Sturm und drang means, of course, “turbulent emotion or stress”, which can’t really be applied to a couple of days in Shaftesbury,

but on the other hand I HAD gone six days without a GBG tick which is a desperate state of affairs.

Pre-Covid, I’d have come home from End of the Road to find my new year’s Guide plopped on the doormat, prompting an hour of exploration lasting well into Monday morning. Last year and this, the GBG is delayed to late October (for the Privileged), so I have a bit longer to tick 2021.

Hey ! Let’s Do Dorset.

Sturminster Newton is the closest target, a place I stopped once for a pasty on the way to Child Okeford. Or was it Iwerne Minster ? Weird names, less weird pubs round here.

There’s a statue commemorating that 2015 visit in the tiny market place, and across the road you’ll see the White Hart.

Sturm (pop. 4,945, less than Waterbeach or Walkley) is a quiet place, famed for dairy farming and “the home of the annual UK Boogie Woogie Festival,[25] which in 2009 saw an appearance from veteran boogie woogie star Little Willie Littlefield.”. Oh, him.

It’ll take you about 7.5 minutes to walk the bounds. A few folk stare, but I’m not actually hissed at, which is an improvement on Sturminster Marshall.

Unless you get distracted by the pasties, or the museum (which is shut).

Thrillingly, the White Hart appears to open at 11:00.

I say “appears”, as that’s what Facebook says, and there are several people drinking coffee in the huge courtyard, though the door is firmly shut.

I wander in.

“Are you open ?”

3 people look at each other.

Are we open ?”

Y..” I’m already at the bar taking photos.

But the bar’s outside“. Oh.

There’s been a beer festival over thee weekend, celebrating a local lad going off to Uni in a big city, possibly Yeovil.

There’s loads of barrels, as well as some surprisingly crafty craft cans in an outdoor fridge.

I don’t like outside. And I don’t like beer festivals. But the lad who pours a half of 8 Arch IPA (NBSS 3+) is cheery and chatty and I’m suddenly pleased to be back on the trail. The turbulence passes.


  1. Sat in that Stur pub many an hour on a Monday (Market Day, so normal licensing laws suspended) back in the 70’s. As recall there were three pubs almost next door to each other in the Market Place alone back then. White Hart was one of our pubs of choice in town – good cheap cider.

    Sadly, Somerset & Dorset Railway (local nickname The Slow & Dirty), one of the loveliest lowland lines in the country, had closed by then – bloody Beeching. Now it would be made into a long distance hiking trail from Bristol to Bournemouth. Back then they deliberately destroyed most of the bridges to deter people! Think there is now a small section between Stur and Blandford reopened as a bridle path.

    Liked by 1 person

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