You left me in the Coalhouse, the Seaham micropub you CAN visit and get a pink tick.

They were playing “Heart of Saturday Night”. It was a Tom Waits sorta bar.

I hit the town. It was closed.

Probably a micropub

I’m afraid there’s not a wealth of cask in Seaham. The next pint of real ale is in the Marston’s family diner.

But there are few better places to enjoy a Durham sunset. Except Hartlepool Headland, of course.

Actual church
War memorial
Miners memorial
I thought about another curry in the campervan, before succumbing to a Timbo tea.
1990s Spoons chic
Last time here (2014) preceded this blog, but you know what a small town workingmans Spoons looks like.
Braces man
Family group
Life has returned to Spoons, barring the over 70s who are waiting for the Chinese vaccine.
Couple on a cheap date

They had the “Manager’s Special”. Chicken Korma, Pilau Rice, Poppadom, Garlic Naan and a decent pint of Samson. For £5.28.

Really, the Government ought to subsidise Wetherspoons, not the hobby brewers

Next up. This.



  1. That Manager’s Special sounds like a very good deal to me.

    Whatever you do, don’t show that “shutters” photo to anyone considering a trip to England; it just might make them reconsider. Mind you, I’m sure I can find rather more grim scenery than that not too far from where I live!

    I was intrigued by the miners memorial. Seems to me the work of miners looms larger in the national imagination of England than it does in America. Heaven knows it was (and remains) incredibly difficult and dangerous work. Have you seen other such sculptures in tribute to the miners during your travels?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mark,
      “That Manager’s Special” as a curry is most likely Saturday as it’s Tim selling off his ready meals left over from the Thursday “Curry Club” a bit cheaper before their “use by” date.
      Similarly on Sunday the “Manager’s Special” will probably be fish and chips and on Thursday steak.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. And so you should. It’s well known that “Use by” dates are nonsense and as long as there’s nothing actually moving you’re safe to eat Wetherspoons curries years after their recommended date.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There’s no space for cynicism on my blog, Paul 😉

        Tim’s curries are handmade by artisans in Watford and carefully selected by regional managers for the joy of their happy customers.


      3. T’other Mudgie,
        Yes indeed.
        No establishment that uses a “Manager’s Special” or similar to shift “almost invariably well past its best” beer should get into the GBG. And it’s not only Tim’s venues as I still remember a piss poor discounted pint about twenty years ago in the GBG listed Volunteer Inn at Lyme Regis.


      4. Martin,
        I’m about as likely to believe that about Tim’s artis anal curries as I am to believe that it’s Sunak’s VAT reduction that allows Tim to offer Ruddles at £1.29 a pint.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. The whole of Durham (bar the city itself) is a memorial to mining, with statues, art and museums.

      Despite what the moaners have just told you, you should ALWAYS go for the Manager’s Special.

      Unless it’s beer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pubs offering ‘past its best’ beer as a “Manager’s Special”.
        Pubs only opening when the owner feels like it.
        Pubs selling pints at 17% short.
        I’m beginning to think that some pubs don’t deserve to survive.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. The “shutters” picture is presumably taken in the evening and I would say is actually pretty typical of shopping streets in smaller post-industrial towns.

      There are a lot of memorials to working-class occupations dotted around the country. Shipbuilding often features too, as does fishing. See, for example, this memorial to fishermen in Maryport in Cumberland:

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Martin,
        I made the mistake of only referring to this country, maybe because I’ve never been to India or Bangladesh, but yes I accept that it could be argued that Baltis invented for Brummies aren’t proper curries.
        I don’t though believe that the Indian and Nepalese food in the Morris Man near me is much different from what the lessees cooked for themselves when they lived in Nepal.

        I must admit that I don’t think I’ve ever seen you drinking CAMRA’s Champion Bitter of 2004 but it wouldn’t do for us all to like the same beers.


  2. Paul,
    Unfortunately I have drunk CAMRA’s Champion Bitter of 2004 more than once, but never in your esteemed company and you’re quite right it certainly wouldn’t do if we all liked the same beers, it would mean we all had to agree with one another all the time, wheres the fun in that? Nowadays I even get bored drinking beer I like, if it’s a repetitive daily occurrence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Citra,
      No, there’s no fun in agreeing with one another all the time. That’s too much like marriage !
      When you get to my age you won’t get bored with repetitive daily occurrences such as drinking beer you like,

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The real joy is drinking 5 pints of Banks’s, or Bass, or Harvey’s in 5 different pubs. Full stop.
        Except that 25 pints is too much for me nowadays.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that Spoons has been the closest I’ve seen a bar being “normal” since lockdown ended, barring the lack of Old Boys and not a lot of food seeming to get sold. Largest beer range, and least enjoyable pint as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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