Welcome back to Chipping Sodbury
You can have another chance
It must all seem like second nature
Chopping down the people where they stand

(John Cale – Graham Greene from Paris 1919)

Good grief, prescient lyrics 47 years on, as Chipping Sodbury once more makes the front pages of Bristol Live and CAMRA Discourse.

I realise there are some of you who don’t know where Sodbury is,

Please don’t ask where Bristol is

rather more will have assumed it was a fictitious place invented by Monty Python.

One photo of the tidy market place will confirm this as the edge-of-Cotswold town you long suspected.

Waitrose out of sight

The photos in Bristol Live show folk in the “disgusting” act of enjoying a beer outside the Horseshoe.


Assuming they’re following Social Distancing guidance, the only thing disgusting in that photo is the wearing of shorts.  They don’t look like CAMRAs, so drinking Thatchers Heritage is permitted.

Anyway, order how has been restored.

Neat handwriting

I guess this puts the Horseshoe on the same footing (geddit ?!) as the BrewDog and White Hart I’ve enjoyed pints from in the last week.

On my Sodbury visit 2 years ago the locals were having fun in the sun, with a drinking area 2 feet from the busy road providing some peril.

Al fresco drinking comes early

Inside, it was a rambling, magical place, where all can hide or mingle.  I sensed a Top 100 pub in the making.

And not a reserved table or menu in sight.  Will it be legal in 2020 ?

Too many beers, but one of them was top 6X (not the one just poured, below, I guess).

Lardy cake and Thatchers

My notes back then said “Wow”, “Lardy cake”, “6X mmm” and “barmaid given career advice by mansplainer”.  A real BRAPA of a pub.

The Old Normal


Wonder what it’ll look like in 9 days time ?

And will the lardy cake be past its Best Before date ?


  1. Had a good chuckle at “rather more will have assumed it was a fictitious place invented by Monty Python.” There’s no denying Python is the source of my awareness of a good many towns in England. Pretty sure Luton is one of them, though I can’t recall the Python sketch that mentioned it.

    Now you’ve got me curious to try a bite of lardy cake. Let’s add it to the list of things I must do if life ever gets back to normal…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Marginally better than the high fructose corn syrup that seems a regular foodstuff additive across the pond! I still remember being able to taste it in American white-sliced bread. Ugh!

        ps. I don’t think HFCS is a Python word, although I can envisage Michael Palin or Eric Idle getting some capital out of it.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. In the US lard seems like something from earlier times, though I’m sure people can get hold of it if they really want to. As you say, not good for you– but I’m sure many who recall its use will say, “Yeah, but man, did it make the recipe taste good!”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Luton was made famous by Eric Morecambe who was a director of the football club, which he often managed to mention in Morecambe & Wise shows. This would perhaps be the 60s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luton Town is, of course, the chosen team of regular pubgoer and all round good fellow Sheffield Hatter, who drew “Luton” out of a hat at a posh dinner party in 1977 and has had to support them ever since.


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