Sunday means Surrey, and Mrs RM joined me on a trio of tricky ticks in that quaint corner of that mysterious county between London and the M25.
We start an hour round the M25 in Hersham, the Leighton Buzzard(s) of the South, named after the Sham 69 classic.
I genuinely had no idea Jimmy Pursey was born here, or I’d have looked for the plaque.
To be honest I had no idea that Hersham had a life outside of Walton-on-Thames, a life comprising a Waitrose (aka car park), a chippy, some retirement flats, a triangular park,
and a couple of very trad looking pubs.
In a year when lots of pubs that look like they’d never get in the Guide have got in the Guide, the Bricklayers is my Exhibit No. 2.
I push Mrs RM into the Public Bar
in the hope of getting the beer 2p cheaper so that she can admire the engraved windows and net curtains.
Thrillingly, we enter to the sound of Maria McKee. You’ll NEVER guess which song of hers it was, but if I tell you it’s followed by Olivia Newton John, the Bee Gees and Rod Stewart you might do.
There’s one younger chap in front of the fire with his Sunday roast, and a murmur of gentlefolk activity in the Lounge. It feels like a Sunday lunchtime should feel.
A very Old School landlord, cheery and polite, and an Old School line-up from which we eliminate the Spitfire and then ask for Old School nuts at the end so he has to go back to get them. We’re the sort of people who order Guinness last to annoy bar staff.
I know how much you like my long films in which Mrs RM is briefly featured;
It’s very lovely. The fire crackles, the nuts are scoffed, the TEA and Crop Circle satisfy (3.5).
And the Gents are decorated in a witty, hipster style.
Honestly, what more do you want ?
Well, Doom Bar, I guess.