Only 5 more sleeps and I can return to a pub. I’m still a BIT nervous about pub interiors, and reports from US Mark’s home state (not your fault, Mark) don’t help confidence.

But be assured they’ll be a report on Saturday, possibly at 9am (hint).

Mrs RM is putting our house up for sale this week, so expect reports from more potential retirement homes. I thought we’d agreed on Preston, but apparently not. I’m hoping my most recent NBSS scores at our Waterbeach local (4 and 4.5) will guarantee a quick sale.

So I’d better get a move on with clearing the junk.

But I’ll be keeping THIS programme.

No Christian names, no away kit

You wouldn’t have known, but 22 December 1964 is the day I was born, which makes 22/12 my birthday. Every year.

My Dad no doubt saw the conclusion of a 2-1 City win before nipping over to the maternity unit on Mill Road to congratulate Mum on delivering a bouncing boy.

Cam City

The two Cambridge teams fought it out on equal terms through the ’60s, City always the posh city neighbours cocking a snoot at their scruffy Abbey youngsters.

Solid black line indicates cask/keg split

In the late ’70s I’d cycle to the old City ground with my mate Kevin to be a ball boy (minimum wage) and buy far too many programmes from the Club Shop, only shifting my attention to big clubs when I started to drive.

One of the main advertisers back in ’64 was Chesterton Autos, where I started my accountancy training. They just added a zero on to the price in 1983.

Cost more than your house back then

There’s a small ad that says “Greene Kings“, but Tolly was king back in ’64.


I wasn’t aware that the giant City ground had a bar back in the ’70s, when attendances slipped from several thousand to a few hundred.

But I knew the Jolly Waterman well; my Dad used to deliver vegetables to the cheery Polish grocers next door. It’s changed, mostly for the better.

No longer jolly as it’s discriminatory to non-jolly people
It looked nothing like this in 1964. Or 2014, come to that

The City side got moved from the big ground to the small one at the back, and then kicked out of town entirely a few years back to provide offices and flats.

But the pubs remain, and the Portland still has the touch of a boozer on the right night.

One of Greene King’s finest

If I HAD to spend one night in Cambridge, an evening on the Abbot, followed by a gig in the back room, would not be a hardship.


But the Chinese takeaway would come from the Chung Hwa.


    1. Ha ha.

      If you do go to the pub on Saturday you’ll have it to yourself, Paul, based on polls I’m seeing among “drinkers” that say 80%+ won’t be going, probably until they’ve gone bust.


      1. No, nothing to do with shift patterns but from before the industrial revolution and street lighting that changed traditional patterns of sleep.


  1. The indoor numbers look pretty grim across all of the US. I know we all want to get back out, but most of our new hot spots have the phrase “crowded bar” associated with them. In Minneapolis we had two places shut down due to spreading occurring in them when they were crowded. These incidents also seem to occur in crowds milling around in front of busy bars. Hard to know where this will settle out.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The people I know in the States say they’re a bit worried by the growing trends they’re seeing of people congregating in public locations not in accordance with social distancing, whether inside or outside. Many states still have increasing number of cases. I don’t think what happened there in Michigan is, or at least won’t be, the only such instance sadly

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Had a good chuckle at the idea of the pub name being “discriminatory to non-jolly people.”

    I do wonder what Tolly tasted like. Sounds like my kind of beer.

    I liked your phrase “would not be a hardship.” In these quarantined days, I reckon a night on the Abbot is regarded longingly, even by the crafties. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No, I don’t properly remember Tolly Cobbold beers that were mostly served by top pressure in the 1970s when they and Greene King owned most of the pubs in Cambridge.


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