A year after her solo round-the-world trip ran aground at the first port (Waterbeach Dyke), Mrs RM is making up for lost time and collecting some cultural capital.

Last weekend we were at Kate Rusby’s folk festival in the posh bit of Barnsley (I know you all though that was Wath).

A chance for us to try out some new and old camping gear from the unpronounceable Quechua, they of the 2 second tents. Look impressed.

You sleep in the little one and and cook bacon in the big one.

We forgot to bring our own flag like these two here (I think they’re the flags of micropubs in Atherstone and Evesham).

But as we always camp close to the hedge for “comfort” purposes it’s just a case of keeping walking when you come back from the music worse-for-wear, isn’t it ?

Underneath the Stars was arranged before “Freedom Day” with social distancing conditions (only one stage, no music in tents, reduced numbers) but apart from the Tetley Bitterman in front of us in the queue for wristbands it seemed unlikely there was going to be much communal dancing and pogoing anyway.

The entire crowd of about 2,500 had each brought their own pop-up seat, with holder for plastic glass and halloumi wrap. It’s a good job Mrs RM bought a fleece from the vegan wool stall as it was freezing. #WhatSummer.

Yes, a festival for the sedate middle-aged music fan, with line-up to match.

It should have been Robert Plant’s latest roots project on the Saturday, but mysterious “medical reasons” culled that, and several other highlights to be (successfully) replaced.

The sound quality was the best I’ve heard at a festival, propelling Eddi Reader‘s Robbie Burns poetry into “Top 100 Gigs” territory.

The best banter, sadly not repeatable, involved someone attempting to leave New Zealand on “humanitarian grounds” and a bloke my age exclaiming “Who’s Roy Wood ?”.

But what of the beer, I hear you ask ?

Well, Mrs RM discovered a 6% IPA from Three Fiends of Meltham in their travelling horse box that would have been great if the grass had been flatter and not sloping.

Yes, of course I bought her another one.

The other bar had some well-priced real ale (it’s closer to £6 at L*t***e), though Mrs RM was on her second pint of the Broadoak Perry when we left. A very wise choice.

The location is beautiful, an ancient farm on the edge of Cawsthorne. So close, in fact, that a walk past the village cricket club (they had a cover band belting out The Killers in the Friday night to compete with Paul Carrack) took you to the lone pub in 10 minutes.

Not likely to enter the GBG soon with so much micro aggression 2 miles away in Darton and Mapplewell to contend with, but the Spencer Arms was a classy gastropub with bar for the locals and immaculately presented (if dull) Boltmaker and Blonde (both 3).

It’s like that Sally the Spanking pub” said Mrs RM, sagely.

And if it DOES get in the Guide when the micro pubs sell up then I can chuckle quietly to myself.

Anyway, back in a large, chilly field…


  1. I can feel the cold and the damp from here, although the line-up is “friendly” and appealing to those of us of a certain age.

    Seriously, you can’t beat those fold-up “Director’s Chairs,” complete with holder for your eco-friendly, bio-degradable cup – Harvey’s use those for the generous “samples” they give out at the end of brewery tours.

    Mrs PBT’s and I gave up sleeping under canvas, many years ago; in fact she was never a fan. But given the lovely and typically English weather we’ve been enjoying this summer, we made the right choice.

    Wouldn’t the camper van have been more comfortable – and warmer??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The campervan is in for servicing, and wouldn’t have protected us from the unexpected cold (coming only a week after that heatwave).

      You’d have enjoyed it all apart from the camping. The showers and toilets were are also very good.

      Liked by 1 person

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