My late June raid on Angus was a basically a tick list of Proper Scottish Football Teams.
Forfar, Montrose, and Brechin, whose fortunes had plummeted when I stopped by in late 2019.
“The City” had plummeted from Championship to League 2 in successive seasons, and after a year’s respite due to Covid they fell into the Highland League in 2021.
The Great Tand has been trying to help them;
Still, nothing wrong with the Highland League, as I discovered in Huntly.
Never mind football, the town (Wiki doesn’t recognise its prized city status despite the cathedral) was still recovering from the loss of its rail services in 1952,
and in 2019 I joined locals in berating Angus Council for absurd parking charges in a town needing all the visitors it can get.
Well, despite the belated removal of daft parking charges, let’s not pretend trade is booming in Brechin (Forfar and Montrose were far busier).
But I sort of fell in love with the place in a hectic hours.
No, I couldn’t “SPOT THE MISTAKE” in this shopfront,
but I did applaud the selection of Pub Ticker mascots lying in wait for a BRAPA visit in 2027, by which time Brechin FC will have dropped out of the Brechin & District league.
And Simon will LOVE the Brechin Arms, accurately described by What Pub as “a cosy pub with a mixed clientele“.
Boak & Bailey remind us this morning of the importance of a warm greeting (here) and the Old Boys at the bar parted so I could pretend to be interested in the beers.
The barperson seemed delighted to sell me the first cask of the day, a thoroughly pulled through Stewart; the locals seemed bewildered by the handpump.
“Have a taste and I’ll pour more through if it’s not OK” she said. It was fine, rich and cool (NBSS 3).
“I think it’ll be two pounds, but I’ll check“. I handed over two coins.
At the till £2 became £1.90.
“Keep checking and it’ll be free soon” said the Old Boy. This is the sort of normal conversation that brings joy in pubs but would cause meltdown if discussed on Mumsnet.
Billy Joel sang Piano Man,
I enjoyed the atmosphere of an unfussy pub that somehow only comes across in black and white.
What else can you do in Brechin with half an hour to kill. Well, some drastic tattoo removal options await,
and if you arrive just before 4pm on Sunday you’re spoilt for choice.
I bought some local cheese from the quirky (but formal) Gourmet Grocers opposite the pub, and a couple of Aberdeen butteries from the charming Keptie Bakery on the High Street.
I know how to live.