I nearly came here on 2nd August 2014 when I bumped into Alex from work and his friends (who helped me celebrate my inaugural 500th 'tick') and they told me they were finishing here after their walk. I knew it had pre-emptive potential but I'd had a long enough day as it was.
709. Flying Duck, Ilkley
The pub building dates from 1709 and you probably wouldn't know that from the 2013 refurb, though the exposed stone plus cosy ambiance (made even better when the wood burner was put in) made for a very nice pub atmosphere indeed, just the calming sensation I needed after a fraught day at work. This is the Wharfedale brewery tap, with the brewery out the back, so it would have been rude not to try one of their ales - a Wharfedale Black was an excellent mild, normally can be quite a disappointing beer type. There was only one other customer (long haired man at the bar) but any hopes of a BRAPA chat never quite materialised as he and barman were quite reserved, and I don't like to force my religion on people! It seemed wrong to come to such a nice pub (and pay almost £10 for a train ticket) and just stay for one, so I went big with a 6.7% Black Magik from the always great Abbeydale Brewery, A local couple had come in and been sampling it, so it allowed for a brief bit of human interaction! However, the peace was shattered when another couple brought in two crazed dogs, Marley and Chester and if ever there were dogs trying to win a "worst pub pet of the year" award, it was these two. To be fair, the owners did as good a job as possible keeping them in control (save from bringing them in in the first place!) and when one poor old woman walked down the stairs, Chester went bat shit mental - apparently confused thinking she was a burglar and he was at home! They stunk too, and I could see the rest of the dogless drinkers expressions, they were about as impressed as me. Any hopes of a third and final Abbeydale pint evaporated in my mind at this point. Time to go. So off I went.
|Flying Duck - the calm before the doggy storm!|
|Chop & Change, whilst Cellino is "confident" over his court case - apt!|
It's long been recongised that I have not been doing enough in BRAPA to promote my challenge, but recent positive Twitter experiences at Horbury Bridge and with the Imperial in Mexborough mean I have made it a fundamental rule to 'tweet' the pub if they have an account. I did this after Whelans of Asselby with no comeback sadly, but tried the same at Flying Duck in Ilkley and 48 hours later I got retweeted and 'added' by them.
What this means in the real concrete world is a win-win situation where their pub gets a bit of free advertising and I get BRAPA out there too. This is the way forward, though recently forgetting to leave my cards in pubs has been a schoolboy error I need to rectify.
As suggested by one my newest BRAPA enthusiasts, Andy Dunn, I am going to try and stick to set release days for my blog.
Monday - Archives
Wednesday - Write up of Midweek BRAPA trip
Sunday - Write up of Saturday BRAPA trip.
Special reports will be released on any given day.
He even suggested I put set times on these releases, but as you can see from this blog, sticking to the day is going to be hard enough to maintain! A good idea though.
Coming Soon (the rest of October)
Saturday is Sheffield day, or to be exact, Loxley, North Sheffield, Mexborough and potential Conisbrough.
Next midweek is a no go for West Yorkshire BRAPA as Dad is hijacking me for Hull City purposes.
The following Saturday sees a return to Bedfordshire (part VIII). This is a key day which will require some serious planning. I have my first new Bedford tick since BRAPA began and this will be my 'base'. I then want to get out on the bus route which covers Felmersham, Souldrop and Sharnbrook. And hopefully, with time permitting, another bus to Renhold or Riseley (or both).
The following midweek again sees Dad hijacking me, but as I'm off work Thursday and Friday, I think switching midweek WY BRAPA to Wednesday is do-able, Knottingley will get it's BRAPA debut and it even has a railway station - hurrah!
The next day, I have my mystery BRAPA Hallowe'en Special (4 pubs likely).
And the month ends in just as spooky fashion at town planners wet dream, Milton Keynes, with three pubs on my agenda as I've decided to try and keep it fairly simple (Dad was happy for me to stop anywhere on the Euston-MK line but this season at least, we'll do what's nearest MK).
So, plenty to keep us going, am looking to get past 720 before month end which judging by the above, should be a cake walk, but with 750 needed by 31st December, am not resting on my laurels yet because I know how the Christmas season can limit BRAPA from past experience.
See you soon, Si