In May 1980 the New Musical Express published a letter from India posing the question “Where is Beatles Band ?”.

In May 2022 I’ve been missing not for 20 years, but 3 days, and get comments from an American asking “Where is Retired Martin ?”. Mainly I’ve been watching Eurovision in Belfast gay bars, Dave.

In sharp contrast to Maverick bar, a fortnight ago I was in the austere Crown in Minchinhampton, closing in on a clean sweep of Gloucestershire GBG entries.

Minch, as the Stroud kidz know it, is best known for its expansive common with wonderful views across to vegan crochet cafes and League 1 football, but the small town itself is the reserve of the gentleperson.

Or so we thought. After an anxious wait at the door, where we expected to be rubbing shoulders (not literally, this is Tory homeland) with Ethel and Edward we jumped in on the dot of 12:02 to find,


craft beer.

Honest. Can’t remember what it was, and some idiot deleted my notes, so lets assume it’s Deya. It’s nearly ALWAYS Deya. A cask one and a keg one. Can you tell the difference ? They were both great.

Young people run it, there seems to be the influence of Young’s pubs in the air, and it felt like it had been transported from Bath’s hipster quarter, if it has one.

“In 1838 Minchinhampton had 20 public houses and 38 beershops, reflecting its status as a market town and its position on two busy turnpike roads. The principal inn was the Crown, which was the terminus for the London coaches. It is now the sole survivor.” says What Pub, noting the Crown itself was shut for a while before its gastro resurrection.

Quite why Edna, 72, thinks of the art, I can’t imagine. She moved from Stroud in 1966 to escape that sort of thing.


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