Unless you tick churches, and I suspect their opening times are even more restricted than pubs, then GBG ticking is the best way to force you to visit those parts of the UK that only us completists will ever know.
Like Musbury (pop. 543), on the edge of the Axe Valley. Which reminds me; I’ve never been to Axminster. What have I missed ? Anyone ?
East Devon beyond Exmouth rarely graces the Guide at all, so The Hind is a real treat.
Particularly as they’re on Search for Sites, the directory of places that’ll let you park your campervan overnight as long as you pop in for a pint.
“Get there early and park in the corner” says the Guvnor; “there’s a big Boules match tonight“.
I tip up as it opens at 19:00; there’s already a crowd at the bar, and wonder quite how busy it could possibly get as I drink a cool, rich Youngs (3.5) rather too quickly as I don’t want to spend the whole evening in the van.
Proper little pub, I think. Bit sticky, smell of wet dog, but with no food it’s a real boozer.
They’re all friendly, but I stick out like a sore thumb, the only non-Musburyian, and try to make conversation from the corner as I won’t stand at the bar on principle.
Tonight’s drama concerns a lady who’s put TOO MUCH oil in her car as she hasn’t got a dipstick.
“I didn’t know you could put too much oil in the car” I say, empathising with the over-oiled lady but no doubt earning the contempt of the car savvy blokes.
By 19:30 there’s a couple of dozen inside and out, and the visiting boules team from the Tuckers Arms in Dalwood (or wherever) haven’t arrived yet. I know this because the home team are outside doing their warm-up routine, eyeing my grandstand seat which I eventually relinquish in case they murder me in the night.
Back inside the Women’s Euros are on, England in the Semi. I stay to watch the first half.
The drinks orders are racking up, two halves of bitter shandy the standard order for the gentlefolk.
“For what we are about to receive, may the lawd make us truly thankful” says the Old Boy before starting on his cider.
The 2022 Boules calendar falls on my head, but I’m unharmed. Just as well, with the nearest A & E in Yeovil.
I have a second pint and a packet of Salty Dog, the Butty Bach again cool and rich, a match for that Welsh pub near Builth.
It’s what some folk call dismissively a Community Pub, and there’s a touch of Waterbeach about it. But, like the Sun, the beer is superb, and a far better advert for cask that’s not moving fast in the dining pubs.
As for the boules, I can assure you it sits above dressage in my league table of spectator sports. But below dominoes.