This post is a prime example of the difficulties of the Sophomore* GBG completion. In the year you first complete, your maniacal focus is entirely on getting counties ticked off. There’s no time (or bladder) for sentimental revisits, pre-emptive micros or pints of Prosecco.

But once you’re a completist, your rail journey to tick that lone new entry in St Leonards poses a new problem. “Well, I’ve spent £7.20 on the train, it would be ridiculous to head straight back to Rye without taking an opportunity to bring my beloved readers a bonus post“. A bit like Simon will always give you a Parcel Yard pic, even when he’s in Edinburgh.

8th November 2022.

There’d just been a discussion on the BBC about the survival of pubs with the landlady of a Royal Sovereign somewhere in Sussex. I thought about paying a visit, but it seemed to have relocated off-shore and converted to a lighthouse.

So I wandered down (actually, up) a couple of streets, noting obvious micro potential.

And then I saw it. The Horse & Groom isn’t even in GBG23, but it’s the pub I remembered from a decade ago. Probably the same mobility scooter.

And it’s still wonderful. Not just the brasses, and the bants,

and the bench seats,

but the Sussex Best was as tasty as I’ve had since that Jeff Bell did it at the Gunmakers.

Anyone wanna buy a ******* burger video ?” said Old Boy 1. Well, I wrote down “burger”.

The language was on the “juicy” side of “robust”, though (thankfully) some way off the Chelmsford quality of swearing.

Going to rat**** this pub, innit ?” said Old Boy 2 at the lack of straws (no idea why straws were needed), and someone was sent out into the cold to procure some logs.

It was, as I often say, like a little Alan Bennett play put on for my amusement, though in truth they barely noticed me as I did the obligatory pub tour.

There are SOME benefits to being a moron” was the punchline to a discussion about Tim Berners Lee (not the Spoons founder, Dave) on my return.

I really, really, wanted to stay all day, but just like at Jeff’s Ypres Castle, it could have been catastrophic.

*I’d never understood the meaning of “Sophomore” till all my favoured American songstresses started releasing sophomore albums a decade ago. Before then I thought it was a Cocteau Twins 12″. Perhaps it is.


  1. The wood, the bench seats, the old boys’ banter – a proper pub if ever there was one. Good you left when you did. One could get lost in a place like that. Cheers Martin.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Guessing if the mobility scooter was the same one, the rider may not be the same rider…What does it say about us if we love that pub? I do think it looks fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It means, literally, half sophist, i.e. wise, and half moron.

      So is used by the septics to mean a second year student, and from that pretty well the second of anything, say, albums…

      Liked by 1 person

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