Another benefit of “going home” is it gives me those shorter trips into London that made Waterbeach bearable.

On the Wednesday, possibly in 1997 I’m so far behind, Mrs RM drove the campervan back to Sheffield and I took the 10:10 to King’s Cross.

I know I mercilessly take the mick out of West London, but I LOVE walking the capital, even the posh pashmina parts like Balham.

It’s a long while since my last Balham tick, back when local CAMRA produced a little booklet of pubs (nearly all Youngs I recall) called Gateway To The South.

You remember Gateway To The South;

The police had cordoned off the high street, some argument over the price of Prosecco I guess, but my tick was the other way from the tube.

Apparently The Bedford is a well-known gem.

I wondered if this had been renamed from The Wandsworth when Youngs scarpered, but it appears to be an old Watney pub/music venue.

I read the sign below as “Wet Yoga”, which shows I’ve already been in hipster Sheffield too long.

Here’s the rest of the customers that Wednesday lunchtime.

But despite slow trade the pub was busy, and the staff wonderfully cheerful. “A lovely £2.40 for a lovely day” said the barman.

Harveys Best and Landlord are your two bellwether pints (halves) in London. The Sussex was a cool NBSS 3, clean and competent. I took it on a little tour of South London music history.

And blow me down (me ol’ china), by the time I finally sat down to drink it I’d got a “chewy” 3.5 beer on my hands. So not only does sunshine improve your ale, so does movement and inoffensive pub. This is a FACT.

Nice pub, good beer, lovely staff. Am I REALLY in London ?

Let’s head north.


  1. ‘Gateway to the South’ was produced in the early eighties and much was put together by myself. The branch (SW London) didn’t have the resources to do a full-scale Guide across the whole area so the aim was to see what could be done economically district by district – there were thoughts of doing Wandsworth next. In the end, several branches came together to produce a wider South West London guide, although it took quite a time to complete. For myself, I did like these local guides since I used to do quite a bit of travelling and they were usually easy to carry and often had some useful local maps – I know you can get everything on a phone now, but I’ve had similar experiences to BRAPA in terms of getting information off a tiny screen in adverse weather conditions so prefer to stick to traditional methods.

    Liked by 2 people

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