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oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Apr 27, 2019, 3:23 AM

Posts: 4478
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #776 of 791 (2502 views)
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Two establishments visited on that very hot and sunny Easter Saturday in Dorking, while ticking Meadowbank as Dorking Wanderers FC cantered away with the Isthmian title and beat Bognor Regis Town. Pre-match was...

King's Arms
45 West Street
Dorking
Surrey

https://www.kingsarmsdorking.co.uk/

...a Shepherd Neame pub in a rickety 600-year-old building of low beams, loose tiles and uneven floors which just about managed to stay the right side of appearing rather smug with itself. However, the post-match offering was better over the road at...

Cobbett's Beer Shop & Micropub
23 West Street
Dorking
Kent

https://www.cobbettsrealales.com/

...a great little micropub that doubles up as an off-licence too. On a sunny Easter Saturday evening the place was a bit over-packed, not least with the fine folk of Bognor Regis, though there is a larger drinking room further back and a little yard out the back-door.

On arriving at Cobbett's, I saw a bloke in a cream linen suit pacing the pavement outside on his smartphone who I'm pretty darn sure was none other than Terry Venables! He made eye-contact with me but then quickly turned away, perhaps recognising me as that bloke demanding Terry Fenwick's head on a pike following that embarrassing defeat to Charlton back in the 1997~98 season. Using the free wifi, I tried checking his twitter feed to see if he was admitting to being in Dorking that day, but it appears that there are dozens of Terry Venables accounts of variable levels of honesty (not that 'Venables' and 'honesty' are two words with that much in common anyway). One claimed he was by a pool in Malaga, while another was telling Rio Ferdinand that he was an idiot. So no closer the truth.

I did pop into one other pub on West Street - the Old House, next door to Cobbett's - but decided not to bother staying when I saw the barman taking an inordinate length of time to conjure up a gin cocktail in an empty jam-jar. I've heard that such nonsense is fashionable in that London place, but had never yet seen it before my own eyes. Crazy


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Apr 27, 2019, 4:31 AM

Posts: 4478
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #777 of 791 (2484 views)
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Easter Monday was even hotter and sunnier, and was spent in the southern fringes of Essex as I made my way to watch East Thurrock United FC's gallant but ultimately failed attempt to avoid relegation to the Isthmian. I only managed one of my targets in the town of Grays, but it was the enjoyable...

White Hart
Kings Walk
Grays
Essex

http://www.whitehartgrays.co.uk/

...which is just a couple of minutes walk south of the railway station, crossing via the dinky little pedestrian level crossing gates. The White Hart has been the local CAMRA branch's Pub Of The Year for south-west Essex on numerous occasions, and is a regular in the GBG - four real ales of eclectic choice on offer on this occasion - and it's all rather comfy and friendly inside too (made even more agreeable for me when they put the Pompey v. Coventry early-kickoff on the telly).

There were a couple of other Grays' pubs nearby that I'd have really liked to have visited too, namely the Theobald Arms (recommended to me by Timmy Tabby), and The Wharf which is a ancient-looking tavern right on the riverfront, but I'll have to save them for when I go to tick Tilbury FC. Instead, I spent my time walking the footpath that hugs the River Thames muddy shoreline down to Stone Ness, a turn on the river that gives views up to the Dartford Bridge and across to the hills of Kent. Close by here are also the two pylons that hold up electricity cables of the 400kv Thames Crossing. These two pylons - one in West Thurrock on the edge of Grays, and the other on the Swanscombe peninsula in Kent - are the tallest electricity pylons in the country at 190mtrs height, and with a span of 1372mtrs across. Also here is a long isolated concrete wall which is obviously a magnet for graffiti artists - about half a dozen were at work on Monday morning, with a brilliant long stretch of paintings of Beano charaters, including Dennis The Menace and several of the Bash Street Kids. A great walk along the river if you've got the time to do it.

The only other pub I managed was closer to ETUFC's ground...

The White Lion
Lion Hill
Fobbing
Essex

https://www.thewhitelionfobbing.com/

...in the village of Fobbing, which just about keeps its rural setting just off the eastern extremity of the town of Corringham, and is about a fifteen minute from the football ground. The pub has plenty of creaking wooden beams and small cubby-holes, and despite being a food destination still manages to keep its drinking-house personality. Part of the building claims to be fourteenth-century, and it also claims to be one of the starting points for Jack Straw's Peasants Revolt of 1381 following riots in Fobbing, when an army 5,000 peasants marched to confront King Richard II in protest at the introduction of England's first poll-tax. The peasants were promised 'freedom from serfdom and justice' if they returned home peacefully, but violence erupted the next day and the King's army over-ran the rebels. Jack Straw, Watt Tyler and 200 rebels were later executed.

