His own records of completion are kept on papyrus in the National Archive of Ticking Outputs in Egypt (Bucks).
It’s also where Duncan keeps his secret stash of his favourite beer.
Just for Duncan, here’s the famous spreadsheet for GBG20, boosted by a late burst in Saltash.
GBG20 (five righthand columns) closed for business on the 18th October,when the new Guide “dropped” (ugh). I’ve added the starting GBG21 columns on the left.
In a nutshell, 94% of the GBG complete, 48 counties, and a tantalisingly 269 pubs short of the ultimate prize of 100% completion.
But after cross-checking with the new GBG I saw my progress drop back to 84%, a loss of 418 pubs in year and 713 short of the prize.
Mainly dreadful micros, community-owned gastros and brewery tap rooms kicking out hardworking Proper Pubs run by blokes called Barry.
HOW CROSS-CHECKING WORKS
Since the new Guide arrived I’ve been working out how many pubs I need to tick to complete the GBG, assuming they open and I’m ever allowed to visit them again.
This is your step-by-step guide. You’ll need to buy or steal the GBG first.
- Add up the number of pubs in each county in the Guide. The usual 50 in boring Beds, I see.
2. Using your giant spreadsheet, mark up your new GBG to show you which ones you’ve done. I use my unique 3 tick system (reflecting beer quality).
You’ll see the first pub in the Guide, the Albion in Ampthill (one of BRAPA’s first blogs) gained 3 stars decades ago and really deserves a revisit.
Beds is always a doddle; only two new entries for me, which I’d knocked off that first week.
3. Put the number you’ve already visited in the spreadsheet alongside the number for each county, and using a complex math formula (x-y=z) it’ll tell you how many are left to do, and what percentage completion you’re at.
So, two in Beds, and seven hundred and thirteen (713) for the UK. That’s what’s a called “a declaration“. 713 is about 2 pubs a day, which would be fine if they were open.
4. It took about 5 days to “declare”; it’s taken a month to colour in the Guide. But I’m sure you’ll agree it’s worth it.
Every entry you’ve done is pinked (NOT greened), the pubs still to visit circled, the map filled in. This is what Lockdowns were invented for.
Then you read BRAPA in Essex (88 Volumes) and you notice a pub called “Mile and a Third” in Westcliff that you carelessly seem to have missed in your rushed attempt to declare first.
Bit like developing a vaccine for Covid but forgetting to make one for stupidity at the same time so folk don’t take it and hence pubs never re-open, I guess.
So, that fully coloured Essex map is a lie. Fortunately, the growing collective of Guide tickers provides a lot of challenge and these errors tend to get picked up soon enough.
But someone really ought to go through Duncan’s papyrus scrolls again and see whether he got The Mitre mixed up with Ye Olde Mitre back in 1987.