CLIMIE FISHER REDEMPTION AT THE PIKE & EEL

Just like John Peel kept you waiting to see if the Sex Pistols or Sheena Easton were Number 1 in his Festive 50, I’ll keep you hanging on to find out if Fife or Bedfordshire take top spot in my Top 10 counties. Calm down, Dave.

It won’t be Cambridgeshire, though I’ll probably miss it when (if) I leave.

On Monday I visited a Cambs pub I’d never visited before, though it’s possible my parents brought me here as a beautiful bonny baby for dripping on toast or whatever folk ate in riverside pubs in the ’60s.

Due to embargos and the like I can’t reveal why I was headed to the Pike & Eel in Needingworth, so for now you should assume I like visiting village lock ups from the 1830s;

That will make a nice craft bar in GBG22, or a place to put BRAPA for its original purpose if he ever revisits St Ives.

In truth, folk come to the dull bungalow-filled village of Needingworth (if at all, to be honest) for the Old Ferry Boat in Holywell, a place competing with the Tiny Rebel bar in Newport for the title of Britain’s oldest pub.

In contrast, the Pike & Eel is one of numerous places that folk called Keith and Doris pitch their boat at and enjoy lasagne and a half of cider shandy.

This boat failed to make it back.

It’s not a pub ever likely to grace the GBG, you’d think. But, to paraphrase OJ Simpson, IF IT WAS, you might be surprised that the Guide entry in 2020 wasn’t the Boat Club Hut with its ghosts of faded Bass from the ’70s.

The Pike & Eel looks a hotch-potch of styles, and even in sub-zero temperatures there are more outside than in enjoying the football field of a garden. We’re a hardy lot in Cambs.

That couple weren’t eating. Oddly, there was no food being served, which made me wonder what purpose it served, stuck at the dead end of a track out of an isolated village.

BUT I had a great welcome, as so often the case since 4 July, and chose my own seat. There was no-one about.

What can I say ?

Well, you get Robbie Williams and Climie Fisher, and the glow of satisfaction that you’ve had the first pint of Ghost Ship of the day so the next bloke in gets a decent beer.

Mine, in contrast, was a bit meh. It started at 1.5, wobbled to a 2, and after my trip to the posh loos somehow limped to an OK 2.5.

IF it was in the Beer Guide, it would have been a limp start, except for the lovely staff. But it couldn’t ? Could it ?

17 thoughts on “CLIMIE FISHER REDEMPTION AT THE PIKE & EEL

    1. Often wondered that, Dave. Would have been to all 100+ in Cambridge and 269 in the GBG alone. But there’s a lot of plain pubs in market towns like St Neots (Alan did 20 !) and a lot of villages near Newmarket that never see the Guide. About 75% I’d guess.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was surprised, too. I guess I’ve completed the Cambs Guide entries for each of the last 20+ years, and there’s 70 in now, but that still implies a regular 8-10 new entries each year, doesn’t it ?

        For context, of that 269, 40 are Cambridge, 27 are Peterborough, 9 in little Whittlesey. I think that 20 years ago there was more rotation than there is now.

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      2. Whittlesey is a bit like Leek in an odd way; a busy market town of very similar drinkers pubs that still retain enough trade to put on an interesting beer alongside a well known one (it used to be John Smiths Cask, no idea what it would be now).

        If you ever get over here again the Straw Bear Festival in mid January is something else.

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      3. “(Alan did 20 !)”

        The exclamation mark was a bit superfluous don’t you think. πŸ˜‰

        Cheers

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  1. I was at school with someone called Keith Doris, who doubly satisfied your qualification for barge ownership and for visiting this pub.

    I couldn’t say if he ever owned one though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ” so for now you should assume I like visiting village lock ups from the 1830s;”

    Because… it’s going to become the latest micro and/or the latest smallest pub in the UK?

    “That will make a nice craft bar in GBG22,”

    Hah!

    “This boat failed to make it back.”

    I might be able to save a few bob and turn that into my man shed/pub.

    “the Boat Club Hut with its ghosts of faded Bass from the ’70s.”

    Ok. That might make a better man shed/pub.

    “We’re a hardy lot in Cambs.”

    Sub-zero? Pfft. I don’t see any icebergs in the river. πŸ˜‰

    “and the glow of satisfaction that you’ve had the first pint of Ghost Ship of the day”

    Freaky. I just finished a 473ml can of Ghost Ship Hazy IPA over here!

    “Mine, in contrast, was a bit meh. ”

    Mine was a bit better than that. πŸ™‚

    Cheers

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