One last pub I'd have liked to visit was back close to the railway station at Stanford-le-Hope, which is the GBG-listed Rising Sun (again recommended by Timmy Tabby). But time wasn't on my side, so I'll pop in there next season sometime.


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Apr 30, 2019, 2:54 AM

Posts: 4478
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #778 of 791 (2286 views)
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Another twenty-three pubs visited in April in the 365 Pub Challenge, giving a running total of 123 pubs in 120 days so far...

Visit 365 different pubs in the 365 days of 2019

101. King's Head, 31 Fisher Street, CARLISLE
102. Half Moon, 17 St.Clement's, OXFORD
103. Wheatsheaf, 129 High Street, OXFORD
104. OXO Bar, 48 George Street, OXFORD
105. Seven Stars, 40 Albert Square, RUGBY
106. Lord Hop, 38 Queens Road, NUNEATON
107. Harcourt Arms, Cranham Terrace, Jericho, OXFORD
108. Guide Dog, 38 Earls Road, Bevois Valley, SOUTHAMPTON
109. Junction Inn, Priory Road, St.Denys, SOUTHAMPTON
110. South Western Arms, 38 Adelaide Road, St.Denys, SOUTHAMPTON
111. Sussex Brewery, 36 Main Road, Hermitage, EMSWORTH
112. Blue Bell, 29 South Street, EMSWORTH
113. Green Man Ale & Cider House, 17 South Street Tarring, WORTHING
114. Windmill Inn, 42 Mill Lane, RUSTINGTON
115. The Phoenix, 13 Duncan Road, Southsea, PORTSMOUTH
116. Staggeringly Good Brewery, Rodney Road, Milton, PORTSMOUTH
117. The Lanes, 15 Worthington Street, DOVER
118. Breakwater Brewery Tap, Lorne Road, DOVER
119. Priory Hotel, Station Approach, DOVER
120. King's Arms, 45 West Street, DORKING
121. Cobbett's Micropub, 23 West Street, DORKING
122. White Hart, King's Walk, GRAYS
123. White Lion, Lion Hill, Fobbing, CORRINGHAM

...and here are the photographs of April's pubs...

https://www.flickr.com/...ms/72157678001048977

Counties of England ticked in April: 5
Warwickshire, West Sussex, Kent, Surrey and Essex.

Total number of counties ticked so far: 25


(This post was edited by oxpete on Apr 30, 2019, 3:03 AM)


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


May 31, 2019, 2:50 AM

Posts: 4478
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #779 of 791 (1876 views)
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Following a visit at Easter, there was a quick return to the pubs of Grays prior to watching the Isthmian play-off at Aveley FC. In particular, this was to pop into the welcoming...

Theobald Arms
30 King's Walk
Grays
Essex

https://www.theosarms.co.uk/

...a friendly GBG-listed pub with a good range of ales and recommended to me by Timmy Tabby. What with Grays railway station being just a couple of minutes walk away, some great Thames-side views nearby, and another GBG-listed pub almost next door in the shape of The White Hart, it's a worthwhile stop-off for anyone passing by.

Despite a history of people living on this fascinating reach of the Thames stretching back a thousand years or more, it appears there are very few buildings in the part of Grays between the railway line and the riverbank from before the North Sea flood of 1953, with most of the housing being either sixties flats or nineties Thames Gateway developments. The rare exceptions to this seem to be the pubs, with one of the oldest appearing to be...

The Wharf
Wharf Road South
Grays
Essex


...a Victorian pub right on the riverside pub. Unfortunately the beer-range wasn't up to much, and the inside was rather dominated by a large telly (today showing 'Bruno Brookes Forgotten Eighties Hits'). However, there was still a certain air to the place that hinted that if the walls could talk, they'd have some great stories to tell, with flaking wood and rusting corrugated iron adding to the salty atmosphere. Despite sitting right on the riverbank, you unfortunately cannot see the Thames due to the huge banked river flood defenses that sit in front of the pub, though plenty of the locals chose to sit on top of these with their pints and take in the panoramic views of the Kent hills.


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


May 31, 2019, 3:23 AM

Posts: 4478
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #780 of 791 (1873 views)
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Herefordshire ticked with a day trip to the town of Ledbury, and taking in the town's two GBG listings, starting at...

Prince Of Wales
Church Lane
Ledbury
Herefordshire

http://powledbury.com/

...a gorgeous old black-and-white beamed cottage in a cramped little cobbled street of beautiful Tudor buildings, with views up to the spire of nearby St.Michael's Church. Despite such a lovely building, there was also a refreshing workaday feel to the place, with at least two local farmers propping up the bar talking about the price of sheep they'd sold at Hereford livestock market. The range of beer was lovely too, with at least five taps of local stuff. There ain't much room, and even at just after opening time the seating was at a premium - on evenings when live music is performed, I can imagine it gets particularly snug.

The second pub was...

