A mid-June trip to finish Kent. I would have waited till Joan and Dave Southworth arrived a month later so they could have the thrill of pinking a county, but completing the Guide and getting chapters complete had become an obsession and besides, you can’t trust Americans with marker pens.

You’ll be seeing a fair bit of “Greater Ashford” in the next few months, by which time you’ll have learnt to love the place as much as Paul Bailey.

Perhaps if/when I finish the GBG I’ll tick the roundabouts in Ashford; they’re less of a challenge than MK.

My tick is technically in Kingsnorth, but you can see the bright lights of Argos from the car park where Mrs RM waits for me patiently (“Hurry up“).

I’d attempted to visit this place in February, when (you’ll be astonished to hear), the opening times on the website/Facebook/What Pub/GBG/Ashford Advertiser weren’t the ones being operated by the actual pub.

But on this Thursday night at 21:20 it WAS open, playing this old favourite at a volume sufficient to be heard in Snargate.

And blimey, it goes on forever, doesn’t it ?

Your typical London overspill village pub, with half a dozen blokes propping up the bar and staring at the stranger (me).

I have a feeling the TT Landlord was the only beer actually on, and after a month of Tim Taylor in Scotland I can confidently tell you it is now the most common sight on a bar in the UK, though expect to see that 16% homebrew stout on the pumps very shortly.

What a weird table in the bar;

like a medieval feasting table, bar the minstrels and the mead.

A perfect view of an animated discussion at the bar, probably about cars.

The Landlord was pretty good (3.5), easily passing the Landlord Test, and the Gents had a fine collection of Sci-fi comics that made a pleasing change from adverts for bile beans or saucy postcards.

But as I returned to my half-drunk pint, the barperson boomed out

Calling last orders in five minutes” to a chorus of grumbling.

Last orders, at 9.30pm in a drinkers pub ? Blimey, pubs aren’t what they were.


  1. Ah yes, the Queen’s Head, the watering hole of a couple of sixth form classmates, back in the day when Kingsnorth was a separate village from Ashford. A decent enough village pub, from what I remember, and owned by Whitbread at the time, as were many pubs in the area.

    Thanks for the link, Martin. Re-reading that post, I can’t believe how vitriolic I was towards the town I grew up in, but the local council really did go out of their way to ruin Ashford.

    Rather like the effect the Conservative party has had on the UK, with their damaging ultra-hard Brexit!


  2. Your recent life has clearly been modelled on Swift Morgan’s adventures. That’s you escaping from a noted Cryo-Malt Juice bar in Maidstone-sur-Mer, pursued by angry locals after they spotted you pouring your sub standard beverage into the pubs hydroponic tank, Mrs Morgan waiting impatiently in the hover-camper…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I live about a mile from there. They usually have a beer from Romney Marsh Brewery. They try very hard to make it a good pub despite Enterprise/Stonegate. If I had known you were in town I would have bought you a pint! But, mid-June, I was probably in Canada.

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