Mrs RM and I will have been married 30 years in June. I would say “celebrate” 30 years of marriage, but as you know I only celebrate one day annually, and anyway neither of us have remembered the date for several years.

In the earliest days of wedded bliss I put a strain on the marriage by shooting off to tick the 92 football grounds and subjected Mrs RM to weekends in the most unfashionable places in the UK.

When we’re old and confined to armchairs and listening to Kangaroo Air Force Ventilator in a care home we’ll still be reminiscing about “the cress on the curry in Goole” after a 1993 trip to see what Goole Fields were like. Rather like the Fens north of Waterbeach, but with scarier pubs.

13 years later, on a trip to the posher suburbs of Goole I discovered Rawcliffe Gia hing Chinese Takeaway, and, just as occasional return visits to the classic pubs are allowed, so are returns to re-test the crispy beef and Sweet & Sour Pork Hong Kong Style, my signature dish in 2006.

Now, as then, I popped to the GBG “Jemmy Hirst @ the Rose & Crown” on the banks of the River Aire while I waited.

The Jemmy Hirst set the tone for those “Bobbies @ 39a The Stray” type pub names that BRAPA knows and loves. I’d always assume it was the name of their new owners but only now I learn that Jemmy was an English eccentric, banned from Pontefract. If only England had eccentrics these days.

The Jemmy has won numerous awards over the years and is probably as good an example of an enduringly successful village all-rounder as I could name. Particularly with my memory.

Let’s forgive the writing on the beams, because they say “Sodomy”.

and instead take you to the bar, where a row of locals are engaged in “bantz” with the Landlady.

You don’t need to get your **** lifted” is the strap line.

This gent (nods at me) hasn’t been here before, he’s not expecting that !” says our Landlady.

I have !” I say, before remembering that 2006 is a long time ago.

It’s a jolly place, the age range is 18 to 68, they’re a member of the Tim Taylor Championship Club (bit like Tufty I guess) so I join the regulars on that.

It’s very good, an easy 3.5, and at £3.40 a quid cheaper than average.

A riot of colour and noise and village chat, most about post-Christmas diets. Talking of diets;

I felt ill the next morning.


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