What ! You didn’t WALK to Spennymoor ?” I hear you say. “It’s only six miles, you wimp“.

In honesty, Mrs RM was a bit exhausted and I didn’t want to abandon her too long.

And the bus (No.6, Sapphire), electric sockets and irritating juvenile behaviour free, had me outside the Little Tap in 20 minutes.

Yep, another shop conversion, but this one much more in the cosy local mould that characterises the North-East micro “scene”.

Cute pub dogs, a £2.80 “Toon Broon” perfectly served (sorry, can’t read the label and I just picked the first one), and a lovely chatty welcome.

Which way’s the bus stop ?” I asked, 2 minutes before the 16:50 departure.

“Right” said the helpful Dave.

Obviously I turned left, or west, missed the 16:50, then found the 17:05 was delayed 13 minutes.

How do you kill 13 12 minutes in Spennymoor when the museum is closed, apart from taking photos of pubs ?

Blimey, it’s nearly 6 years since I was last here admiring the art and craft.

Back then, the Spoons had a better welcome than beer,

but now it’s dropped out of the GBG the beer has improved and the welcome was just as good. Go figure.

I only left the Doom Bar as it was now 17:17 and the bus left in 60 seconds.

Missed that one too (it came early, didn’t it ?). I’d have walked back quicker, and saved the £5.20 fare (more than I spent on two (2) pints). It was almost worth it to hear how the bus lady pronounced Tudhoe (“Tudda”). I nearly mansplained to her she was saying it wrong but it was an automated message.

The next bus DID turn up, it might have been a delayed 13:45 for all I know, and I chatted to an Old Boy who had thrillingly also nipped in the Spoons for a swift Guinness while waiting. He’d finished HIS pint.

Back in Durham I had to walk straight back to our hotel, passing on the delights of the Old Town and the Station House.

Back at the Queen’s Head Mrs RM was sufficiently revived to enjoy 2 lage glasses of white wine, some battered squid and potato skins in the public bar with a collection of east town characters to a soundtrack of “Silver Machine” and “My Sharona“.

My Black Sheep in John Smiths glass was a crisp 3.5, and I’ve rarely beer happier with life.


  1. Tsk. So you not only visited Durham again without letting me buy you a pint, you engineered your visit to Fram to ensure we weren’t working, you passed our house on the bus twice (Croxdale, next village along from Tudhoe!) without even waving, and perhaps worst of all you didn’t even visit the Chinese take away next door to the Little Tap!! NRMSS 1.5 improvement needed.

    By the looks of it you had a ‘good’ bus day, too. I spend half my life tracking them and working out whether they’re going to turn up to take me to work or whether I’m going to have to kill the planet and drive!

    Anyway, Happy New Year to you & Mrs RM, wishing you a fruitful ticking year full of NBSS 4 Doom Bar!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We’re secretly scared in case you out Mrs RM to your regulars, Chris.

      I might well stay in Durham when I do the five new entries in Tyne & Wear soon, one near Sunderland was closed for Covid was left it.

      Croxdale had/has a good pub, doesn’t it ?

      I do like the idea of scoring retiredmartin on a national ticker scale !

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Funnily enough we started clearing out our loft this afternoon and pulled out the 2011 Guide to see what had changed. Indeed the Daleside in Croxdale was in, serving beers from Yorkshire Dales Brewery (one of our favourites). Sadly we moved here in 2012, and after only a couple of visits they took the beer out due to lack of throughput! We tried our best…

        Liked by 1 person

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