February 2023.

Oooh, even more dangerously close to That Corby (the Middlesbrough of the Midlands).

You might think this a bit odd given how smug I am about my knowledge of the UK, but I love finding a new GBG entry in a village I’ve never heard of.

Wilbarston has 767 souls, and most of them will be unaware of the craft renaissance 5 miles east documented so lovingly by Mark Shirley., but all aware of the big event coming up in May.

There’s a very rude joke somewhere there but I’m leaving it for BRAPA to make.

A typically gorgeous golden-hued Welland Valley village,

with its pub making a Guide debut, at least in my ticking lifetime.

I phoned ahead to make sure the Fox really would be open that lunchtime, so unusual is it these days.

767 souls more concerned with ringing for the King isn’t a large potential customer base, and I was only the fourth visitor that day.

A symphony in beige” as Mrs RM might have said, but there’s nothing wrong with beige.

It’s all about the welcome (warm), the soundtrack (“Play That Funky Music“) and the beer.

Sometimes, an “ordinary” pub gets its GBG debut due to a community buy-out, in the year a long-standing couple retires, or due to the presence of a microbrew on the bar.

The Fox has Old Speckled Hen and Doom Bar.

Really good Doom Bar, too; cool and chewy (NBSS 3.5). The landlord agreed that Doom gets a bad press due to pubs who don’t keep it well, reminding me of a certain Barnsley gent.

More skittles (Wednesday, Mark) in a pub serving a simple but superb Pizza menu.

I promised myself I’d save half for Mrs RM.

I didn’t though, did I ?


  1. Blimey, 30 minute field walk for us on a good day. In fact that’s when we go to the Fox, summer bimble territory. Been up and down like a dogs hind leg recently though, recently settled on a new licensee after a few months under a local temp so we’ll have to march over and try again.

    I must say the interior has been remorselessly smartened up and dumbed down over the last few years. It wasn’t long ago that the skittles table (scene of several memorable league losses when it was the closed Red Lion’s home table for a time) sat next to the bar which perhaps gives an idea what kind of a village pub it used to be. I like it, but I would never have put money on it being in the GBG…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, and a great one of a leaning church I never knew of.
      And I’ve never heard of that Desborough on the map though I must have been through it on a train.

      Liked by 1 person

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