Still no GBG22 on my doorstep, and the two tickers who have received it are refusing to send me pics. Utterly despicable.

I don’t expect as many new Guide entries (“churn”) as you usually get, the Covid limiting new openings and the ability of branch members to get around.

The two newbies in Padiham are fairly typical; the micropub and the social club. Molly Rigby’s was a corker of a club.

The added excitement of entering a club comes with the risk they won’t let you in, expressing complete bemusement when you flash your CAMRA gold card at them (see BRAPA here).

No such drama here, perhaps they’re saving themselves for Simon.

Though I DID get a stern warning not to mix up my halves of Thick Neck and Red Man, the nice lady obviously assuming that Mrs RM would never forgive me if I gave her the amber bitter rather than the amber bitter. They were both cool and tasty (NBSS 3/3.5), and I’ve rarely had a good word to say about the Burnley micros.

But what’s that in the heated cabinet on the end of the bar ?

Well, Shepherd’s pie, by the look of it. Mrs RM looked a bit doubtful at that,

so I splashed out a quid on these new gourmet snacks from Openshaw’s.

A whole meal. In a packet.

I’ve seen these delicacies in Ramsbottom before, but Mrs RM was entranced, particularly on finding the Happy Cow cheese was Austrian. “You know how to treat a girl” she said, and it’s true, I spoil her.

The club itself was neat and cheery and full of life. If it’s good enough for Alan Minter (RIP) it’s good enough for me.

Outside the pubs Padiham looked a bit too quiet, reflecting a rare town where the population has decreased over the last century.

We did the tourist sites, including Padiham Beach, a magnet for children since 1901.

OK. OK, it’s a bit of a letdown.

But there’s much to see, including the My Little Pony bus.

Mrs RM suddenly realised we were hungry. We headed for the nearest open curry house, only to find that all the tables were reserved at 3pm due to a “3 courses for a tenner” offer.

Block Burgers & Steaks looked empty, and neither of us fancied a burger, but it turned out their Sunday lunches were not only popular, but also stunning.

I’ve rarely eaten better in this country. Really lovely staff too.

I wasn’t allowed to finish off a great day with a Thwaites Smooth in the WMC.


  1. Am I reading this right that recently the GBG has included a high proportion of private clubs among its new entries? I knew about the trend towards micros, but always imagined the clubs were a tiny fraction of GBG pubs.

    Would you say there were more than there used to be, or fewer, or about the same?


    1. You make an interesting point, Mark. Top of my head clubs (open to CAMRA members if not all) make up only a few percent, say 100 of the 4,500 entries, but there does seem to be a good ten or so new entries each year. I guess that clubs aren’t regularly visited by CAMRA members but when they’re recommended as good places they often impress. Life After Football probably has one of the highest proportion of clubs in his area (often cricket clubs !).


      1. You are right, the beards don’t tend to frequent a lot of clubs, but also for entry I think the club has to agree to let a CAMRA member in on presentation of the guide. Some clubs take their rule books more seriously than the beard book.


  2. I think some clubs would have an issue with keeping good cask beer. Perhaps not open throughout the whole week. In the 80s I believe Marstons brought out a brew called John Marston Bitter specifically for the free trade as they did not want the reputation of Pedigree ruined by it been poorly kept.

    Cookie is wrong. The beards get everywhere


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