with your memory, Paul. Do your powers of recall extend to a description of what some of these long lost beers actually tasted like?

        I must have missed Gray’s closure by about a year, and remember an early GBG describing them as, “Excellent, but due to close.” 😢

        Liked by 1 person

      2. T’other Paul,
        No, sadly I’ve not got a proper memory of what many long lost beers actually tasted like.
        I drank plenty of ind Coope Burton Ale from 1976 onwards but last year while drinking Burton Bridge’s version of DBA I couldn’t even really work out how it was different.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I know what you mean. I can distinctly remember drinking wonderful Greene King IPA in the best Cambridge pubs (Free Press and Champion) in late 80s but I couldn’t describe how it’s so different.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Occasionally I’ll have a pint of Banks’s and think that’s exactly how it always was, and then realise that the fresh richness commonplace in the 1970s when a hogshead was shifted in two days can’t be expected nowadays with a firkin maybe on for nearly a week.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Agree, Paul. Freshness and turnover is everything.
        I can’t imagine that the Banks’s was ever better than it was on the brewery tour and in the Stile.


      6. Indeed, Banks’s not better than it was on the brewery tour and in the Stile but like that used to be commonplace.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. On a random ” Jolly ” theme,my husband is known as Brigadier Jolly (or just The Brig ) amongst our Wembley gang .The reason for this is far too long to explain but I sign Christmas & Birthday cards -from The Brig & Mrs J. I enjoyed the photos in this blog anyway & no insides of any pubs to upset/ depress me

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There is the “Jolly Farmers” in Oxford, which is near to the castle and behind the “Swan and Castle”. It is well known for having a very distinct clientele.

        Fave words ; concatenate, timeously, splendid.

        Liked by 1 person

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