A LAST HURRAH

Lots of short posts for you, in case I run out of material before December.

November 4th 2020. The last day before Lockdown 2, with no idea how long it might last, and whether there’d actually be any pubs to return to.

Disastrously, I’d allowed young BRAPA to score more GBG ticks than me in August and September, despite visiting more pubs than him. That’s rather like Manchester City having eighteen shots to Hull Tiger’s seven but failing to make it count and dropping 2 points.

What I needed was a big last day to at least win a shortened November.

London was calling, as someone overrated once sang.

Note I’d elected for the Off-Peak Return, rather than a Travelcard. No way am I going underground, as someone less overrated once sang.

This was my first trip to the Smoke since a flying visit to the Royal Oak in February.

I’d produced a rather fetching map for the occasion. Twenty-one (21) pubs to do, though POSSIBLY not all on Wednesday. I’m no Alan Winfield.

It was actually quite emotional to emerge onto the plaza at King’s Cross, for the first time in nearly a year. Quieter than usual, but more beautiful than ever.

Some folk were sceptical (US readers : skeptical) of my proposal to WALK London, so here’s the plan, if not the proof.

Actually, it’s not the plan. I set off down Gray’s Inn Road, admiring the craft beer offer,

the ornate Travelodge,

and the lovely Young’s pub that somehow makes it into the Guide year on year despite the flood of craft in WC1 (Joke – nothing ever changes in WC1).

When you’re in London it’s your civic duty to,

a) Walk at a brisk pace and only stop abruptly to take photos of pubs

b) Admire the scenery

c) Stop for a late breakfast at one of those long- suffering tax paying sandwich shops the Government ask us to support.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been in a Pret before. I think they’re a small independent chain operating from underneath the railway arches in Hackney Wick.

This is “Pigs in Blankets“. I leave you to go “Oooh”/recoil in horror as appropriate.

A week later there is STILL mustard on my long-suffering fleece.

Suitably fortified, I pressed on to St Pauls...

tbc, as they say

25 thoughts on “A LAST HURRAH

  1. For a quick bite to eat at a reasonable price I found the Pret a pretty good place. A friend of mine traveling with a child thought they were a godsend. In an airport they often save the day…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haven’t been to the Calthorpe Arms for about 15 years. It had a mix of postal workers and students then. Maybe due to being two demographics with ‘unusual’ working hours?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. The Blue Posts behind Oxford Street used to have a similar mix as it was next to another Royal Mail depot (now closed).

        One of the things I like about pubs in the East Midlands, where I know live, is the mix of people. Everards pubs (much maligned by beer nerds) are pretty good for this.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. William,
        Everards pubs might be much maligned by beer nerds now and they certainly were in the mid 1970s when it was all keg beer from Burton.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. William,
      I’ve used the Calthorpe Arms quite a few times – though initially I confused it with the nearby Packenham Arms – and it was a nice change watching, rather than driving, Royal Mail vans.
      Was the Royal Mail depot (now closed) behind Oxford Street the old Western District Office at Rathbone Place ?

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      1. On 13th May 1833 several thousand attended a rally of the National Union of the Working Classes near the Calthorpe Arms and.three policeman were stabbed.
        PC Culley “ran about thirty yards and upon reaching the Calthorpe Arms he seized the barmaid by the wrist and exclaimed “Oh, I am very ill”” which were were his dying words.
        One man, George Fursey, was sent for trial on the charge of murdering PC Culley and wounding PC Brooks. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty.
        There then followed a local inquest on the death of PC Culley; it was convened in an upstairs room of the same Calthorpe Arms, close to the site of the demonstration. The inquest jury of seventeen men consisted largely of bakers from the Grays Inn neighbourhood. Summing up, the coroner called upon the jury to return a verdict of wilful murder.
        You wouldn’t get away with that nowadays !

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      2. Yes, on Rathbone Place that’s one. Flats now I think.

        Nice piece of detective on the Calthorpe. Pubs were multi-purpose venues back then!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We had plans to go to London & walk from Victoria (I agree -no underground ! ) Sadly events overtook us & it wasn’t to be -I feel so sad because we have had so much fun there over the years.We’ve not even been able to see the lads new flat yet- he will probably have moved on by the time we are allowed to visit.I am getting seriously fed up with all this -not how I thought my retirement would be like !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, the Calthorpe! Used to be a reassuring brown when it was Youngs, not bright blue. Has many a good pint of Ordinary in there when I worked nearby.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “London was calling, as someone overrated once sang.”
    I tend to agree, don’t think LAF will though.

    “No way am I going underground, as someone less overrated once sang.”
    I agree again, how weird!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “What I needed was a big last day to at least win a shortened November.”

    So, London for the density I see.

    “Twenty-one (21) pubs to do, though POSSIBLY not all on Wednesday. I’m no Alan Winfield.”

    He was a bloody giant in that respect.

    “Some folk were sceptical”

    Around King’s Cross, the use of sceptres or something similar makes sense.

    “so here’s the plan, if not the proof.”

    I only see 7 stops. So 14 for the return trip then? 😉

    “(Joke – nothing ever changes in WC1).”

    Maybe a few flushes would help?
    (WC – get it?) 🙂

    “b) Admire the scenery”

    That’s really a subset of a)… or maybe vice versa. 😉

    “Stop for a late breakfast at one of those long- suffering tax paying sandwich shops the Government ask us to support.”

    But… it looks French!

    “A week later there is STILL mustard on my long-suffering fleece.”

    It’s keeping the honey company. 🙂

    “tbc, as they say”

    Roger that.

    Cheers

    Like

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