Talbot Hotel
New Street
Ledbury
Herefordshire


...another larger black-and-white beamed building, this time on the B4216 just west of the town centre shops. It's tied to Wadworth Brewery of Devizes, though they had a couple of handpumps from Wye Valley to liven the choice up a bit.

On the way home, there was time enough to jump off the train at Great Malvern, a town with an inordinate number of shops selling scented candles. Most of the town's pubs looked fairly uninspiring, though I eventually succeeded in tracking down...

The Morgan
52 Clarence Road
Great Malvern
Worcestershire


...a little gem tied to the Wye Valley Brewery, and conveniently close to Great Malvern railway station.


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


May 31, 2019, 3:56 AM

Posts: 4478
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #781 of 791 (1870 views)
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Only thirteen pubs visited during May, giving a running total of 136 pubs in 151 days

Visit 365 different pubs in the 365 days of 2019

124. Viaduct Tavern, 126 Newgate Street, Smithfield, LONDON
125. Theobald Arms, 30 King's Walk, GRAYS
126. The Wharf, Wharf Road South, GRAYS
127. Old Bookbinders, 17~18 Victor Street, Jericho, OXFORD
128. Gardener's Arms, 39 Plantation Road, OXFORD
129. Gardener's Arms, 8 North Parade Avenue, OXFORD
130. Prince Of Wales, Church Lane, LEDBURY
131. Talbot Hotel, New Street, LEDBURY
132. The Morgan, 52 Clarence Road, GREAT MALVERN
133. Bell Inn, 35 St.John's, WORCESTER
134. Imperial Tavern, St.Nicholas Street, WORCESTER
135. The Plough, 23 Fish Street, WORCESTER
136. Bell Inn, High Street, MORETON-IN-MARSH

...and here are the photographs of May's pubs...

https://www.flickr.com/...ms/72157708847527081

Counties of England ticked in May: 3
City Of London, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire.

Total number of counties ticked so far: 28


prorege
Man City Transfer Target!


Jun 8, 2019, 8:14 AM

Posts: 6962
Location: Kingdom of Fife
Team(s): Fife teams

Post #782 of 791 (1719 views)
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Had a wee day out in Perth this week. Googled a few pub related things before going.

Arriving at 1pm, first port of call was the Green Room. It was closed and didn’t show any signs of opening.

Next stop was the Greyfriars. It was also closed. A notice on the door indicated that it now opened at 4pm daily.

Thoroughly traumatised we went to the local Wetherspoons, the Capital Asset, to take stock. In its favour, the décor is still quite respectable, as were the customers. However, the beer was utterly rank. First pint ordered was some Adnams brew called Fat Sprat. Described as “citrusy, zesty with a biscuit finish”, but think more “Fairy Liquid, abrasive with a faecal finish”. Possibly trying it in Wetherspoons does not get it at its best and it might be ok in a proper pub.

From there we adjourned to the Old Ship, described as Perth’s oldest bar. It’s also Perth’s darkest and dingiest. The pint of Jarl were acceptable, but only just. It’s not a place for epileptics – the number of fruit machines etc with flashing lights in a dark environment makes you feel like you are sitting in a strobe-lit disco.

4pm by now so we headed back to the Greyfriars. What a splendid decision. It’s a small pub, just redecorated, but really pleasant and welcoming. The landlady and customers were good fun and we were soon engaged ibn the lively banter. Four hand pumps with a good range of beers. We had Kai Pai from Stewart Brewing – really excellent and well kept. So good we stayed for several. The Digital Juke Box was set to free play so we took full advantage of that, subjecting the locals to a range of Tchaikovsky, Wagner etc. The landlady’s daughter surfaced from doing her homework at the end of the bar and retaliated with plenty modern hip hop, house, dance, thrash, garbage, garage or whatever. All good fun.

Headed back to the station and had a look into the Station Hotel. Decided that the bar was probably out of our league and we left before we were asked to.

So my award for Perth's Pub of Choice is definitely the Greyfriars on South Street. It's just round the corner from Wertherspoonsm, close to the River Tay.







GRIFFON
First Team Star

Jun 8, 2019, 2:59 PM

Posts: 2120
Location: Sunny Nunny
Team(s): Nuneaton Griff

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Forgot to post this at the time. From Griff's final programme of the season -

Last home game of the season so time for our award for Best Pub Visited Within Walking Distance of the Ground. It was more open this time as last season’s winner and runners-up at Pershore and Bolehall respectively were not on our compass. In the end we narrowed the list down to six and number one was the Weatheroak Tap House in High Street, Studley, a micro-pub opened in 2016 which naturally features five Weatheroak beers brewed just up the road plus a guest. Friendly and comfortable and you can bring food in from the next door chip shop so what is not to like? Second came the Old Fourpenny Shop in Crompton Street Warwick by the Race Course, always a big favourite. A newcomer to the list came third, The Crown in Heather, a Bikers pub but a Landlord who keeps a great pint. The other three on the final list were the Angel in Atherstone, the Spittle Brook near Brocton’s ground and the Brewer and Kitchen in Sutton Coldfield.
Our thanks and admiration go to others that are regular haunts on our way home, the Plough and the Griffin at Shustoke, Pop It Pete’s second home, the Weavers at Wood End, the quite superb George and Dragon at Stoke Golding and the stunning Blue Pig in Wolvey.


