Woken up by Dido with those Twice Brewed Blues Again

The great Bob Dylan is 80, which is how I felt in the morning after the quadruple burger the night before.

I’d finally left the dinner table, possibly without the requisite written permission, when No Socks Fitness Woman (a BRAPA character if ever I saw one) started singing along to “Yes” by McAlmont & Butler. NO ! NO ! NO !

And then, at 7:30 in the morning, I was woken by the strains of “White Flag” wafting up from a deserted pizza garden.

Enough is enough. After a lengthy breakfast of 20 questions about toast, cereal, room numbers and eggs, we hit the trail. I wanted to show Mrs RM the glories of Steel Rigg.

And the splendour of “tree on a hilltop“, which I somehow convinced her was the sycamore that won “Tree of the Year” when immortalised by Kevin Costner.

But she just wanted to get to Hexham un-soaked. So, so shallow.

The hour or so down to Bardon Mill Railway Station was an understated highlight of the trip.

Below the A69 you have the little known Allen Banks on the approach in Weardale, which contains some Proper Pubs to compare and contrast Twice Brewed with.

Barely a car or horse or jogger till we reached Bardon (pop 452), home to a busy parish council,

commercial pottery,

a leek club show, and a beleaguered station with cover (but no seats) or seats (with no cover).

Despite the drizzle, I explored, just for you.

I barely notice the hotel. But I DID notice the current GBG sticker.

I had NO recollection of ever coming here; had I pinked it in error ? Luckily, standing in the rain, I was able to load my mobile spreadsheet and confirm a visit resulting in an NBSS 3 score so I didn’t have to ask Mrs RM to stand in the drizzle another hour till the Bowes opened at noon.

She’s not have been pleased.

21 thoughts on “Woken up by Dido with those Twice Brewed Blues Again

  1. Yes, enough can sometimes indeed be enough, Martin, I know that feeling.

    The performance of ordering a drink in a Brains pub has actually eased any sadness that I might have felt over the reported changes afoot chez SA.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In the mid-90s I’d have said Brains was my favourite beer range (favouring the Bitter), reflecting the turnover in those Cardiff pubs after a match at Ninian Park. In 20 years, cask seems to have largely died in South Wales, and those SA Brain places gone the same way as Greene King; homogenised and sterile. May be a few exceptions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, there still seem to be plenty of cask outlets around, and as for Brains the quality of the ale is usually good – their bitter remains my preference too.

        It’s just that their pubs are, above all, Brains pubs, rather than anything that the tenant might make of them, to which you perhaps allude.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I genuinely reckon it’s all about turnover; more competition from lager and cider and wine, less heavy daytime drinkers, smoking ban, pubs focus on food deterring the drinker etc etc. Back in the 90s pubs like the Vulcan, Goat Major and City Arms were selling hundreds of pints of Bitter an hour after matches, doubt it now.


      3. Interesting to hear this. I was aware of the Brains brand but can’t recall seeing anyone singing their praises. You’ve got me thinking that what they were brewing in the 90s was one of those lovely nectars from days gone by that, like old Boddingtons, can sadly never be tasted again.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I always refuse to believe the beers themselves are any different these days, Mark, which is why I still find great (and dull) pints of Bass, 6X, Abbot, Black Sheep etc etc. It’s all about turnover and cellarmanship.

        Brains made some great beers, possibly still do, but their best known beers sell far more lager and cider and wine these days.

        I’m afraid I don’t really remember Boddies too well, though we got their mild in Hertfordshire. It seemed to go from legendary to ubiquitous to uggh ! very quickly.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Dylan Thomas”s line about thin, flat, Welsh bitter isn’t that complimentary in Under Milk Wood as I recall, but some of us remember those pubs with their “smoked kipper windows” I imagine.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. There was Dido, Bendigo, Gentry he was there-o
      Traveler, he never looked behind him.
      There was Countess, Rover, Bonnie Lass and Jover
      These were the hounds that could find him.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. “A leek club show is held every year, the produce from which is auctioned along with donations the day after the show. Funds are then donated to local charities.” says Wiki of Bardon Mill. Don’t shoot the messenger.


      1. Leeks reminds me of Marie Llloyd allegedly changing “She Sits Among the Cabbages and Peas” to “I Sits Amongst the Cabbages and Leeks”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was in that Bowes Hotel on 18th August 1972 and it took ages to get served as I had to wait for a new keg to be put on.
    I’ve not bothered returning.

    Liked by 1 person

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