Only a few left in Essex, perhaps the most consistent county for pubs in the GBG. But you knew that.

And if you didn’t, the Leather Bottle in Pleshey is a mere 11.7 miles walk from Stansted Airport. You know you want to.

Pleshey is one of those timeless villages that Mid Essex excels at; motte and bailey (not the blogger), rolling farmland, unchanging pub. BRAPA knows all about them.

And, of course, Simon is an expert on Shakespeare, who wrote of Pleshey and York after a failed ticking operation of his own some time ago (if he ever existed, etc etc). His spelling was APALLING.

Bid him – O, what? With all good speed at Plashy [sic] visit me. Alack, and what shall good old York there see, But empty lodgings and unfurnished walls,bUnpeopled offices, untrodden stones ?

(Richard II, Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 65–69)

Ruined castle, thatched houses,

and a solid looking 19th century pub. It’ll do.

A chap squeezed past me at the door, so I went in. What Pub says it’s open all day, and Essex pubs keep notably more consistent hours than, oooh, a micropub in Kent.

It’s the simplicity I admire, though perhaps it’s not quite as unspoilt as on the CAMRA Heritage page.

But it is the sort of place I’d take my mum, and you can imagine pretty much anyone feeling comfy here.

So why is no-one about ?

Perhaps they’re still recovering from the entertainment from “& Debbie”, or else they’re all at a Chelmsford garden centre.

There’s no-one behind the bar, either, and for all of 3 minutes I wonder whether they’re actually shut. Or perhaps the Landlord is as invisible as the old blokes at the bar. Perhaps we’re ALL invisible.

Oh, he’s unpacking the cash-and-carry lorry, and I feel a pang of guilt at dragging him away just to pour me a half of Mighty Oak, which is decent if not gorgeous (George).

Which is daft, as pubs need all the custom they can get. And that £2 might even pay the PRS bill for the Neil Diamond track.

Yes ! A Neil Diamond track that’s not “Sweet Caroline“. Life gets better and better.


  1. Looks like a lovely pub. I wonder if the reason there’s more punter-less pubs in your blog than Simon’s is down to the time of day/days of the week when each of you are getting your ticking done.

    My father is a big classical music fan so he didn’t listen to much pop music when I was growing up. But there was one exception: Neil Diamond. One I recall fondly is “Beautiful Noise,” do you know it? Also “Forever in Blue Jeans.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now I think about it the pub I accompanied Simon into in a very similar village only had us two but at least I had Simon to talk to and he had Colin….

      Yes, “Beautiful Noise” was a small hit that got played a fair bit in 1978/9 And “Blue Jeans”. Good songs.


  2. In our local pub about 30 years ago, three Neil Diamond tracks came on the jukebox in succession and I said to my mate, “It must be Neil Diamond night”, to which he replied, “Every night is Neil Diamond night”. Always think about that when the Neilster comes on. NB: neither of us actually like ND

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Apologies for veering off topic … when was Sweet Caroline appropriated by football, betting companies et al? We heard it as a “warm up track” before the World Athletics Champs in 2017. Was it being used by others sports back then?


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