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Jul 1, 2019, 1:49 AM

Posts: 4478
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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Thirty-four pubs ticked in the month of June, making a running total of 170 pubs in 181 days...

Visit 365 different pubs in the 365 days of 2019

137. Up In Arms, 241 Marston Road, Marston, OXFORD
138. Rose & Crown, 14 North Parade Avenue, OXFORD
139. Swan & Castle, Castle Street, OXFORD
140. Four Candles, 51~53 George Street, OXFORD
141. Grapes, 7 George Street, OXFORD
142. Nag's Head, Abingdon Bridge, ABINGDON
143. Broad Face, 30~32 Bridge Street, ABINGDON
144. Brewery Tap, 40~42 Ock Street, ABINGDON
145. Spread Eagle, 20 Northcourt Road, ABINGDON
146. Old Drum, 16 Chapel Street, PETERSFIELD
147. Brewhouse & Kitchen, 26 Guildhall Walk, PORTSMOUTH
148. Lawrence Arms, 63 Lawrence Road, PORTSMOUTH
149. Hole In The Wall, 36 Great Southsea Street, PORTSMOUTH
150. Nag's Head, 5 Russell Street, READING
151. Alehouse, 2 Broad Street, READING
152. The Bugle, 144 Friar Street, READING
153. Goddard Arms, 1 High Street, Old Town, SWINDON
154. Hop Inn, 8 Devizes Road, Old Town, SWINDON
155. County Ground Hotel, 115 County Road, SWINDON
156. Glue Pot, 5 Emlyn Square, SWINDON
157. Prince Of Wales, 113 Station Road, DIDCOT
158. Anchor Inn, 58 Friday Street, HENLEY-ON-THAMES
159. Angel On The Bridge, Thameside, HENLEY-ON-THAMES
160. Bird In Hand, 61 Greys Road, HENLEY-ON-THAMES
161. Bull On Bell Street, 57~59 Bell Street, HENLEY-ON-THAMES
162. Three Horseshoes, 90 Reading Road, HENLEY-ON-THAMES
163. Greyhound, High Street, Whitchurch, PANGBOURNE
164. Moor Beer Brewery, Days Road, St.Philips, BRISTOL
165. Barley Mow, 39 Barton Road, St.Philips, BRISTOL
166. Seven Stars, 1 Thomas Lane, Redcliffe, BRISTOL
167. Cornubia, 142 Temple Street, Redcliffe, BRISTOL
168. Bell Inn, 103 Walcot Street, BATH
169. Star Inn, 23 Vineyards, BATH
170. Royal Hotel, Manvers Street, BATH

...and here are the photographs of June's pubs, along with another appearance from a well-known hopper...

https://www.flickr.com/...ms/72157709347050366

Counties of England ticked in June: 2
Wiltshire, Bristol.

Total number of counties ticked so far: 30


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Aug 1, 2019, 3:01 AM

Posts: 4478
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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Thirty-three pubs ticked in the month of July, making a running total of 203 pubs in 212 days...

Visit 365 different pubs in the 365 days of 2019

171. Hop Leaf, 163 Southampton Street, READING
172. Turk's Head, 31 London Road, READING
173. Magdalen Arms, 243 Iffley Road, OXFORD
174. Castle Tap, 120 Castle Street, READING
175. Back Of Beyond, 104~106 King's Road, READING
176. Mad Squirrel, 104 High street, BERKHAMSTED
177. Rising Sun, George Street, BERKHAMSTED
178. The Boat, Gravel Path, BERKHAMSTED
179. Jam Factory, 4 Hollybush Row, OXFORD
180. Tap Social, Curtis Industrial Estate, Nth Hinksey Lane, OXFORD
181. Steam Town Brewhouse, 1 Bishopstoke Road, EASTLEIGH
182. George Inn, Portsdown Hill Road, COSHAM
183. Urban Island Brewery, 28 Limberline Spur, PORTSMOUTH
184. Artillery Arms, 8 Hester Road, PORTSMOUTH
185. Brewers Tap, 177 Eastney Road, PORTSMOUTH
186. Merchant House, 9~11 Highland Road, PORTSMOUTH
187. Froddington Arms, 55 Fratton Road, PORTSMOUTH
188. Wheelwright's Arms, 27 Emsworth Road, HAVANT
189. Rusty Cutter, 65 Bedhampton Hill, BEDHAMPTON
190. Ship Inn, Langstone Road, LANGSTONE
191. Royal Oak, 19 Langstone High Street, LANGSTONE
192. Bear Hotel, 15 East Street, HAVANT
193. Robin Hood, 6 Homewell, HAVANT
194. Old House At Home, 2 South Street, HAVANT
195. The Star, 17 Church Street, GODALMING
196. Star Inn, 2 Quarry Street, GUILDFORD
197. Seacourt Bridge, West Way, Botley, OXFORD
198. Coach & Horses, 17 Oxford Street, WELLINGBOROUGH
199. Little R'Ale House, Midland Road, WELLINGBOROUGH
200. The Narrows, 25 High Street, ABINGDON
201. Seven Stars, The Green, MARSH BALDON
202. The Library, 182 Cowley Road, OXFORD
203. James Street Tavern, 47~48 James Street, OXFORD

