Some of you (all called Paul) have principles, and will be continuing their boycotts of Wetherspoons when pubs eventually re-open.  Even if it’s only Spoons that re-opens.

I don’t have the luxury of principle; some of my remaining 400 ticks (probably 300 by the time Lockdown lifts) are Timbo emporia.

Like the Wallaw in bucolic Blyth, a rare GBG jewel in the Northumberland mining desert, if I’m not mixing metaphors too much.

Newbiggin no more

You’ll know I’m a big fan of Newcastle, and the Tyneside coast , and Seaton Sluice is one of my favourite spots in the world.

Photo : Marinas.com

But Blyth ?


Been a couple of times.  Once years ago to tick Olivers, the beer pub, and your best bet for Anarchy.

And once in 2011 to lose a plastic football out to sea, which necessitated an immediate investment of £1.99 in the local economy to placate two young lads.  They lost the replacement in the River Wharfe at Wetherby 3 hours later.

A solid town of 37,339 souls,  best known for this;


Yes, one of the great cup runs, up there with Hereford, Sutton and Harlow.

Fans of “Proper Football” will rejoice in bobbly pitches, goals from back passes and duff refereeing decisions.

Note advert for Border Ales
Blyth’s run oddly northern-centric

A late Wrexham equaliser from a cruelly retaken corner denied Blyth a home game against Arsenal, but they did gain 20,000 glory hunters for the replay at St James Park.

Possibly the best team seen at SJP that season

Blyth Spartan fans , who I last saw descending on Hinckley Town in their drunken hordes, were denied their usual pre-match pint of Anarchy Blonde but had some Newcastle craft to compensate and soften the blow of a narrow 2-1 defeat.


They were spoilt for choice for pubs, even back in 1978, but since they were the designated home team they could have taken over the Strawberry.


Proper lacings,

Better than the beer, tbh

and this chap could rival our R. Southworth for stacking.

Well done, Sir

Bet you can’t wait for the write-up of Blyth’s socially distanced Spoons, though.





  1. Newcastle is on our list for an extended return. We really liked it.

    I have only completed Stacking 101, he has obviously passed at least Stacking 303.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Newcastle and the coast deserves at least 3 days. There are a lot of micropubs and brewery taps in the Beer Guide these days, but most of the traditional boozers like the Tynemouth, Posada and Free Trade still thrive and the Wylam Tap is gorgeous.


  2. You know me, I often stand up for the old big name English beer factories, but I must say I can’t say much of anything kind about Newcastle Brown– at least the form of it that we get over here. Maybe it’s better on draught in the UK?

    Those really were impressive lacings; not sure I’ve ever encountered such a thing in real life!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Is Newcastle Brown available on draught, or is this just an urban myth? People used to sometimes talk about draught Newcy Brown, but I’ve never come across it.

        It’s rather like the myth I was told, as an impressionable young student, that there was special ward in the Newcastle Royal Infirmary for recovering Newcastle Brown addicts. I almost believed that one!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The last time I had Newcastle Brown was the Great Bridgend Civil Service Club Incident of 1988. One day the tale will be told.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The words “Bridgend” and “civil” rarely collide without tears.

        I stayed at the Wyndham Arms Spoons on New Year’s Eve and had a great time, sadly a year before this blog started 😊


  3. As a cinema conversion the Wallaw could easily manage social distancing. Not suggesting you make a single trip for it though. My daughter had a proper pint at one of Newcastle’s brewery taps recently, where they took it into the grass outside. Strong Spartans team- Alan Shoulder was a terrific player.


      1. Are you trying to warn me about something….

        I’ve a few still to do north of Blyth from memory (2 on Holy Island, of course), always save them for the those long summer evenings.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to stand under that thing with the Border Ales advert, in fact I’m somewhere in that photo because I was at that match. It was called the Pigeon Loft and was the dress circle from a demolished cinema stuck on some girders. It used to sway gently and occasionally bits would fall off. It was knocked down not long after that photo was taken.
    That was a hell of a Wrexham side that year, featuring the mighty Dixie McNeil, a fat, toothless bloke who knew where the goal was. Scored 9 in that cup run. Went up that year and reached the quarters of the FA and League Cups.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sense a “Spot Bill” competition is needed, Bill. It must have been odd being that bad boys that night, when Wrexham were one of the stories of the season. I’ll be revisiting that season and that team very shortly.


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