Well, in July, really.

An uneventful Southern Vectis bus journey brought me back to Cowes (the Western one),

leaving me a tiny bit sad I hadn’t allowed myself a day to pack in crazy golf at Blackgang Chine and the Needles, but this was the Summer of Ticking, and I ran to the Painters Arms in the backstreets of posh Cowes on a mission from (Roger) Protz.

On the bus I’d been reading “Wightwash”, a well produced local CAMRA magazine which seemed to suggest nothing new to report on the island’s pub scene, and that’s fine when the current crop of boozers are as consistent as the Painter’s.

Two beers is plenty, the Goddards was cool and tasty (3.5) even in the dreaded jug, and the pub was doing a decent mid-afternoon trade.

I could warm to Wight“, I thought, a thought that disappeared as I missed the chain ferry over to East Cowes and my last tick and return ferry by all of 3 seconds because the internet froze.

Never mind. If you’re going to finish a county with a Proper Pub I doubt there’s any better than the Ship & Castle, the sort of blokey boozer run by women who take no nonsense that make Portsmouth so great.

A cool, foamy pint of Goddard’s Riptide (rare red beer) to finish IoW; you MUST finish a chapter or the whole GBG completion in invalid.

I squeezed into the last free seat with a view of the bar and let it all sink in.

Not sure WHAT exactly, just lots of blokes talking nonsense and coming and going for a fag and the sound of pumps being pulled.

But what on earth could you possibly want from a pub.


  1. Had to seem strange in a lot of these places to think it might be the last time you ever go there. Most of us know this is true when we travel, but you’ve spent 20 years always knowing you might return.


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