...and here are the photographs of July's pubs, along with yet another appearance from a well-known MK-based hopper, plus a large number of Reading fans...

https://www.flickr.com/...ms/72157710018415136

Counties of England ticked in July: 2
Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire.

Total number of counties ticked so far: 32


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Aug 2, 2019, 3:46 AM

Posts: 4478
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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During July's pub-trawl, I managed to tick off some of the pubs of the Hampshire town of Havant, a town that once had a long and proud history of brewing due to the high quality of the water from its many chalk streams and springs.

Unfortunately, just like many other towns up and down the country, Havant has seen a depressingly large number of pub closures over recent years. In the past two decades, the town centre crossroads alone has seen no fewer than six pub closures: The Star, The Perseverance, Black Dog, Cobden Arms, White Hart, and The Dolphin (where I actually worked for a while during the long hot summer of 1989), as well as the closure of a wine-bar called Ryans and a music venue whose name now slips my memory (although I remember an attempt at publicity saw it for a short while trade under the brilliant name of 'Planet Havant', until Bruce Willis and his Hollywood buddies put their lawyers on the case!) And this is even before we list the closures in Emsworth, Hayling Island, Waterlooville, Leigh Park and elsewhere in the borough.

This leaves the town centre with just six remaining pubs: Old House At Home, Six Bells, Robin Hood, Bear Hotel, the much improved Wheelwright's Arms, and The Parchment Makers (a Wetherspoon's that opened in 1999 and is named after Havant's other famous product). On regular visits back, I still enjoy popping into both the Robin Hood in Homewell and the Old House At Home in South Street, but on this occasion I went for a pint for the first time in several years at...

Bear Hotel
15 East Street
Havant
Hampshire


...a grand old three-storey Georgian hotel, built in 1747 as a coaching-stop on the main routes to Brighton and London. With its handsome style of traditional Hampshire brickwork of grey and blue headers, along with its stable-yard, surviving stables, historic gazebo and a wide coach arch facing onto the ancient Chichester-Winchester Roman road, it is still an impressive sight.

Over the years The Bear has recorded a long list of historic visitors, including a young Queen Victoria in 1842, the King of Saxony in 1844, as well as former prime ministers Lord Melbourne and Lord John Russell. More recently, it hosted Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower while they inspected military training and preparations for D-Day on the beach at Hayling Island, and later still Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien stayed.

However, of all the historic visitors to have drunk at The Bear, the story I find most intriguing is that of Lionel 'Buster' Crabbe, the famous George Medal naval war hero, renowned diver and later MI6 agent. Buster Crabbe was an occasional visitor to Havant due to his Royal Naval duties and because of connections with a military diving establishment to the north of the town (on a site that is now housing in Martin Road, immediately opposite the main turnstiles of Havant & Waterlooville FC's West Leigh Park ground on the Leigh Park housing estate).

Late on the afternoon of Wednesday 18th April 1956, Crabbe dived into the waters of Portsmouth Harbour from a small launch boat tied to HMS Maidstone, a submarine depot ship. Working covertly for MI6, his task was to inspect the hull of the Soviet cruiser Ordzhonikidze, which had just arrived into Portsmouth carrying the USSR leader Nikita Khrushchev and other Soviet dignitaries, along with an escort of two Soviet naval destroyers. However, due to fading light and poor visibility in the water, Crabbe cut the inspection short and quickly returned to the Kings Stairs jetty. Instead, he decided to make his way to Havant where he spent the evening drinking with colleagues from the diving establishment at the Bear Hotel on East Street, before heading back at closing time to his digs in the Sally Port Hotel in Old Portsmouth. At 7am the next morning, Thursday 19th, he made his second attempt to dive beneath the Ordzhonikidze and was never seen alive again.

The 'Crabbe Affair', as the incident became known, was a huge embarrassment to the UK government, and measures were taken to keep details secret for 100-years (measures that are still in place today, and obviously much longer than the government's general 30-yr rule on such matters). The page of the Sally Port Hotel's guestbook recording Crabbe's stay there was quickly seized. Prime minister Anthony Eden made his displeasure of the events clear, but it still badly dented his reputation even before the Suez Crisis six months later.

