I don’t what criteria the Cabinet will be using to decide when to start to re-open pubs and less important things, but I guess my lack of blog material won’t be high on the list.

But, with only local walks available, all I’ll have to offer you for now are ghost signs, 19th century burial sites, and my delight at outwalking a 21 year old.

Unless you want reviews of craft beer that tastes like old socks ? Thought not.

A year ago it was so easy.

To celebrate Dryanuary I made a round one hundred and one (101) Dalmations trips to the pub in January 2020. I really did. When you realise I’d managed 1,128 trips in 2019 that doesn’t seem so unlikely.

What a great start to the ticking year” I thought, “I’ll finish the Beer Guide at this rate and kick Duncan out of the Guinness Book of Records“. Ho, ho, ho.

A year ago I had such an embarrassment of riches to report that pubs like the Seaview in Falmouth had to share a post with other crackers.

This year you’d get a three-parter covering the Pedi, posh coats and corn snacks.

And some of the pubs I visited never even made the blog !

So you never read about Donna’s Ale House in Sittingbourne. Or the Star & Garter in Falmouth. Perhaps you’d like me to write about them now ? Again, thought not.

Looking back is a source of both joy and despair. Will I ever go in a pub with a specialist XTC jukebox again (where was this, I forget).

I could barely recall the Northumberland Arms, a Marple Bridge tick on a day I made the wise decision to skip the Manchester Beer Festival in favour of Holt boozers.

I’m missing proper seating (Mrs RM won’t have it in our new house), I’m missing the XTC rarities, I’m missing the bathroom sink dramas.

And I’m missing applying the lovely pink marker to the county page in the GBG.



  1. The XTC juke box made me smile. I remember the BBC banned Statue of Liberty I think because of the line “In my fantasy I sail beneath your skirt”!!! The song is funny rather than offensive and looking back it’s hard to imagine some BBC suits having a conversation about the song and deciding it wasn’t fit for the airwaves! Did we really pay a licence fee for them to waste time on such decision making? Particularly when you only have to look at other records from around the same time that they deemed fit for radio! Nice though to be reminded by your photo of such things 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the very week that Statue of Liberty was released we had the highly suggestive “Let’s Have a Quiet Night in” and “Floral Dance” (not to mention “Only Women Bleed” ).

      I’m afraid this site is generally not very sympathetic to the BBC, (and that’s nothing to do with any real or imagined left/right leaning !).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nice to see Swindon’s greatest getting a mention on your blog, Martin. I remember seeing film of them doing Statue of Liberty live, probably on the Old Grey Whistle Test, and went out to buy their first album White Music the next day.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Here’s an old favourite of mine.

      You can just about still read the “Railway Inn” on the roof slates of this ex-pub in Dove Holes, but not for much longer probably.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Clicking on Etu’s map link (I can’t see his uploaded images) the old Railway looks to be a mix of glass, woodworking and printing businesses under one roof. Wasn’t Doveholes voted the ugliest town in England recently ?

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I used to drive regularly between Long Eaton and Manchester and sometimes went that way. I always liked to see that roof sign from above as you came down the hill, it struck me as quite far flung for a Kimbo’s pub, Paul.

        I was sorry when the pub shut, though I’d never actually called in.

        (Sorry for not putting the link with the original post, Martin – there’s no image!)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dear me, my roots are showing.

        Should have said Hardy-Hanson – oh, there I go again – Hardy and Hanson.

        The only Cheshire Cheese that I used was the one in Broadbottom, Paul.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. A Kimbo’s pub…akimbo… meaning with hands on hips and elbows out, a contraction of “in a keen bow’…limbo dancing dates back to the mid to late nineteenth century in Trinidad, but did not achieve mainstream popularity until the nineteen fifties. One explanation for the name is that the version of the limbo performed in then Trinidad was meant to symbolise slaves entering the galleys of a slave ship, or a spirit crossing over into the afterworld – or into “limbo” – but sadly no literary reference is known to substantiate this postulated linkage.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I, for one, wouldn’t mind a post about the Star & Garter as it’s one of the Falmouth pubs I don’t know. Might get down there again one day.
    The Northumberland looks wonderful. Is it still less than twelve months since we could go to such places freely? Seems like forever.
    Just noticed Lincolnshire is roughly the same shape as Wiltshire. (Only with a coast and without Swindon)


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