Can I start by thanking Elizabeth for her service to the nation. She will be missed.

Back to lesser matters as I ease from Hampshire to Dorset to Wiltshire and a first ever visit to Mere, just off the A303 so beloved of holidaymakers.

Mere will not detain you long, a one street town of less than 3,000 (think Cullumpton) with its best building a tin shed for model railway enthusiasts.

That’s not fair; the church is impressive. And LOUD. Press play below;

Told you.
And they never stopped, the whole 25 minutes of my visit to the Butt of Sherry.

Lovely butt (as they say), top Ind Coope & Allsop signage,

and some jolly Old Boys at the bar who parted like the Black Sea to let me but a slightly limp Otter (2+) from welcoming a sweat-shirted barman,

I reckon you can tell the NBSS from looking at it, if you’re a beer smellier like me.

The pot plants were too posh to tip it, but the WC wasn’t.

31 thoughts on “THE BELLS OF MERE

    1. Just imagine if the Donald had been king instead of president, Dave.

      No, I don’t mean to suggest I’m glad that she’s dead – of course not – but it doesn’t actually affect the majority of people in the UK on an emotional level, I reckon.

      Actually, I’m only sombre because of the possibility of football matches being off this weekend. They’ve already cancelled the second day of the Test Match cricket, after the first day was washed out by rain. And the Tour of Britain cycle race has had its last three days cancelled, i.e. they’ve abandoned the race. I bet those cyclists are pretty damn gloomy tonight.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course you would. I apologise for suggesting anything to the contrary. (By the way, you seem to have chosen the wrong emoticon.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There’s always rugby league and it’s on terrestrial TV tomorrow! 1pm.

        I was planning on going to Huddersfield but the prospect of a sellout away end in cramped little seats put me (6’2″) off when I heard how many of us are going. Usually you get space at RL…

        Then the prospect of seeing hundreds bawling their eyes out at the anthem, nah not for me.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Interesting question, Dave. Given her advanced age, the Queen’s death hasn’t really been a huge surprise, but I think it’s more a break in the continuity of the established order, that has been more of a shock.

      As someone who is approaching his late 60’s, Elizabeth II was the only monarch I have known, which kind of puts things in perspective, but life goes on.

      I think that Martin’s opening two sentences, nicely sum up the Queen’s passing. 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is the duration of her reign that makes it unusual in our world. I’m losing the longest event in my reign soon when RM is completes the GBG. I’m sure I will feel something similar.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh dear. My heart sinks a little when I see Otter on the bar.

    Luckily my laptop is not equipped to convey smells, but it does *look* pretty decrepit. Oh, smellier for sommelier. Doh!

    You should have taken it back and asked for a sherry instead; with a name like that it’s surely in the Good Sherry Guide.


    1. I very rarely get to drink it, as it doesn’t get up north all that much. I have memories of a very tired beer in Bath, ditto Bristol, ditto Cirencester. It’s not the beer itself that makes my heart sink, it’s the condition I’ve found it in. But maybe there’s something about the beer that means it’s hard to keep in good condition?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’d be surprised by that, but suspect it’s found in pubs where cask isn’t king. I doubt Otter has as many hard-core enthusiasts as Bass, or Tribute, say. I love the glassware.


  2. Otter Amber in good condition is ace.

    P.S. I’m in a sombre mood. We will not see her like again. The best arguement against a republic used to be the idea of “President Thatcher” but our friends across the pond have out-Donalded that.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Am a big fan of The Compasses in Lower Chicksgrove (bit more than 10 mins away actually), the Fox and Hounds at East Knoyle and a bit further west is the legendary Halfway House in Pitney near Somerton. That’s definitely worth a visit if you’re down that way again.

        Liked by 1 person

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