In February 1957, a fisherman sailing out of Emsworth caught a body in a frogman suit in the waters east of the Langstone Bridge which connects Havant to Hayling Island, but the body slipped back beneath the surface before he could secure it. A few months later, in June 1957, a headless and handless body in a frogman suit was found washed up on Pilsea Island, a small sandbank off the southern tip of Thorney Island in Chichester Harbour. Although it was almost certainly the body of Lionel Crabbe, there are still dozens of theories flying about over sixty years later about what happened to him just a few hours after his evening at The Bear, while Ian Fleming went on to use the 'Crabbe Affair' for inspiration for his James Bond novel 'Thunderball'.

Today, the Bear Hotel is part of the sprawling Greene King empire with a rather unimaginative ale selection, and like much of Havant town centre itself it seems to have gone to seed alittle over recent years. However, the place still oozes history and it's still a good visit for anyone passing by.


pitch 63
First Team Star

Aug 2, 2019, 1:43 PM

Posts: 2096
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I used to inhabit The Aviator in Chandos Road, Bristol, but having moved away for a while I turned up last week and found that it had been gutted and rebuilt inside. I strolled up to the bar and then saw the price list - IPA was £10.20 a pint; it was also available in 1/3 pint glasses because I assume the local can't afford a full pint.

Naturally I didn't waste my money and found a cheaper watering hole at £6.20 per pint.


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Aug 27, 2019, 11:09 PM

Posts: 4478
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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One of July's pubs visited - in the Hampshire suburb of Bedhampton - was admittedly not the sort of place I'd normally really bother with...

Rusty Cutter
65 Bedhampton Hill Road
Bedhampton
Hampshire


...with the Rusty Cutter's credentials including being part of Whitbread's Beefeater estate, being housed in an anonymous late-1990's new-build nextdoor to a small Premier Inn, and overlooking Junction 5 of the A3(M) motorway where it joins the main A27 Havant by-pass. However, despite this rather bland sounding set-up, the pub sits on a very historic location in Bedhampton's long brewing history.

After becoming Prime Minister in 1828, the Duke Of Wellington worked upon the establishment of the 1830 Beerhouse Act. This was mainly an attempt to counterbalance the rampant consumption of cheap gin among the population at the time (famously illustrated in William Hogarth's 'Gin Alley' picture, with the drunk woman dropping a baby down the cellar stairs) by promoting the much more healthy drinking of beer. The Act was designed to allow any citizen to convert their own house into a beer-selling pub on purchase of an easily-obtainable licence priced at just two-guineas. This proved so popular that in 1831 alone, almost 30,000 new pubs were created throughout the country.

Many of these new pubs and breweries sprung up in the quickly growing northern cities of the Victorian industrial revolution, where heavy industry and poor housing often resulting in polluted water sources, making beer a much safer alternative to drink. Many of these grand Victorian buildings still stand today.

However, in other parts of the country, particularly on quieter stretches of the south coast, the opportunities thrown up by the Act were used with more ulterior motives. Long before 1830, many of the villages along the muddy northern shoreline of Langstone Harbour, Chichester Harbour and Hayling Island - including Bedhampton, Farlington, Langstone, Warblington, Emsworth and Bosham - were established centres for smuggling of goods. Usually this was the smuggling of corn outwards, and of lace, tea, brandy and suchlike inwards. The beautiful Royal Oak pub at Langstone...

Royal Oak
19 Langstone High Street
Langstone
Hampshire


...which still stands today on the water's edge, has a history in smuggling going all the way back to 1555, but the 1830 Act allowed for many more opportunities for the establishment of meeting-places for smugglers in the area.

The pub in Bedhampton that became particularly notorious was 'The Cat & Fiddle', a small cottage previously known as 'Prospect Cottage' with a very large cellar that sat on a small rise giving useful views of the nearby shoreline of the harbour, a stretch still known locally as Chalk Dock. Set up quickly after the 1830 Act by 45yo local man William Mitchell, the pub soon became the centre of smuggling operations for several local gangs. In fact, so notorious did this stretch of Langstone Harbour become that by 1860 a naval brig called Griper was permanently stationed in the tidal waters off Bedhampton in an attempt to tackle smuggling.

At 4am on the morning of Monday 7th February 1859, another Bedhampton pub called 'The Shepherd's Hut', just across what is now Junction 5 of the motorway next to a field called Forty Acres, was raided by a lone police officer called PC Corbin. Although the resident gang escaped onto nearby Farlington Marshes, PC Corbin seized twenty-one kegs of smuggled brandy and an illicit spirit still, all of which was carted off to Havant police station. With the gang members loose on the dark and dangerous marshes, the only arrest made was that of landlady Mary Cole. Despite the police being certain that a large number of residents in Bedhampton village were involved, Mary Cole was the only one caught and was sent to Winchester Prison.

