YOU try and find something to rhyme with Gargrave !
Fellow ticker Eddie was complaining on our WhatsApp group (aka “TickTillItHurts“) this week about the difficulty of getting to places like Malham in the Yorkshire Dales. Eddie will be pleased to know it’s only 2:38 hours walk from Gargrave station, so no excuse.
Gargrave’s Masons Arms (apostrophe ?) isn’t in GBG22, but it’s on my spreadsheet listing the c.13,000 Guide pubs I’ve been to over 27 years, though I’ve no recollection of it at all. To be fair half of all Dales pubs look like this;
I stuck to coke at lunchtime, an astonishingly good haddock and chips with Yorkshire caviar. Astonishingly, I opted to take a photo of the dog biscuits rather than the fish & chips,
so here’s a photo off their website for Pauline.
A very unfussy pub with grub rather than a gastropub, though they’d apparently done 102 covers yesterday. I really liked the place and felt oddly uncomfortable being the only one without a pint of Boltmaker, Tetley or Guinness.
Four locals sitting at the bar were keeping the pumps ticking over. When the barman forgot my knife and fork the Tetley man said “You have to pay extra to eat with a knife and fork up here“.
“I’ll be back later for a pint,
I’m not really a coke drinker” I told the barman, unnecessarily.
Gargrave has a Premier Inn cunningly labelled Skipton West, some public toilets shamelessly seeking your urgent donations to keep them open,
a cafe (closed Mondays) with antique Hovis sign),
and the Leeds to Liverpool canal snaking through the centre.
At 17:30 after a successful bit of business, and with time to kill before the train home, I popped back in the Masons for a Boltmaker.
Still four sitting at the bar (not the same four !), and I went back to the same seat I’d had at lunchtime.
A Mark Crilley approved mid-’80s soundtrack of Kate Bush, Duran and Bruce persuaded me to stay for a pint of the Tets, as with the Tim Taylor a cool, creamy NBSS 3+. Cask lives in the Dales.
Sadly internet is largely dead and the barmaid shouting “ALEXA ! PLAY EIGHTIES MUSIC” was pure BRAPA gold.
Two young Scousers on the lager were demolishing a platter of “‘shrooms” and prawns, a lone female walker was nursing a pint of cask, the locals were discussing the best way to get through to Customer Services on the phone (just press the button to make a payment then tell them you’ve a problem, apparently). A cultural melting pot, of sorts.
Just a great allrounder, and I emerged to the smell of farm and the sight of the sun setting over the Dales.