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).
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.
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.