OH DEREHAM !

Friday. Time to take the campervan for a spin (not literally) and visit Curry Charles in That Dereham, the new Hebden Bridge (I say that about everywhere).

2hrs 53 mins, A57, A17, A47. We’ll be there by 2pm we told Charles. Put the haggis on.

The campervan wouldn’t start, would it ? By the time the RAC man had kickstarted our battery, it was noon and we hit what seemed to a real life episode of that TV series where old bangers smash into each other.

Accidents at the A630/M1 junction, the Worksop turn (spectacular) and Newark, plus several near misses as the part-timers return, saw us take over 4 hours to reach Breckland. Simon does that sort of journey every Saturday, of course, but he doesn’t have a back seat driver like Mrs RM hissing “STOP !” to contend with.

Curry Charles had been sent out on reconnaissance the night before, and had failed to report back on the mysterious flimflam79’s collection of bespoke treasure chests next to The George, each containing a copy of the 1975 GBG.

Oddly, the streets were alive with cars at 5pm; “Where are they going ?” said Charles. Away from Dereham, I guessed.

But there was badly a soul on the pavement.

A town that thinks it’s famous for Steven Fry and Todd Cantwell, but is actually renowned for having the oldest average customer age in any UK Wetherspoons (62), was the 4th quietest place under that sun that follows the righteous.

The OAPs who pack in the Romany Rye, normally sit here,

but the Ednas and Dereks aren’t follwing the Woo Woo jug into the garden, where the average age is 26.

I think we nabbed the last table, using the retiredmartin tactic of “Taking The First Seat You See“.

Enough business to be viable but not enough for the full range of beers, so Crafty Charles and Mrs RM get the BrewDog rather than the Oakham Inception, and I get a very cool foamy Abbot (NBSS 3.5) as Doom Bar is off.

It was all a bit dull, to be honest; perhaps my camera lens had smudged.

But everyone looked happy as Breckland’s 7 day Covid rate plunged to 16.4 per 100,000. I think they were happy.

Anyway, lacings. You’re always impressed with lacings.

19 thoughts on “OH DEREHAM !

  1. Greene King Abbot shouldn’t be poured with a tight sparkler. Sorry to rain on your parade, especially after your nightmare journey to That Dereham. But you’ll know next time. And you’ll remember to thank me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m moving towards the opinion that no beer should be served through a tight sparkler, but that’s probably as controversial as that a pint should be a pint and it’s appearance, beyond clarity, is of no consequence.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Next time that I’m in Yorkshire and want a fight I’ll repeat that to the bar staff, Paul.

        I think that you are spot-on.

        Like

      2. Etu,
        I acknowledge that tight sparklers have saved Autovacs from extinction and I respect genuine local preferences but of tens of thousands of pints I’ve bought in pubs I can’t think of one of them of which I’ve thought “this beer is better from being drawn through a tight sparkler”.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember that ten years ago Greene King introduced a “dual-pour” font for its handpumped IPA – which was in the Barley Mow at Milford near me – so that the beer “could be served with a ‘southern’ or a ‘northern’ style pour” but with the vast majority of pub customers just accepting what they get that was a rarity.
        I’m not normally one for criticising Tim but tight sparklers in his Bristol, and London, venues is another example of his “one size fits all” intransigence.
        There are many things of beauty I appreciated when I used to get out, from the countryside to historic pub interiors, but with beer my interest has only been with its taste, my preference being a naturally served pint, neither over carbonated from extraneous gas pressure nor rendered flat from being forced through a tight sparkler.

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  2. “Time to take the campervan for a spin (not literally) ”

    I certainly hope not!

    “The campervan wouldn’t start, would it ? ”

    Not a good ‘start’ to the day, eh?

    “and we hit what seemed to a real life episode of that TV series where old bangers smash into each other.”

    Demolition sausage?

    “saw us take over 4 hours to reach Breckland.”

    Is that another name for Dereham?

    “Simon does that sort of journey every Saturday,”

    He’s actually starting to do mid-week jaunts!

    “but he doesn’t have a back seat driver like Mrs RM hissing “STOP !” to contend with.”

    (nods) My darling wife does that to me. But, to be fair, I do it to her when she’s driving. 🙂

    “and had failed to report back on the mysterious flimflam79’s collection of bespoke treasure chests next to The George, each containing a copy of the 1975 GBG.”

    Oh I say… very intriguing.

    “But there was badly a soul on the pavement.”

    I ‘barely’ understood that. 😉

    “but is actually renowned for having the oldest average customer age in any UK Wetherspoons (62), ”

    I would have thought that 62 was the average customer age in ANY Spoons.

    “but the Ednas and Dereks aren’t follwing”

    Oh! (hint)

    “where the average age is 26.”

    Until you got there. 😉

    “I think we nabbed the last table, using the retiredmartin tactic of “Taking The First Seat You See“.”

    Mrs RM didn’t do her run ahead thingy?

    “and I get a very cool foamy Abbot (NBSS 3.5) as Doom Bar is off.”

    Blimey. Definitely not shaping up as Doom Bar’s year is it?

    “perhaps my camera lens had smudged.”

    That can happen if you keep reaching with grotty fingers into your pocket for it.

    “Anyway, lacings. You’re always impressed with lacings.”

    For now anyway. In about a week or so the word ‘lacings’ will cause me to go for a lie down.

    Cheers

    Like

  3. I got curious and had a look at @flimflam69’s Instagram. I mean, the guy does good work, but I’m not sure he’s going to find many takers at that asking price.

    Was a time years back when you could see Abbot over here in bottle shops. When you’ve had it at peak condition, what’s your opinion? I don’t get the impression that it’s very many people’s top beer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d pick it as a safe bet. In the famous Fat Cat in Norwich it was being drunk by blokes in Hi-Vis and was nectar, far better than their Tim Taylor beers. And it’s great in the tiny Nutshell in Bury St Edmunds. If the landlord likes it, so much the better (bit like Bass, then). It doesn’t taste like 5% worth of beer though !

      Liked by 1 person

  4. When I lived in Norwich in the mid 70s one of the best places for Abbot was the Mancroft Vaults, very near the Market and where it was served by gravity – perhaps effectively being converted cellars helped keep the beer? The beer got so popular that the owner put it on draught – but through keg taps! My group of friends took our custom elsewhere after that. I think the place is long closed, or possibly running as a full scale restaurant.

    Liked by 1 person

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