I was hoping to bring you some exciting reports from my trip to Royal Tunbridge Wells yesterday.

But the highlight of 3 (three !!) hours spent in my in-laws’ garden talking about roadworks and distant cousins (“There’s a limited supply”) was this bird* that sat on my shoulder.

What is it ?

It was awaiting my answer to that eternal question,

“Martin can I get you a beer”.  “We’ve got bottles of Doom Bar”.

I’m saving myself for the reopening of pubs, or at least a gallon of Bass from The Sun.

It’s a while since I had even a half in Godmanchester, a pint of John Smiths in the Royal Oak a decade ago.

“The” Proper Pub.  Doom Bar these days.

The other three pubs are strictly for the gentlefolk diners. 20 years ago this was a small town of Waterbeach size comprised entirely of gentlefolk diners, a Topsham or Uppingham if you like.


But expansion of this Roman town has hiked the population, bringing in TWO Co-ops and the sort of “humour” normally only seen in my Comments section.

Excellent self-awareness

As with Girton, the sign fronting the Business Park tells you a lot about employment in 2020.

Funerals, tyres and fancy dress

All worthwhile work, as is the Animal Shelter at nearby Wood Green you should always mention when describing where Godmanchester is.

So what does the visitor get for his time and money here ?

Oak beams.


Lost shop signs.

Still trading

And a giant pond with a Chinese bridge.

Mill pond
Dad post-golf

My Dad tells me that in 1950 he and his mates saw a group of girls collapse a boat in the pond.

“Of course, we were VERY keen to rescue them” he said, without a wink.

One of his mates got a card from the eldest and I sense Dad still feels a bit peeved he didn’t, but his loss was Mum’s gain.

BRAPA, Pubmeister and retiremartin retrieving the 1910 GBG from the mill pond

Anyway, the other pubs.

Well the Exhibition sells Otter, apparently, which is a step up from whatever it sold as an early gastropub in the Guide 20 years go.

Otter ?

The White Hart looks the most likely to meet Pauline’s Prosecco needs, and is also the choice of Singlet Man for his London Pride.

Art shot

Finally, the Black Bull is the sort of pub you expect to have a Sausage festival and sell Adnams and Wherry. I’m sure it does.

Psychic nights

Four pubs and a great sounding Comrades Club selling Doom Bar.  This isn’t the Comrades Club, but you can see the micro potential in that building in the middle.

If anyone asks me what I’m doing I tell them I’m after micropub sites

Join me sometime soon as I press on into Huntingdon.


* Where have all these winged creature come from ?  These three, fresh from the Bob Marley recording session, have been a treat this Spring.



  1. I’m not entirely sure whether you accepted that offer of a bottle of Doom Bar or not, but that is due, I’m sure, to me being a bit thick. 😉

    Thanks for sharing the bit about your dad and his mates and the group of girls; brought a smile to my face, thinking how such stories are passed from one generation to another.

    Loved the photo caption identifying the lads in the photo as BRAPA, Pubmeister and RetiredMartin. I imagine childhood Pubmeister saying, “Go on, guys, you get it. I’ve already completed 85% as it is…”


    1. I left it mysterious, Mark !

      No, I was driving anyway and wanted to get home, and a bottle of Doom Bar just felt like rubbing salt into the wounds of pub closure. If it had been a pint in the rubbish pub inn the High Street I might have been tempted to go back later.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rather oddly, a pair of southern relatives consistently decided that Godmanchester was the most attractive place to stop off when driving a motor car from Brighton to Grimsby.

    Your Father’s antics of 50 years ago lead me to an evil plan to replicate the noble gesture.

    Would I be correct in thinking that it has an oddball pronunciation?


    1. Yes, it’s pronounced Gom.

      The new A14 bypasses Huntingdon (though not tonight, oddly) but isn’t much of a detour.

      I’m not sure my father’s gesture could be replicated in the boating lake at Cleethorpes with similar impact.


  3. The bird that sat on your shoulder is a Nuthatch.

    We’ve had lots of Starlings on our feeders of late, especially gangs of young birds decimating our fatball supply.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Saimon.

      Here by the Taff we’ve had loads of warblers – more than I ever remember, and the robins are doing well too, along with finches.

      Don’t see that many starlings.

      I’ve seen fledglings, when alone and insecure, approach humans, curiously enough. Whether that explains the tameness of Martin’s friend I can only wonder.

      Liked by 1 person

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