UTTER MADNESS IN SAWTRY

You were warned. Teversham, Grantchester, and now Sawtry.

And you’ve got Fulbourn, Hilton and Alconbury to come. #OpenThePubs

Mrs RM feels my utter despair. “The ******** are going to keep the pubs shut, aren’t they ?” I just asked her. “Get me another coffee” she replied.

But at least she’s accompanying me on my little jaunts round the flatlands of my home county, which is probably stretching the rules enough as it is.

She JUMPED at the chance to visit Sawtry, a plain Huntingdonshire village of about 7,000 bypassed by the 3 lane A1, which has failed to grace the GBG but did house one of Mrs RM’s University friends 20 years ago.

Not this house, though.

We parked up outside the British Show Pony HQ. Sawtry seemed, on first look, an unholy mix of pets, funeral homes, schools and a Peterborough suburb of a shopping arcade (no micropub though).

Golly, it makes Teversham look like Venice.

But then we saw a hill, and headed for it.

Under the terms of the Wednesbury IKEA Peace Accord (1993) I retain my privy parts by not publishing photos of Mrs RM clambering over stiles on muddy lanes. So I’ve skilfully edited her out of this shot;

But I did have a good laugh while she did so, at the entrance to Aversley Wood. Till I fell, t-over-a, into the mud myself. My best jeans, soiled*.

We pressed on. The sun was out, as it is wont to be when I’m walking.

It was a mudbath, akin to the Baseball Ground in 1977.

See the source image

But you don’t drive 34 minutes to Sawtry and give up at the first hurdle.

Aversley Wood was enchanting.

And the view from the boundary definitely contained hills, our first for a fortnight.

Emerging from the mud to a tree-lined route to a tarmac road, we started to appreciate the simple charms of “that bit between the A14 and the A1 without many pubs in it“.

Once on the tarmac we passed a dozen dog walkers strolling out past a cluster of new housing developments towards the Giddings, which are where I’ll be heading if pubs don’t re-open on the 2nd.

Dave “US” Southworth asked if I’d been to all the Cambridgeshire pubs, and Sawtry was a painful reminder that there’s still dozens in the north of the county awaiting my visit for a half of Doom Bar.

The Ex-Servicemen’s Club has a sign advertising Fosters so is probably your best bet.

Greystones looks more like Guest House than boozer,

and The Bell is a bit spoilt by the Just Eat livery.

Talking of food, as we often are, it was now nearly 1pm and we were famished. Sawtry Club Sandwiches looked the best bet.

At 1.30 we were STILL waiting for our Coronation Chicken and Brie and Cranberry baguettes. Along with a huge queue of, oh, two others.

It’s Brie and STRAWBERRY !” said Mrs RM. “Taste it !” Tasted fine to me.

The assistant from SCS, which sounds like an ’80s soul band, ambled across the road to our seat on the green.

Sorry you had to wait. It’s been UTTER madness today

There’s your blog title, UTTER MADNESS in Sawtry” said Mrs RM.

That’s why I married her.

*No, not that kind of soiled. Wrong blog.

20 thoughts on “UTTER MADNESS IN SAWTRY

  1. Of all the villages in all of Cambridgeshire, you had to walk into mine, as Rick almost said. If I’d known you were coming, I would have sloped off work (WFH) and said hello.

    The Bell was a Paines GBG pub when I moved here (1986); several changes of hands since then, the most recent being just after lockdown#1 (poor buggers). Despite it being only 5 minutes from my house, I’ve still not been in to see what they’ve done with it (I’m in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ category, so cowering inside until a reliable vaccine is available).

    The Greystones has always been good for a decent quality pint – seldom anything too exotic on it’s 2 handpumps but often a locale to be found and it has a big garden, so outdoor drinking has appeal. (one day)

    As for the WMC, not been in for probably 15 years. It did do GK seasonals (fond memories of Captain Xmas) and had the odd guest. I recall when Batemans fought off the take-over and they launched Victory (6%) having a very swift 4 pints, after an evening of bridge at the club (ended about 10.15), and getting home a wee bit tipsy.

    Aversley Wood is one of the very few mediaeval ones left, certainly in Cambridgeshire. I ought to visit more often. Oh, just took a squint at the map – ice age then. WOW!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks SM (not S&M!). The XXX was pretty underwhelming as I recall, but the EG (Eynesbury Giant) was not a bad pint. It was the first time I ever encountered beer in a polypin – a party in the late seventies, in Ladywell SE1.

        Like

  2. Yes it was a private house and opened as a pub, in the early eighties I believe, shortly after the pink thatched cottage opposite it on the green closed as one. (before my time)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You don’t see many jackets and ties on a football pitch these days !
    Is that goalie Joe Corrigan ?
    Did the residents of Sawtry rejoice when Paines closed down ?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I wonder what they would use to paint the spot if the pitch was covered in snow ? Probably recycled Paines XXX

        Like

  4. “You were warned.”

    Yes, yes. But, what I want to know is… in the OS Map above, are those footprints supposed to be some sort of weird dance steps?

    ““The ******** are going to keep the pubs shut, aren’t they ?””

    You could do a whole post on us guessing just what those 8 asterisks represent!
    (sadly, ‘wankers’ only takes 7)

    “but did house one of Mrs RM’s University friends 20 years ago.”

    Mrs RM’s only 20 years out of uni? 😉

    “(no micropub though)”

    Yet. 🙂

    “So I’ve skilfully edited her out of this shot;”

    Been married a while I see. 😉

    “My best jeans, soiled*.”

    You do realise that ‘soiled’ can be taken in another context? 😉
    (sigh… suddenly realises that’s probably what the ‘*’ is all about)

    “The sun was out, as it is wont to be when I’m walking.”

    Is your nickname the Sun King?
    (as your local is the Sun Inn)

    “And the view from the boundary definitely contained hills, our first for a fortnight.”

    Daily thing for me. Mountains even!

    “we started to appreciate the simple charms of “that bit between the A14 and the A1 without many pubs in it“.”

    Looks pretty nice… on a sunny day.

    “The Ex-Servicemen’s Club has a sign advertising Fosters so is probably your best bet.”

    And no windows. Are most of the clientele there ex Signals Intelligence?

    “Greystones looks more like Guest House than boozer,”

    Blimey, yes.

    “and The Bell is a bit spoilt by the Just Eat livery.”

    Ugh. I take that’s similar to Door Dash, Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes and the like?

    “That’s why I married her.”

    Blimey. Even back then you knew you’d be in need of a blog post title assistant?

    “*No, not that kind of soiled. Wrong blog.”

    I knew it!

    Cheers

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s