Now I’m (nearly) up-to-date on the blog, I thought you’d like some spreadsheets. “About time” says Duncan.

When I finally received my shiny new GBG in November I wrote that I’d need to visit 581 pubs in the next year to finish the Guide and join the immortals (well, Duncan).

Actually, it was 582, after a few ups and downs, e.g. a Middlesbrough pre-emptive came good, and I’m ignoring the Jolly Tap in Wakefield that missed the publication of the Guide for now.

What I did then was to list those 582 on a big spreadsheet and TRY to find out the opening times.

Here’s a representative extract from the current list.

Life was so much simpler when nearly every pub opened 11:30-3 and 5:30-11:00 or whatever.

I reckon I spent most of December scouring Facebook for clues to opening hours, then compared them to the website/What Pub/Google and tried to guess which was correct. Official CAMRA advice is “If planning to visit a pub, instruct your butler to phone ahead and make a table reservation“.

Then the task is to try and arrange travel and accommodation as effectively as possible to visit pubs in the same area. There’s no point visiting Newcastle before Thursday, as Full Circle Taproom will be closed.

Like BRAPA, I aim for a couple of days a week where I can pick up multiple ticks, but the days of six Guide entries in the same town are long gone. A prize for whoever can guess which town holds FIVE (5) ticks for me if I can ever get there.

Once I’ve got my ticks I delete those pubs from that Opening Times spreadsheet, mark them in the Guide and update the GBG spreadsheet. Note how many counties have a solitary pub left to do.

As of today, I’ve 437 to do, having visited 145 since 12 November. Solid, unspectacular ticking. And remember, a Doom Bar is as effective a tick as a pint of Pliny the Elder.

Once once you complete a (fictional GBG) county you get to plaster pink marker all over the map in the Guide.

How satisfying is that ?

So, can I do those remaining 437 pubs before the new GBG “lands” (ugh) ?

I guess that depends a lot on health, family disasters/other unforeseen complications, freak weather and my ability to plan travel to the outliers; the Scottish Highlands and Islands, the Isles of Scilly, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

As Weller sang in that song named after my recent Barry micro;

No, if I do finish the Guide, I won’t start collecting butterflies.

26 thoughts on “A STRATEGY TO COMPLETE GBG22

  1. This type of entry will really add to the drama of your post ticking book. I can see a few of these as section starters. You’re going to need a new hobby and a book deal would be just the thing. I’m torn between wanting you to hit your goal and never wanting you to finish.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, according to the spreadsheet you so kindly posted, it looks like Bristol had your five ticks. I’m sure Boak & Bailey can help you clean that up.


      1. I’d say Bristol would give you six ticks if you count Kingswood which is only a short bus ride away. Those pesky 4pm opening times don’t help though.


  3. This is all I ever want from a blog post. Don’t reject the butterfly option (as long as it’s seeing and not literally collecting like some of us misguided kids did)- there are only 59 species in the UK and the opening times are better.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I always treasure the memory of travelling 4 hours up the A1 for a half at the George & Dragon in Hudswell, just crowned CAMRA national Pub of the Year. They’d closed to go to the awards ceremony.

        Liked by 4 people

  4. Having had a quick browse through the 2020 GBG, I’m guessing the 5 tick town is Kirkwall on Orkney. I’m also guessing that my prize is a half of Doom Bar, to be collected from the Kirkwall Hotel bar.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent stuff. Gotta love a spreadsheet.

    I did notice I have slightly different totals for some of the counties when I counted them in the 2022 guide than you have in your spreadsheet so not sure if its mine or your counting thats out 🙂 .. Those that I have different are:

    Lancashire – 120
    Greater Manchester – 159
    Oxfordshire – 69
    Somerset – 100
    South Yorkshire – 78

    Giving a total of 3812 in England and 4500 in total – I’ve not got my GBG with me at the moment so can’t double-check my counting, will do so later


    1. If a pub is deleted I’d reduce my total in the first column. Not many deleted yet I’d have thought. I’ll have a look. I tend to count twice and always have a few where the entry starts at the foot of the page I miss.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s