It was incidents like that at 'The Shepherd's Hut' that showed the Government the weaknesses of the 1830 Act, and led to it's tightening up in The Wine And Beerhouse Act of 1869 and the strengthening of licensing justices. Permission to run a pub could now be refused due to:

"Failure by the applicant to produce satisfactory evidence of good character. The premises, or adjacent premises owned or occupied by the applicant, are of disorderly character, or frequented by thieves, prostitutes or persons of bad character. A licence previously held by the applicant has been forfeited for his misconduct, or that he has been disqualified by misconduct."

Soon after this, the 'Cat & Fiddle' was closed down and converted back into Prospect Cottage, after which it became the home of author Frederick Jane, the writer of Jane's Fighting Ships. Prospect Cottage was eventually demolished in 1960, the A3(M) was opened in 1979, and the Rusty Cutter was built about 1999. There are still good panoramic views of the tidal waters, mudflats and smuggling territory of Langstone Harbour from the Rusty Cutter's raised carpark.


oxpete
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Sep 1, 2019, 10:30 PM

Posts: 4478
Location: Oxford
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Re: [oxpete] Proper pubs [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Thirty-eight pubs ticked in the month of August, making a running total of 241 pubs in 243 days, helped greatly by a lovely holiday in the East Midlands...

Visit 365 different pubs in the 365 days of 2019

204. Newshouse, 123 Canal Street, NOTTINGHAM
205. Crafty Crow, 102 Friar Lane, NOTTINGHAM
206. Vat & Fiddle, 12 Queensbridge Road, NOTTINGHAM
207. King Alfred, 58 High Street, ALFRETON
208. Wheatsheaf, 2~4 Northgate, OAKHAM
209. Grainstore Brewery & Tap, Station Approach, OAKHAM
210. The Salmon, 19 Butt Close Lane, LEICESTER
211. Blue Boar, 16 Millstone Lane, LEICESTER
212. Victoria Hotel, 85 Dovecote Lane, BEESTON
213. Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, Brewhouse Yard, NOTTINGHAM
214. The Lion, 44 Mosley Street, New Basford, NOTTINGHAM
215. Fox & Crown, 33 Church Street, Old Basford, NOTTINGHAM
216. King William IV, 6 Eyre Street, NOTTINGHAM
217. Chesterfield Alehouse, 37 West Bars, CHESTERFIELD
218. The Rectory, Church Way, CHESTERFIELD
219. Chesterfield Arms, Newbold Road, CHESTERFIELD
220. Neptune Beer Emporium, 46 St.Helen's Street, CHESTERFIELD
221. Shakespeare's, 146 Gibraltar Street, Kelham Island, SHEFFIELD
222. Wellington, 1 Henry Street, Kelham Island, SHEFFIELD
223. Victoria, 6 Union Road, LINCOLN
224. Struggler's Inn, 83 Westgate, LINCOLN
225. Just Beer Micropub, 32a Castle Gate, NEWARK-ON-TRENT
226. Organ Grinder, 21 Portland Street, NEWARK-ON-TRENT
227. Prince Rupert, 46 Stodman Street, NEWARK-ON-TRENT
228. Castle Barge, The Wharf, NEWARK-ON-TRENT
229. Prince Of Wales Inn, 77a Bailgate, LINCOLN
230. Imp & Angel, 417 High Street, LINCOLN
231. Goodbarns Yard, 8 Wormgate, BOSTON
232. The Eagle, 144 West Street, BOSTON
233. *Pilgrim Lounge, Boston United FC, York Street, BOSTON
234. Maids Head, 7 Tuesday Market Place, KINGS LYNN
235. Old Ticket Office, Cambridge Railway Station, CAMBRIDGE
236. Cambridge Blue, 85~87 Gwydir Street, CAMBRIDGE
237. Plume Of Feathers, 19 Park Vista, Maze Hill, LONDON
238. Wenlock Arms, 26 Wenlock Road, Hoxton, LONDON
239. Shakespeare's Head, 1 Arlington Way, Sadler's Wells, LONDON
240. Pembury Tavern, 90 Amhurst Road, Hackney, LONDON
241. Royal Exchange, 26 Sale Place, Paddington, LONDON

...and here are the photographs of August's pub...

https://www.flickr.com/...ms/72157710648218422

Counties of England ticked in August: 6
Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire.

Total number of counties ticked so far: 38

Only ten English counties to go, with a trip booked to tick off Devon and Cornwall for later in September...

