More local-ish ramblings for you before the GBG drop on the 29th. No inference should be drawn about anything, EVER.
Shefford is famous for two things.
Firstly, in 2015 BRAPA visited during his Bedfordshire Reign of Terror, and this report on his embryonic blog is delightfully descriptive of a chance meeting with Everton title winner and Luton Hatters legend Jimmy Husband.
Jimmy delivered milk, ran a nearby pub (but which one ?) and entertained reader Sheffield Hatter during Luton’s spell as our top team in bright orange. But not all at the same time.
Disappointingly he didn’t colour in and autograph Simon’s GBG back then. I suspect Jimmy was as weary as I am now reading BRAPA boring on about the number of beers back then.
One beer is plenty, often more than enough. The Shefford Tap, which has been in the Beer Guide since BRAPA weed in a potty rather than a pot plant, still managed half a dozen on a wet Tuesday in October.
But I can forgive that, as in the 4pm Golden Hour it had a buzz I’ve skilfully failed to capture in these photos.
In Stockport, this would be the Portwood Railway, an irreverent beer drinkers pub with Old Boys in the Public and lads out back and quite a trade in takeaway by the 2 pint carton (yes, I did).
DESPITE guest beers, the house Shefford Bitter was sublime, a cool, crisp, foamy NBSS 3.5+.
Just look at its face !, as they used to say in the ’70s when Jimmy Husband was on the wing.
The landlady and me commiserated on the need to “get techie quick” to check in these days, the Old Boys debated the merits of getting Britbox to watch Spitting Image, and the long version of Freebird drifted on.
It was rather perfect, just as it always is.
The banter between Landlady (“Thank you darling“) and locals is always instructive;
“‘ere, I’ve been waiting two hours for my pint“
“Stop whining or I’ll charge you £4.50“
As, or course, are the signs in the Gents.
As I left a precocious schoolchild challenge her mum about a poorly worn mask. Perhaps there is hope for the future.
Shefford looked FAR bigger than I remember from the ’90s, when I lived just down the road in Hitchin, but is actually the same size as Waterbeach.
The highlights package centres on the Brewery Tap and the little stroll round the River Ivel and the new Morrisons (not shown).
A police car slowed to talk to a lady in an oversized ’70s fleece waving a stick. Fleeces have been banned in mid-Bedfordshire since 1978.
I tried The Bridge, looking lovely in its foliage and Chas Wells livery. Who knows, Simon may one day come back here and try it too.
The welcome was warm, the furnishings farmhouse style, the soundtrack firmly rooted in 1985 (Pet Shop Boys and Bryan Ferry), the beer a choice of Wells Origin or Wells Origin (or Old Rosie).
One beer pubs are all the rage in 2020, and I take all the credit for it.
This was nicely kept (NBSS 3), but Origin is a plain beer compared to the might of Bombardier.
A young (under 50) chap popped in, drank a Kronenbourg in 2 minutes and left, reminding me of Mrs RM.
Which brings us outside to the second famous thing about Shefford.
You wouldn’t think rural Bedfordshire and curry go together, but they do, and Shefford Tandoori was one of our top tips during a decade in Herts.
Shame it was closed; I know how Dick and Dave love their dhansak photos.