A two-parter today.  Curb your enthusiasm.

Our next programme takes us back to that golden year of 1964, when retiredmartin was given to the world (22 December, make a note).

Value ruined by those doodles

The Amateur Cup was the FA Cup for teams paid in legs of lambs and fags rather than cash money.

Supporters of amateur teams had pencil moustaches and drank Bovril rather than Budweiser.

Duncan is the one on the right

By law only teams from Durham and London were allowed to win the competition.

amateur cup

Even Bishop Auckland and neighbouring Crook Town were getting bored of winning the Cup by 1964.   Perhaps it should have been moved to a ground half-way like Retford Town or Maltby.


In Part 2 I’ll bring you match highlights and tell you who won (no spoilers), but “let’s take a look at Crook”, as their furloughed Tourist Ambassador might say.

Easy to dismiss Crook as just another mining Durham mining town (10,019 souls) but it punches above its weight in terms of pubs, life and landscape.

Wolsingham is the real treasure
Proper countryside

On two trips it seemed as if the whole town was out on the, er, town on a Friday night, giving the pubs the sort of all-ages appeal you don’t get in Petersfield or Potton.

And the Spoons exemplified that.  As always, if you haven’t got photos yourself, steal from BRAPA.

Father BRAPA

Some of BRAPA’s best drunken work here.

“Women does it look like the face of someone who could be …..” What does that even mean?? ”

Not Father BRAPA

Fantastic beer, too. Simon said so, and so do I. Probably Double Maxim.

The new Plum Porter

Just up the road in Hamilton Row (or possibly Waterhouses, or Esh Winning), the gloriously “unimproved Black Horse was BBB and cob heaven.

Typical slightly disheveled Durham boozer
Proper Pub.  Two is plenty.

Or is it a bap ?  Or a roll ?

Inside, I was knocked off my feet by a toddler on a scooter, and immediately asked for a long range forecast at the bar. I sort of love what’s essentially an extended family gathering in a pub,

As I left and said “Thanks”, I genuinely couldn’t decipher whether they shouted “Thank’yer” or “banker” after me.  I hoped it was a bit of both.


In Part 2, the many joys of Enfield.  Which gives me a day to think of some.






  1. How many new sports leagues would have a Latin motto? “the champions did not even receive a trophy or medals; the league motto was honor sufficit.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved the line “Some of BRAPA’s best drunken work here.” Surely there is a code among the GBG tickers, that the occasional swiping of one another’s blog photos is not only allowed but encouraged. (“Okay, all right, up to a certain POINT,” I can hear Simon interjecting.)

    The name “Santa’s Soot” sounds like a euphemism for something really awful, and I reckon the brewery took that fully into consideration when finalizing the name. “Think of all the inappropriate jokes punters will make, it’ll be fantastic!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Simon was delighted.

      His photos actually look better on my blog than they did on his, so I’m doing the world a service bringing you his marvellous doses of pub life.

      I missed “Santa’s Soot”. Sounds like a Frank Zappa Christmas b side, and not in a good way 😉

      Novelty beers are uniformly dreadful, though Castle Eden had a Christmas beer spiced with Frankincense in 95 that was excellent.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s