I’m spending a couple of days a week at my parents in Waterbeach; enough time to do the Tesco run, take Dad to buy p
eat compost, and tick a few irritating stragglers in Herts.
Today’s quiz question is “What, where and why is North Mymms ?”.
The North Mymms Social Club, runner-up in the Mercury Music Prize for 1999, is very definitely in Welham Green, mere minutes from the station of that name.
You won’t find North Mymms on the map of South Herts above (it’s a parish name), though you will see the home of CAMRA and Mr Protz, the place where “Eyes Wide Shut” was filmed, and the Harperbury Bowls Club where I used to work. Rumours that Tom and Nicole joined me for a pint of Benskins in the social club are just that, rumours.
Just as Hatfield is a workaday town with some unexpected highlights, so Welham Green looks a typical north-west London dorm till you see the houses like this one.
The Social Club sits next to a Memorial Hall competing with that garage near Swadlincote for unexpected Art Deco awards. Note my picture composition with the Brakspear van delivering, well, probably Carling.
On the walk, Google Maps delighted told me my target was closing at 14:00 and I was facing a wasted journey. Silly Google. I don’t think this place ever shuts; perhaps 2pm is when the cobs run out ?
Social Clubs in the Guide still offer a frisson of excitement. Will you be able to get in, will they insist on a “guest entrance fee”, will there be beers you’ve heard of, will there be cobs ?
Yes ! They have 6X AND cobs.
The lady-in-charge is lovely and welcoming, but asks to see my Gold card when I claim to be a CAMRA member. I can’t find it, perhaps I burnt it after Revitalisation* ?
I tell her I can quote my membership number, 105931 (or is that Mrs RM’s ?), and she cheerfully relents, perhaps sensing the Spanish Inquisition can wait. I stick a quid in the guests box, anyway.
What a feast ! Cool, foamy 6X (NBSS 3.5+), “Cheese Crunch” and cheese and onion crisps, and a soundtrack of the Golden Oldies variety. Carole King, Four Top, Kangaroo Air Force Ventilator…
It’s a joyous atmosphere, and I remember that clubs can be the stars of a county’s GBG allocation.
“Dee, would you put cricket on, please ?” asks the chap opposite, bored of the Olympics repeats.
“Bernadette, put the pool from Welham Green on, please ?” ask the chap playing pool. It takes me a second to twig.
I savour a pint, a rare treat. You can savour the lacings.
“I need to let you out with my special key !” says Dee/Bernadette, as I fumble at the door.
“We hope to see you again !” she calls, and they might well do.
*I didn’t, you might need it for your Spoons discounts.