You left us in Coveney, beer desert of the Fens.

coveney pubs
Probably 30 pubs in Coveney in the 1890s

Mrs RM is walking a million steps for charity.  “In a week ?” I said.  In 3 months, apparently.

She’d managed 11,288 (244 calories) in the Fens, so deserved a pint (288 calories).


Witcham ?  Why not ?” is my pitch for Tourist Ambassador at my latest Fen village of c.400 souls.

The White Horse was a GBG regular a decade ago, there being precious little competition from the teeming metropoli (?) of Sutton, Mepal and Wilburton.

Unpretentious” sums up the White Horse.  I’d love to say it was “flashy” on my last visit in 2008, but let’s not fib.

Sticky tape.  And signs

This will be another good test of the New Normal, I thought.

One way systems, “please don’t stand in front of the bar“, visitors book for track and trace, shiny surfaces.

This is typical shiny Fens village pub. YOU might not like it, but my parents would.  They’d be terrified by Sam Smiths pubs, and not because Humphrey’s just put the price of OBB up.


The pub is pleased to see me, I’m pleased to see the pub. They ask if we’re from the village campsite, seem surprised we’re from Waterbeach, and recommend their favourite J20 substitute for James.

Mrs RM has followed the arrows to the first of three secluded outdoor areas, leaving me to carry 3 drinks and open door with my elbow, noting for posterity the playing of “Tango in the Night” by the Mac.

Gateway to garden 3

I tell you this to reinforce the sense that pubs are back, much as normal, bar greater reliance on their beer gardens than you’d expect in cloudy weather. The families take a garden each, mouthing  “Social distancing” at me (or something that rhymes with it).

Mrs RM raves about her Parkway Fool’s Gold (no, me neither) and my Tribute is good enough, both served in the Oakham Oakademy glasses.

The beer since the 4th has been fresh, being freshly brewed for pubs reopening.  It might be the best beer you get all year, RIGHT NOW.

The new rules take some getting used to. This contraption is where you leave your glasses, NOT inside.


Life is all about adaption now.

The pub adapts to Covid by installing a one way system, the bus shelter becomes the home for Tetris.

Future micropub gareden

The High Street is a minor architectural gem of rambling halls,

Sneeky look

ancient church,

St Martin

play area with Dumbo of similar vintage to the Fleetwood Mac,

Dumbo out of bounds

and that’s your lot.

Oh, what’s that in the phone box ?

Library ?

Defibrilator ?

Pot plants ?

Public indecency

Something you don’t expect to find in a Fenland phone box, that’s what.


Yes, I KNOW it looks like Simon.  What can I say ? Why isn’t it a listed building ?

7 thoughts on ““WITCHAM ? WHY NOT ?”

  1. Interesting hearing about these new ways of doing things. Seems a lot of these places are needing to have a register of who was in the place on what day and at what time, in case there is, later on, a need to inform customers of the fact that a sufferer of the virus turned out to have been on the premises?

    But at least places are open again. With any luck all will go well and life can gradually get back to normal.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s exactly what it’s for, Mark, part of the Track & Trace programme and a good idea. It’s advised rather than compulsory, and if you’re just popping in to buy a pint for the garden, which is what I’ve done, you won’t be coming into contact with anyone.

      I think the town centre pubs without gardens are struggling to make reopening viable, and the older folk who provide trade for pub meals are less likely to go back than the drinker, so it may not be a great picture. How’s Donald getting on with that vaccine ?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! Well, I was going to say I haven’t heard of anything like this sort of thing over here, i.e. attempting to get the names and contact info or customers. I dare say this virus is going to lay various countries’ methods side by side for comparison, and my home country is likely to end up a cautionary tale– possibly near the very bottom of all the different methods that were tried.


      2. I presumed that all Americans had neural mind implants so their every journey could be tracked by Big Government for billing purposes.

        You’re right, Mark, there will be a judgement. But it would be wise to wait a while to do it !

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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