I always despair at the lack of geographical knowledge of the UK by us Brits.

Listen to the BBC coverage of County Cricket and marvel at the BBC Yorkshire correspondent who has never heard of Bewdley, or the Essex correspondent wondering where Aigburth is.

And you must NEVER ask a Londoner where The North starts*.

By contrast the Southworths know where Leintwardine is, and can almost pronounce it. But when they next pop over to Heathrow to tick micropubs they MUST be clear on the difference between Chobham and Cobham.

Both in Surrey, but one is famed for its service station, the one closer to the gated communities of Woking famed for its knitted post box covers.

The one above commemorates the (near) 70 years of CAMRA Life Membership of Mrs RM and myself before we were outed as “freeloaders” at Eastbourne.

No idea what the Chobham cannon commemorates, possibly the battle against a Craft Union pub in a town now housing a Brunning & Price AND a micropub.

Mrs RM sat in the campervan in the car park by the cricket ground while I waited for the 3pm opening. Just enough time for a picnic from the Tesco Express, a visit to St Lawrence,

and some concern that the old phone box that should contain the defibrillator now contains the entire works of, well actually, they’re management textbooks by the look of it.

Blimey, Chobham was busy, the main road resembling a motorway flanked by estate agents and haute couture (whatever that is) shops as the place is used as a rat run between the metropolises (metropoli ?) of Woking and London (wherever that is).

Obviously the Horse & Groom wasn’t quite open at 3pm as scheduled; you can see that by the red light.

It was a nervous 10 minute wait (would I need to stick an extra 40p in the ticket machine ?), but when I put my head round the door for the 7th time I got a lovely welcome from the landlady.

As you can see, there’s a wide range of seating.

And a nice tight range of those local beers that scares me in gastropubs but seems about right in a macro where folk drink cask.

I had the Thurston, obviously a Sonic Youth-themed beer. Note how I count out the coins and leave them on the mat to soak in the beer.

Cool and rich, at NBSS 3.5 it was one of the best of the trip. The landlady enthused about running a pub and all the weirdness that goes on and I nodded sagely in agreement. She was a gem.

And then I had to go to Reigate.

*It’s Stoke. On Trent, not Poges

24 thoughts on “CHOBHAM WITH AN “H”

  1. “Both in Surrey, but one is ………” reminds me of happier times when I was working, being asked directions by a couple who were missing a funeral because they were in the wrong Marston, and neither of those Marstons were the well renowned brewery in Burton.

    “open at 3pm as scheduled; you can see that by the red light” – a signal that might be no more accurate than than any of the other three sources of opening time information.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The first Amber I saw and drank in a pub was Newcastle Amber Ale, in the same clear pint bottles as Newcastle Brown Ale, in Lichfield’s Kings Head fifty years ago.
        Watneys Red had just replaced Watneys Red Barrel then.
        It was another couple of years before I had Websters Green Label.


      2. Etu,
        Oddly my memory is of David Bowie’e Life On Mars on the juke box rather than what I paid for that pint.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh dear, that’s my long term as well as my short term memory going now.
        But I definitely did get to the Acorn, Duke of York, Earl of Lichfield and Kings Head during 1972 – and got round some Lichfield pubs in 1973 and in subsequent years.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. As Alan clarifies, it was on Hunk Dory in ’71 but the single came out 2 years later (which was an eternity in those days), so Paul won’t have heard it till ’73 at least. I insist Sue Gray investigates Paul’s paperwork.


      5. Aha!

        I understand that juke boxes were big in the 1950s and 1960s but took a bit of a lull in the 1970s in favour of……………..the landlord’s………….very own………….cassette compilation………TA DAAAAAHHHH!!!

        So who knows?

        Did you actually put money in, Paul?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Reference to my diary reminds me that I had a pint of McEwans Export in the Kings Head on 21st December 1972 and that that pint of Newcastle Amber there was on 2nd July 1973 when I think Life On Mars was number 4 in the charts and that I had used a dozen Lichfield pubs, including the Kings Head four times, by 9th July. Sorry for my mistake yesterday
        I was told that Staffordshire’s first juke box was in Uttoxeter’s Wheatsheaf not long after the war.
        I did occasionally put money in them, five records for 10p I think being the cheapest.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Life on Mars released as a single in 1973 but on the Hunky Dory Album in 1971 but I dont suppose there was such a thing as an LP jukebox


      1. Bowie was a much bigger name by 73
        People assume that Rick Wakeman.did the arrangements as he played on it but it was in fact the equally classicaly trained Mick Ronson who arranged the song.

        Liked by 2 people

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