Well, here it is, Number 39 on my Bucket List.

Dumbarton, once home of the Tand, a deeply mystical place cruelly overlooked by snobbish folk from Port Glasgow and Paisley and other pashmina towns.

Well, I can only assume my phone was misfunctioning as the only photos I seem to have are from the Wetherspoons. How sad is that ?

Perhaps only a pub ticker could get SO excited by a visit to Dumbarton, I dunno.

An attractive but once again quiet Spoons, with unusual sound muffling techniques.

and some pages from the Woolworths staff magazine that seem to have no relation to Woolworths until you remember where Spoons get their buildings from.

The chap at the bar was waiting for the head on the Old Speckled Hen to reach the required 3 inches, and I briefly considered Bury St Edmund’s second finest,

before seeing the Doom Bar for £1.10 (surely not 60p with Spoons voucher ?) but then panicking at the last moment and picking a beer whose brewer AND name are unpronounceable.

£1.99 ? Are you made of money ?” you ask.

But CAMRA wants us to pay a fair price for our support of cask, so my voucher knocks that down to a more realistic £1.49.

Sadly, there’s more taste in the bubble than the beer, and while it’s certainly not “off” it’s definitely not “on”. No plant pots, so I leave it on the side, and begin a long journey back to Milgavie that ends with a you-know-what.

And when I wake, I’m still alive, and 57.


  1. Particularly fine view of the Leven there Martin. And as you say, it was Woolies once, where one – not me of course -learned to shoplift from the pic and mix.

    I can also remember buying broken biscuits from there from aluminium tins, but these were served to you. I also used to buy my Airfix kits from there.

    Not been in the Captain James Lang since my old Mum died and possibly won’t again. Beer rarely any good.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t do Dumbarton justice, Peter. A dreich, dark evening meant I didn’t see much. When I next get a new GBG pub up that way I’ll take some views in daylight. Towns seem much darker these days, probably my eyesight !

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would think that in the pub ticking game there’d be a spirit of “nothing ventured nothing gained” when it comes to the choice between a brand you’ve had hundreds of times before vs one you’ve never had (and in some cases think you will never again have the chance to sample).

    Then again, enough disappointments and sticking with the tried and true must seem an eminently sensible approach!


    1. Yes it did ! Seen it in Spoons a few time, had it in the Hammersmith Spoons this month, pretty good. If Hook Norton can sell their beers at a price that’s worthwhile to them it tells you something (not sure what !).


      1. Yes it’s interesting..few Xmass ago I had Sheps (Kent) Late Red in a Spoons in Glasgow with a tight sparkler 🙂 😀 unrecognisable from the usual ” flatter ” dispense… was quite acceptable tbh ..and kinda passed muster as a spicy Xmas ale ..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, despite the obsession about sparkler/no sparkler I’ve had several “southern” beers like Sheps, Hooky and Greene King that were just as enjoyable through a tight head.


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