Ticking gets difficult when you’ve got the easy counties in the bag. Getting four ticks in a day, never mind a BRAPA half-dozen, is tricky.
But nothing much beats the thrill of finishing a GBG county, especially one as vast as North Yorkshire, on a first beautiful day of the last weekend in February.
Technically my nearest GBG county, but it still takes 90 minutes to reach by train from Sheffield.
With a 20 minute transfer in Leeds (ugh) that’s just long enough to get a coffee but not enough to get a pint in the Scarbrough. Priorities, priorities.
My last pub in North Yorks is actually two miles south of Skipton, and I get off at Cononley to maximise the uphill walk to Bradley, which I guarantee you’ve never heard of.
MM stands for Magic Martin, in case you’re wondering.
The Slaters Arms has had a quiet history, bar my bombardment of questions “Will you be open ?”, “Just for drinks ?”, “Will you close early ?” these last few weeks. It’s open !
Seeing Tim Taylor on the bar means you’ll know immediately whether the Slaters Arms serves good beer or not.
Hand on. No Landlord ? I pick Golden Best and admire the collection of telephones (“There’s more out the back !“) and wonder how many pub tickers have dialled that number to ask about opening times (Answer – None).
It’s a great pub to finish North Yorks, or any county. Humorous landlord and landlady, locals sitting at the bar, good foamy pint (NBSS 3.5), kettles dangling from the ceiling. I ask very little.
The landlord google “How to clean teaspoons to make them beautiful and shiny” (sterident, apparently) and discusses Leeds chances of staying up with a deluded United fan. Brentford’s demise will save them, just.
I purposely sit by the fire, blocking the route to the Ladies, and am delighted when those ladies just squeeze past me without that “Oh ! Excuse me !” fuss you get in the south.
What a way to finish a county.
And, if I may be so bold, what beautiful pinking…