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).
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.