Us #PubMen/Women are as obsessed with promoting our blogs as we are in rare hop varieties in limited edition craft cans.

Our respective auditors tell us that blog posts about obscure Woollyback villages and places of ill repute score highly.

But most of all, you want me outside an unexpectedly closed pub in the middle of nowhere.

Will Helperby do ?


Mere minutes from the Yorkshire home of these on-trend parents,

but I had to look hard for Helperby, possibly because it’s tiny (520 posh souls), mainly because it’s linked with contiguous Brafferton.

Bit dull, if honest

You only know you’ve changed villages, if you even have, when you reach the highly sought after bend in the road.


It’s a stunning village with cobbled walkways on either side it seems a shame to stick cars on.  Reminds me of Sowerby, that other one street Hambleton jewel. Or even a backstreet of Stamford.


I park my car out of sight, only to be accosted by a lady (possibly Lady) who tells me I’m in the way of her carriage and four horsebox.

The Golden Lion isn’t open at 4pm on a Saturday as expected.  There are no opening times on display.

I’m not expecting WhatPub to be right as pubs tentatively return, so I wander the village for 45 minutes, hoping to be told off for a minor infraction of a by-law.

Some gentlefolk at the church eye me suspiciously, presuming me a bodysnatcher from Thirsk, or (worse) BRAPA.

Fine church

I walk the entire village 3 times, curse that Brafferton’s open pub isn’t the one in the Guide, and wonder how 700 people can support 2 pubs.

Looks better in B & W

There’s a mobility scooter outside the Golden Lion, the hint of a light, but no gaggle of villagers forming an SD queue, no dash for the handwash.

I search for the pub social media. There is no social media. No website, no Twitter, no TikTok.

The out-of-date Facebook page is an unofficial “fan” site, with an England rugby badge.  I may have dodged a bullet here.

Stopped, dead

To be honest, I wasn’t TOO bothered.  It’s only a ten minute diversion via Boroughbridge or Thirsk.  I’ll try again on Sunday lunchtime, when it’s BOUND to be open, I think.

I never learn.



  1. I had a pre-Corvid fail there on a Sunday afternoon. Not back in the swing as not really worth my travelling vast distances to pick up a couple if others needed relatively nearby aren’t open. Can’t find anything on Black Lion in Bourne End or Blood Bay in Ludlow, for example.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m about to start on a spreadsheet listing what I know. I drew a blank on Ludlow, which I’d wanted to combine with the Telford micro that re-opened after flooding. Bourne End opened after a period of closure or unreliable opening hours.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Did you really travel all that way only to find your desired tick closed? That’s got to be heartbreaking in a way that only Simon and Duncan can fully comprehend. 😉

    You’ve got me wondering if there are any English pubs that have gone to the trouble of starting a TikTok account. I’m picturing punters dancing in front of the dartboard, with background music provided by a Dire Straits track.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was on my way to the Durham coast, so as mentioned Helperby was only a 10 minute diversion off the route for me, and a lovely village.

      There will, I’m sure, be several more speculative visits where
      we’re not certain if pubs are open, but hopefully it won’t be a 3 hour journey for a single tick!

      I genuinely don’t get TikTok, but I love the Kesha song.

      Liked by 1 person

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