Two days around Great Torrington, the centrepiece of the mass of villages with long names in Torridge District.

Loads of pinking to do there, not none in Torrington (just below Weare Giffard on the GBG map), where I pitched my campervan for the night overlooking the leper fields of Taddiport.

“Leper” – one who denies the superiority of Doom Bar over craft

Quite a view from the campervan, much enjoyed by Baa Baa and an increasing number of frustrated youths. We will find out the reason for their frustration soon.

Proper views, but any Proper Pubs

But first, and it embarrasses me to admit this, a bus trip to the Cyder Presse in Weare Giffard.

Be warned. You’re safer on foot. Watching cars reverse into tiny drives to avoid the oncoming Number 75 is enough to put you off buses for life (see also : the whole of the Isle of Wight).

On the upside, the bus returned to Torrington 30 minutes later. Ideal. Unless I missed it, in which case the next bus was today.

Rare pub sign on wall

Just a typical village pub on Friday evening. Children with dads, blokes starting on the strongest cider, plans arranged for the big trip to Bideford on Saturday.

Blurry already and not even reached the cider

I waited patiently for a few minutes for the Otter to be changed, but at the last minute thought

I’m in the cider pub of the year, in Devon, why don’t I have a cider ?”

Following the ground-breaking 18th session of the Pub Tickers Council (Carluke, 2008), cider is accepted as a tick in a GBG pub as long as you stand on one leg and hum “Combine Harvester” at the bar.

But they were all those bag-in-a-box Lilley’s flavoured ciders; are they even real ? Don’t answer.

I ended with a half of the Tropical one, and whatever my ecumenical reservations about flavoured cider I loved it.

Back in “town” 40 minutes later I suddenly realised the night was still young and my ticking was done, which almost rhymes,

As ever, I turned to Twitter for advice;

Thanks Mudgie.


  1. CAMRA trying to decide what qualifies as “real” cider makes the Schleswig-Holstein question look straightforward. Most pubs seem to take the view that anything that isn’t fizzy and comes out of a keg font qualifies.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Torrington used to be famous for glove making. More recently, the Dartington Glass factory. And even more recently, Rosemore RHS Garden, gifted to the society by Lady Anne Berry. When I lived in North Devon, Torrington always felt to me like a one-horse town where the horse had just died.


  3. It’s a little known fact that any pub in the West Country with Cider/Cyder/Zoider in its name will generally have no decent cider and as a pub is best avoided. Unless it’s Newton Abbots Ye Olde Cider Bar of course. Which also breaks the ‘Ye Olde = Crap’ rule too..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seems about right. I’m always suspicious of bag in box; I think “Well I could do that at home”, like to see a handpump but you only see that with Old Rosie. To be fair, temperature and turnover still a key.

      Please don’t tell our American readers that “Ye Olde” is anything other than a guarantee of a great pub.


  4. Further to Mudgie’s tweet typo I refute any notion that I’ve been involved with Corn Dollies.

    BTW I’m thinking of starting an agency for ticker’s creatures. Would Ba Ba and Colin be looking for an agent? I assume Duncan’s will be an Outer Mongolian goat mascot skull?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “(just below Weare Gifford on the GBG map)”

    I think you mean Weare ‘Giffard’. Weare Gifford is a street in Southend-on-Sea at the entrance to the Thames. 😉

    “overlooking the leper fields of Taddiport.”

    Did all of the loose fingers and toes peaking out of the ground give it away?

    Also, on the OS map I see ‘Beam Ho’. That puts me in mind of Si’s ‘Blind Twat!’ remark where someone was looking for their sunglasses.

    “We will find out the reason for their frustration soon.”


    “Unless I missed it, in which case the next bus was today.”

    Hope there wasn’t a lineup at the pub!

    “Blurry already and not even reached the cider”

    It’s a bit like getting knurd on a drink a la Pratchett?

    “cider is accepted as a tick in a GBG pub as long as you stand on one leg and hum “Combine Harvester” at the bar.”

    Are there similar rules for going from cask to Carling as BBM did? 😉

    “I suddenly realised the night was still young and my ticking was done, which almost rhymes,”

    Close enough; especially after having a cider.

    “It’s a bit Wicker Man”

    Are you sure that’s not a leftover from Halloween?



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