You left me in Wellingborough, you sods, contemplating my fate in a second new Guide pub in an otherwise unremarkable Midlands town (don’t start arguing with me, it’s Midlands).

Would it be another 10 pump ale shrine like the Coach & Horses so beloved of Alan Winfield, a brewery tap selling undrinkable beers from a shed in Pytchley, or a Marstons 2-for-1 that had sneaked through the CAMRA GBG selection meeting unnoticed ?

Oooh, the Queen’s Head looks like a Normal Pub. Don’t see many of those.

Yes, very plain. I like that.

And beyond the hand sanitiser, bar codes and rope (yes, rope), I hear the sound of laughter (top). 3 blokes comparing their tea;

Man alive, bread and butter pudding with vanilla custard, mmmm

You don’t hear the phrase “Man alive” enough in pubs.

“Sit where you like” says the cheery AND efficient barmaid. Simon will give her an award she’ll fail to collect in person.

There’s a snack menu that seems to comprise “chips“, “cheesy chips” and “roast potatoes“, which sounds quite appealing after frogs legs in Luton.

But I stick to a pint of Landlord, chosen because the bloke on my right has one already.

Actually, he could have been drinking Stella in a Landlord glass, I guess, but it seemed a bit of an ale drinkers pub, albeit one with beers you’ve actually heard of (never catch on).

The Landlord was pretty good, cool and chewy (NBSS 3+), despite my notes saying “taste of tea”. But it’s Yorkshire tea, yeah ?

Going to the loo gives you a small window of opportunity to explore the pub (by accident), spread “R” and capture a pic of an old beer bottle for Stafford Paul.

And then I tried to find the exit, which I now assume CANNOT be the same door as the entrance, oh no.

Eventually the other Landlord drinker took pity on me and pointed to the door, rope and all, I came in through. Aneka Rice wouldn’t have coped with the challenge of getting in and out of pubs in 2020.


      1. You mention in the tweet that Duncan is the only completest. Is that right? I did not realize that for some reason.


      2. Duncan completed the current Guide in 2016 if I recall correctly. Another Martin (aka Maltmeister) has got close but never quite does all the outliers. I think I’m 3rd on the list reaching 94% last year and edging closer annually. The closure of pubs will hit this year’s endeavours.


  1. So pleased the Queens is in the guide. Elevated to my favourite real fire and bar billiards pub in Wellingborough last year. There’s quite a lot of it and the little bar is quite trad. 101% friendlier than the Coach & Horses too, though it’d be hard to beat the two micros for the welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Just had a read, that’s quite a crawl, I don’t think I’d have managed that mileage/pubage in my youth!

        Every time I end up in the C&H I promise myself I won’t do it again. The only time in the modern era that I’ve ever been told by the bar staff that a sour pint should taste like that (the miracle of the internet means you can check whether it’s supposed to be a sour, it wasn’t), and I’ve had other dodgy pints in there too. And don’t get me started about the huge range of appalling over-sweet, trifle flavoured ‘ciders’…

        Liked by 2 people

    1. The real debate is whether Oxfordshire is South Midlands or Home Counties. A bit of both, I’d say – Banbury vs Henley.

      Good to see beermats in use, btw 😄

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “You left me in Wellingborough”

    With regards to the photo above; does sitting down give one some sort of immunity to Covid? I’m trying to figure out why walking around requires a mask and sitting doesn’t.
    (It’s the same in France, according to my brother. Or, it was, when the bars and restaurants were still open). 😉

    “so beloved of Alan Winfield”

    That man could certainly drink… and walk!
    (and give a good piece of his mind) 🙂

    “Yes, very plain. I like that.”

    It even has a snappy catch phrase.

    “says the cheery AND efficient barmaid”

    True to their catch phrase. Nice.

    “Actually, he could have been drinking Stella in a Landlord glass, I guess,”

    Too dark for a Stella.

    “spread “R””

    Pfft. Masks stop all of that nonsense, or so they say. 😉

    “which I now assume CANNOT be the same door as the entrance, oh no.”

    Crickey. Isn’t that a sad sign of the times. (sigh)



  3. I’m looking for a pub landlady whom I think was married to a man called Martin in Wellingborough Northants. She is called Just and lived in Spain for a while. She is my ex sister in law and I lost touch when I lost my phone some years ago. Does anyone know of her. Please help me to get back in touch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Barbara, so sorry to hear you lost touch. I don’t know much about the history of pubs in Wellingborough but you MAY find the Salvation Army Family Tracing service helpful;


      and (although I don’t use Facebook) if someone posted your request on the historic Wellingborough Facebook page you MIGHT find someone who know her.


      Best of luck


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