10th January 2023.

More mini-posts; go to BRAPA for your long reads. His Scottish diary is great stuff.

Good luck to Simon when he reached Oxfordshire; the rural Oxon pubs take some effort, though more in the getting there as the pubs themselves are pretty good.

The George in Sutton Courtenay requires a swim across the Thames, and a determination to pull yourself away from the tourist honeypots of Abingdon market place with its cheap Cher CDs and Didcot Railway Centre. I reckon Didcot may be my least visited English town; probably with good reason.

Looking at Wiki now I see references to papal dispensations, “epitodised tuff”, Lord Asquith and George Orwell, which makes it sound more interesting than it looked, but the centre is certainly prime Olde England.

The George has lost its “and Dragon“, and probably when Oak Taverns bought it from Greene King, so you get a wettish pub with a couple of local beers from Loose Cannon (both 3+) being enjoyed by the locals,

and a deli counter selling pies, scotch eggs and cheese. Innovative, efficient, high quality.

As is the pub, though only being open till 2pm (I had to dash to the door at 1.40, annoying Mrs RM) the fire wasn’t on and I felt it a bit cold.

The soundtrack was “How to save a life“, and this set-up seemed an example of how to save a pub without going down the gastro route, keeping the sense of a village local with outside loos overlooked by the village church.

AND it was open on a midweek lunchtime. In 2023, be grateful for that.


    1. Only ever been to Didcot twice, both times to visit the Railway Centre, worship steam locomotives, nip out for a couple of pints in a fairly grim Morrell’s pub and then get the train back.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The odd thing about Morrells is that while I only went in one of their pubs a handful of times in the mid-90s (probably Oxford), the pint I had in an Arlesey pub once was astonishing. Shame they had no flagship beer worth saving.

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      1. Morrells Ordinary Bitter was well worth saving. The company were the victim of a family fall-out (feud), much like Gales, King & Barnes and probably several other family-owned brewers, where one faction wanted to cash in their chips.

        A shame, as I have fond memories of drinking in Oxford, during the late 1970’s.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. T’other Paul,
        And I think an unwise decision to install expensive kit to brew Harp Lager was another nail in their coffin. Brewery Director Margaret Eld lived five miles from me in Seighford.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Just googled the pub over the road from the Railway Centre and it’s still there! It’s the Prince of Wales and it’s a Greene King dining pub these days.

    Liked by 1 person

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