* Back at the start of January, I did say that I wouldn't be including football club-houses among the 365 pubs. However, back in February I did include the club on the corner of Bootham Crescent opposite York City FC, because it served a good pint. And in August I've decided to include the Pilgrim Lounge at Boston United FC's ground, what with it being the last season of York Street and because they also served a decent pint, too.


oxpete
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Sep 12, 2019, 10:06 PM

Posts: 4478
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #790 of 791 (312 views)
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Re: [oxpete] Proper pubs [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Some good places were visited during my trip around the East Midlands during August, but the nicest in my opinion was the Nottinghamshire town of Newark-On-Trent. Maybe this was down to my own ignorance, but it came as a real surprise as nobody had ever told me what a lovely town it is, nor can I ever remember having read anything saying as such. A big old castle, some pleasant parks, a lovely town square, some good architecture and an unspoilt stretch of river all go towards making a very agreeable town.

On top of that, they also have more than their fair share of decent pubs in Newark. I managed four, but found a leaflet at one of the railway stations that lists ten very good real ale pubs in the town. It seems to be something that the folk here are really quite proud of (in their rather understated manner), meaning that I almost certainly missed out on multiple decent pubs worth making a return for.

First up was...

Just Beer Micropub
32a Castle Gate
Newark-on-Trent
Nottinghamshire

https://www.justbeermicropub.biz/

...which boasts being Newark's CAMRA Pub Of The Year no less than six times. Along with that, they claim to stock over 600 different beers from over 200 different breweries each year, with plenty of choice when it comes to dark stuff. Despite its town centre and riverside location, the pub is not actually the easiest to find - it's tucked down a small cobbled yard under an old white-painted Victorian archway just off the B6166 Castle Gate, almost opposite the Flying Circus pub. The micropub is inside what looks like an old brick stable-building which has been nicely renovated without going too over-the-top. Good beer, friendly welcome, and if I remember rightly I think I saw some other customers munching on pies. My favourite pub of a very good day. Next up was...

Organ Grinder
21 Portland Street
Newark-on-Trent
Nottinghamshire

http://bluemonkeybrewery.com/organ-grinder-newark/

...just to the south of the town centre and heading towards some of the more residential corners. This pub is part of the small chain of pubs run by the Blue Monkey Brewery of Giltbrook, north of Ilkeston, with other pubs in Nottingham, Loughborough and Arnold. The overload of pictures of blue monkey faces all over the place take a bit of getting used to, but there's a wide choice of ale - I really liked their Chocolate Orange Stout, though it probably isn't the sort of pint I'd want to overdose on. TheWavendonian and Splodge of this parish both visited here after ticking York City's Bootham Crescent recently, and from what I gather they both enjoyed their visit too.

Third on the list was...

Prince Rupert
46 Stodman Street
Newark-on-Trent
Nottinghamshire

https://www.kneadpubs.co.uk/the-prince-rupert

...an old pub originally built in 1452, still retaining plenty of old timber framing at the front, and a bit of a destination for anyone interested in Newark's depth of English Civil War history. Despite being a tourist target to some degree, this was probably the most understated of the four pubs visited, and all the better for it. Good choice of ales, and a pretty little shaded courtyard at the back.

And finally pub number four was...

Castle Barge
The Wharf,
Newark-on-Trent
Nottinghamshire

http://www.castlebarge.com/index

...which is a pub on a converted Dutch barged moored on the banks of the River Trent, just downstream from the main bridge and not far from Newark Castle railway station (on the Nottingham-to-Lincoln line). Apparently the barge used to carry grain between Gainsborough and Hull, and became a pub in 1980. Yet again, there was ample choice of good ales from the region and some nice on-deck seating in the sunshine, and overall the place wasn't anywhere near as gimmicky as I thought it'd be (though suspect it might get a little 'youthful' at the weekends).

A very fine day all round.


GRIFFON
First Team Star

Sep 17, 2019, 9:35 PM

Posts: 2120
Location: Sunny Nunny
Team(s): Nuneaton Griff

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Re: [oxpete] Proper pubs [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Some good pubs on our travels so far this season starting with the friendly and busy Black Swan in Henley In Arden, five handpumps all mainstream ales but well kept.
The Brewer and Chef in Sutton Coldfield is spacious and three of their own brewed on the premises were excellent.
The Blue Bell Cider House in Earlswood next to the canal had five on handpump, something for all tastes.
Up in Shropshire I visited the Black Bear in High Street, Whitchurch, a Good Beer Guide entry and not difficult to see why. Full of dinner time eaters but a comfy high chair next to the bar allowed me to go along the row of six handpumps, just a half of each I hasten to add. Mainly fairly local breweries but a great tick was a lovely Chocolate Stout from Severn Brewing of Tortworth, Gloucestershire. The walls and ceilings of this old Inn are covered in beer mats of all the ones they have had over the past few years.
Apparently there was something of a beer trail in the many pubs in this old market town, folks were being asked if they were on said beer trail.


(This post was edited by GRIFFON on Sep 17, 2019, 9:37 PM)

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