I’ve been knackered these last few days after a week of driving up and down the country. Thursday saw me take my brother-in-law to a funeral on the Essex/Suffolk borders. It was actually impossible to have got to the service, cremation and reception on public transport.

Even leaving on the dot of 07:00 from outside Meow’s (a point of reference on maps as important as the Blind Monkey in Sheffield) and with a 20 minute stop at Feering Services for a Greggs bacon and sausage baguette we only made it to Dovercourt (home of Hi-de-Hi) with ten minutes to spare. The roads are busier than they were pre-pandemic, and I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.

I didn’t know the deceased (a WWII RAF veteran) at all, but was highly moved by a service in which the entire family took part and which ended with the Aviators poem made famous by Ronald Reagan.

A full Catholic eucharist took the service over 80 minutes, meaning a dash over the Orwell to the crematorium. It’s a good job I know Constable country off by heart, and we turned up 20 minutes before the hearse at Six Hills, a gorgeous site on the edge of Ipswich.

I’d only been in the county town the month before, funny what takes you back, and thought about sneaking off from the reception for a half in the Proper Pub round the corner from the Bowls Club, as I was only there as a taxi driver.

I was glad I didn’t. The indoor bowls club was alive with gentlefolk life,

enough to support an Abbot and a Ruddles badged as Bowlers Best that would have made the GBG almost anywhere in Scotland (NBSS 3+).

Typical RetiredMartin, scoring beers at a funeral !” you think. Well, why not ? The Polish catering company supplied buffet was astonishing, too (NFBSS 4.5), and I had a long chat with Father Joseph from Upminster. He had a good joke but struggled when I asked him why a visitor should go to Upminster (here’s one reason, Father).

And he was able to identify the red triangle on the glass on the left.

Sadly, the Bowls Club have 200 Bass glasses but no Bass. I know some other folk with a horde of Bass glasses, and I’m sure their families will fight over them when they die too.


  1. Despite being an Ipswich boy I had no idea there was a bowls club just round the corner from the Brickies. In fact I haven’t been drinking at that end of town since I was a lad, but I know that several pubs there are no more.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Neither did I, Sean, and I often sought out pubs round there after late meetings at the Hospital ! The Fat Cat isn’t far down Spring Road, of course, and the Lattice Barn is closest to the hospital, but you’re right, far less than 25 years ago.


      1. The Fat Cat was a regular haunt in my 20s. There was also The Old Times, which was a great music pub, and The Trafalgar (sadly long converted to a house), where I had my first Mauldons Blackadder and realised that there were more breweries than Adnams, Tally Cobbold and Greene King.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. me neither, though more as…I hadnt realised it was there, despite living only a 10mins walk away from it for the past 20 years. Id guess none of the rest of the local CAMRA branch do either since it doesnt even feature on WhatPub or the Suffolk pub list as somewhere that sells beer locally, even if its a members only by invitation thing.

      the Spring Road pub crawl isnt quite what it was, for sure, and we lost another 3-4 pubs in the area in the early noughties. I dont think you missed any likely pre-emptive GBG ticks though, but you did miss admiring the Bass mirror in the Fat Cat, even though it doesnt sell Bass either.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve only just noticed it’s not on What Pub, and by comparison the St Johns Conservative Club nearby on Kirby St is listed.

        The bowling club looked the sort of place that sells a fair bit of cask, the barman knew his beer, though unlikely to get GBG with 2 Greene King beers on, though they were very good.

        Oh, and don’t feel bad about not finding it; Google Maps took us to a dead end off Woodbridge Road and suggested we walk through the child care centre, and then we drove right past it on Rushmere Road as there’s hardly any sign of it out front !

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I encountered a Bass Club yesterday lunchtime all wearing their Bass ties in the Swan and Railway, Wigan. It wasn’t their normal meeting venue which cant get Bass at the moment. I had the Bass it was cracking it is the permanent house beer of 8 in the pub.


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