Having done the Spoons and the local boozer, here’s the community village all-rounder bursting back to life.

Tucked away off the old A1 near Theakston-land, spared the Moors and the Dales crowds, it would have been a difficult blog compared to honeypots like Prickwillow, but for the people.

Awaiting the tour de Yorkshire bonanza
Vast church for 311 souls
Telephone box without library shocker

Those of you who pay attention (Mark) will recall an attempt to visit the Woodman in the first month of GBG20, thwarted by what the Landlady called “winter hours“, as the sun beat down in September.  It said a lot about the vulnerability of country pubs without weekday dining trade in 2019.

But it’s 2020, the pandemic rumbles on, and more pubs than I expected have reopened. Hurrah!

The skies look ominous, but the sun shines on the man of virtue (that’s me).

Welcome back. Follow the signs

The Woodman is your typical North Yorkshire pub with giant Theakston sign and defibrillator. The one way system limits my surveying, but you get the idea.

It’s 11.57, the door’s open, I await a barrage of complex instructions.

Nope. Just “follow the one way system”, “wash your hands” ,”leave your details on Facebook”, “Theakston or Pennine ?“.

Theakston, of course.

It’s a straw tinged sherbert of a beer, another 3.5 with tremendous lacings, and as the sun pours through I feel happy with life.

More lacings

But not as happy as the locals, a husband and wife who join me at the next table and order Bitter and lager shandy and sandwiches.

We talk Burneston, and how dangerous plane travel is, and the cleaner air, and Theakston v Black Sheep (he was wrong).

“Are you and your wife local ?”

Oh, we’re not married !( knowing wink between them). We’re both widowed, just friends, but moved in together at Lockdown to keep sane.  Lockdown saved us !”.

I was touched. I go to pubs for surprise bants with Old Boys & Girls, not to sip beer.

Hopefully those two octogenarian “drinking buddies” will drink and eat enough to save their local.



  1. A pint of cask Theakstons is always worth at least two photos – well done RM. Takes me back to my youth and cask Theakstons the Rockingham Arms in Wentworth.

    I guess the conclusion was that plane travel is much more dangerous now because of coronavirus?

    Lovely sky photo – though it looks a bit like the start of the disastrous climatic event in ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ – sorry I’m just getting paranoid now…;)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s the George and Dragon I remember but that was nearly thirty years ago.


  2. Greatly enjoyed this, and the last bit about how they’d moved in together to get through this whole Covid thing made me feel pretty emotional I must say. Would be nice if their story has been repeated all round the world.

    I chuckled at the “Telephone box without library shocker” line. Seems the phone box turned library has become common to the point of cliché over there. Don’t think we’ve seen anything like that over here, but I think we got rid of all our phone boxes in the 70s– I have foggy memories of them from childhood, but none of them were anything much worth preserving I don’t think, unlike their English equivalents.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Think you mean Lerwick, RM, but you’re right, none left standing now Flint’s and the Scalloway Hotel have gone. Decent craft in the Dowry and the Mareel arts centre is as good as it gets.


      1. I meant real ale of course, plenty of ordinary keg-only places, many of which are Proper Pubs.


  3. Excellent post Martin, and a fine looking pub as well.

    The pub reopening and the story about the “married “ couple, is enough to restore one’s faith in human nature.

    As Mark says, wonder if there are any more similar lock-down, love-matches out there waiting to be told.

    Liked by 1 person

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