MY LAST PINT

It’s great to see the vaccine roll-out proceeding at pace. Both our sets of parents will have had both Pfizer jabs by the end of today, allowing them to restart the full range of exciting activities open to octogenarians in Waterbeach and Tunbridge Wells.

I haven’t received my Sputnik jab in the post from Sergei yet but the sorting office in Sheffield seems a bit overwhelmed.

The vaccine may reach the pub-ticking codgers by “Spring“, whenever that is, and any pubs left re-opening in May, we now read. Whoopie-do. What will I blog about for 4 months ?

Duncan is still sending in field reports from December, and in tidying my cache of photos from the time of our house move last month I realised I’d missed one last pint before the switch to Tier 3 (which we almost remember fondly right now).

Not even a new tick, and definitely not a classic, but the Admiral Wells in Holme does have ONE significant feature.

It’s the lowest pub in England; nine feet below sea level. Take that, Tan Hill Inn !

I delightedly told BRAPA this factoid as I drove him from Ramsey to Yatton on the famous Fenside Five Six in 2019, assuming our top pub man would be fascinated in the GBG history of a top tick.

img_20190112_173444-1284881967.jpg

Need to wee” said Si.

Actually, the Admiral had, without fanfare or national protest, just dropped out of the Guide, so Simon has never been.

I’d forgotten it completely, 20 years on.

It’s a pleasant 3-roomer, the only pub in a village of 636, but gentlefolk obviously come here from as far away as up the road, as it was quite busy on a weekday. Everywhere else I’d been to in that week of substantial meals and Tier 2 envy had been deserted.

The nice lady found us an alcove next to the fire, well out of sight of the regulars, where we could sing along with “Lonely this Christmas” without stares.

But at least I could see the Bass stamp print, which wouldn’t fit in my bag, and the 1980s football team photo (best result : 5-1 v Yaxley “B”).

Service was cheery but formal, which I guess is what Covid does to you.

They wouldn’t take our food orders till we’d chosen our drinks, and as it took 10 minutes to visit the one-in, one-out loo and Mrs RM never orders on my behalf it took 20 minutes to get a foamy pint of Adnams Bitter.

Honestly. There seemed to be a designated “Drinks waitress” as the beer was perched on the bar (and we obviously couldn’t fetch it ourselves or we’d be shot), and the “Food waitress” walked past them 3 times while we mouthed “Excuse me” in that English way.

Despite the sign, the Digfield was off, so actually Mrs RM had really had a Hobsons Choice (not the beer) and could have ordered a fortnight ago. One pump pubs are great, aren’t they ?

Let’s not complain. Both the Adnams (NBSS 3.5) and the Chicken & Leek Pie with individually matched gravy boats were superb.

And I loved it all, despite the old-fashioned service and the waits and the sense of loss that I couldn’t see the Old Boys having a fag outside.

The Landlord popped over to say hello and I told him his beer was good and he seemed pleased. And then a fortnight later it was all over. Even in Holme.

23 thoughts on “MY LAST PINT

      1. Nearly three months since I had a pint of cask. Anarchy Blonde Star in the Tyne Bar if you’re interested. God, I miss the place but I keep in touch with some of the staff which takes the sting away a bit, and the owner is looking after them properly which is a comfort, not least to them. Here’s to vaccinations getting the country back on its feet.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Always interested in detail, Adrian, you can’t beat detail.

        Oddly, the Tyne is one of the few pubs round there I haven’t been to. Did it use to be the Ship Tavern ? (confusing as there’s another Ship just up the valley).

        Here’s to vacs.

        Like

      3. It was indeed the Ship until Fred reopened it in 1994. He also used to have the long gone and sadly missed Egypt Cottage which was next to the Tyne Tees TV studios which was a fantastic pub, livened up on Fridays after The Tube by being filled up by the bands who back in those days just mixed with the usual punters. When I was a yoof I ended up one night drinking with Lemmy, Iggy Pop and Boy George.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Long before Workie Ticket! Big Lamp was the only micro around here in those days. The Egypt was a former Newcastle Breweries pub but ended up as a free house. I don’t remember it selling cask.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so right, Mark.

      In March I was scared (I was petrified, as Gloria sang) and pubs were the last things on my mind. After pubs re-opened, and the virus seemingly withered away, I never dreamed we’d be back even worse than before for a further 6 month period while the Aussies, Kiwis and North Koreans sipped Bass in their backstreet boozers.

      Like

      1. Yes, I suppose that we English go through long periods of expecting to be as good at sport as the Southern Hemisphere is, but without actually putting in the training and lifestyle discipline too.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Interesting, not an obvious stop but easy to access off the A1 and if you leave Kent at 10ish you’d pass by at lunchtime, I guess. After that I’d have probably recommended the Blue Cow in Witham.

      Like

  1. “It’s the lowest pub in England; nine feet below sea level” – so undoubtedly Britain’s best pub for an uphill walk home to burn off the calories. .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “It’s great to see the vaccine roll-out proceeding at pace.”

    Blimey. Do you have to have a substantial meal in order to get the vaccine now as well?

    “What will I blog about for 4 months ?”

    Once my man shed/pub is (finally!) finished, you could take up a whole post with that. 😉

    “It’s the lowest pub in England; nine feet below sea level.”

    Six feet under would’ve been better. Just think of all the grave jokes going to waste.

    ““Need to wee” said Si.”

    Pfft. That’s akin to saying the sky is blue.

    “where we could sing along with “Lonely this Christmas” without stares.”

    I thought you didn’t ‘do’ Christmas. 🙂

    “Service was cheery but formal, which I guess is what Covid does to you.”

    That’s why I try to be taciturn and informal… keeps the Covid away (as good as not going out after 10pm at least!).

    “and Mrs RM never orders on my behalf ”

    Aha! I thought that was here in the photo of the fireplace.

    “and the “Food waitress” walked past them 3 times while we mouthed “Excuse me” in that English way.”

    Ugh. Shades of some of the bars over here alas. 😦

    ” One pump pubs are great, aren’t they ?”

    Like almost everything… within reason.

    “Let’s not complain. ”

    Especially considering what you’re going thru now!

    “And then a fortnight later it was all over.”

    It’s never over! At least, forever. Keep the faith my good man!

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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