Friday 15 October 2021

BRAPA in .... LET'S ALL MEET UP IN THE PUB 2000 : West Sussex Adventure (Part 1 of 2)

Ready for a singalong?  

I bought a book with 'Good Beer Guide' on the cover
And every year it is in a different colour
Your name is CAMRA, CAMRA
It kinda suited ya

They used to tell me that I should drink up
On football days, in all the Hull pubs
But I could never do it, though I always wanted to
Daddy BRAPA do you recall?

The micropub was very small
Fake bookcase on the wall
When I came in with Col
They didn't notice me at all

And I said "let's all meet up in the pub 2000
Won't it be strange when Colin's fully grown?
Be there 12 noon sharp in the Fountain drinking Toad
I always knew I'd not get married
I would be ticking Downham on my own
Or a damp and windy, Thursday in Balerno

I was the first lad at work to drink guests
Martin agrees that pints are the best
Even though it means that I'm ticking half less!
But those 25 mins in the pubs I feel blessed

I stagger home some nights after days ticking Kent
The Pubmen that I've met are all gents
And it means a great deal to me
Makes me feel kind of 'Brapular' 

Oh CAMRA, do you recall?
The micropub was very small
Fake bookcase on the wall
When I came round with Col
They didn't notice me at all

What are you doing Sunday, maybe
You could drive me to that tricky pub in Aby?
Maybe after that, we can tick off Raby?
Oooh ooh-ooh-ooh ooh-ooh-ooh
I've ordered this craft ale and it's very hazy
The atmosphere destroyed, by twilds and babies
Oooh ooh-ooh-ooh ooh-ooh-ooh


You can stop reading now, it won't get better.

On the eve of the pub 2000 then, and the great thing is, I had no idea where it was going to be.  Well, West Sussex probably.  But town, city, village, it all depended how it fell with trains,  having ordered a Southern Day Rover out of Victoria on the instructions of original BRAPA supporter Tom 'Clag Monster' Irvin.  "Hop on the first one that comes along" said he.

Daddy BRAPA is in tow as well, it is nice that the O.G. BRAPA Squad would be with me for the landmark moment.   Fitting.  

The day got off to a dreadful start with a half an hour delay out of York.  I was contorted in mental anguish the entire way to London as Dad would testify, which seems pretty silly now because there's nothing we could do about it.

The aim had been 'to get down to the coast' but with the trains on offer, and the Brighton's, Worthing's, Havant's of this world suddenly looking very far away, we jump off at Horsham, very much inland.

I won't lie, I was disappointed in Horsham.  I was expecting something a whole lot leafier, not sure why.  Instead, a grey urban sprawl of busy roads and roundabouts took us towards the town.  Like Stafford with less charisma.  

Even now, pub 2000 wasn't clear.  I said we should get out to the furthest point first, which would be mean the King's Arms, but as we waited at our 58th set of traffic lights, Tom points out that the pub we are currently facing is in the GBG and wide open for business, a few minutes shy of noon, surely it makes sense to go in.  Tom can intelligent on occasions, and this was one of those times I concurred.  Daddy BRAPA was easy-going, like "whateva babes hun" in the background.  

I made a little pub 2000 placard, but it was hardly "Allam Out" quality

Malt Shovel, Horsham (2000 / 3429) didn't know how lucky it was, and probably never will!  Where's my guard of honour?  I actually got one at my 500th pub in Appletreewick when I bumped into some young dudes out walking, but 1000, 1500 and now 2000 have passed without festivities.  I'm glad that this was a genuinely enjoyable pub to mark the occasion.  The barmaid is the first in a long line of quality bar staff today.  Very engaging, and errrm, understanding?  Would that be the word?  I'm shocked to see Tom doing contactless payment, seeing him always as a strictly cash kinda guy.  He makes a joke about robbing someone at gunpoint, and that's when our staff interaction fizzles out.  Can't think why.  So we join Daddy BRAPA in the corner.  Loving my Surrey Hills Ranmore, which Tom thought was cider, it might be the unsullied palette but beer of the day?   Getting a jug rather than a straight glass though without being asked?  That is a point off for me.  Never been a fan of the handles.  There's an old man walking around photographing skeletons above the bar, and it isn't even Martin Taylor.  Shame, I'd love it if Martin has popped up here though I presume he did this pub in 1985.  The bloke better have a  'Pub Skeletons' blog or really he shouldn't be allowed.  Anyway, good pub, much recommended.  Oh, and after all that transport moaning, we took our first sip of ale at exactly 12 noon.

The legends themselves

View t'bar

Background Daddy B gets settled, Tom gets a straw, and dog biscuits

Of course, the salient point that may have occurred to you in all this 2000th BRAPA pub fanfare is that with the new Good Beer Guide on the horizon, I will surely drop below the 2000 mark, and have to do it again in a few months time, and that second time will probably mean more than this because it SHOULD be for good.

So has all this landmark chat and Pulp sing-a-longs been worth it?  Probably not!

See you on Sunday/Monday to hear about the other four pubs we did, plus a shut pub alert.



  1. Congratulations! And great song! I work near Horsham and the Malt Shovel is the only pub in the town I've been to.

    1. You've never been to the Spoons, Ed ? Your life is incomplete.

  2. I agree with Ed.

    Getting a mention in the BRAPA song is like a namecheck in "You're So Vain" or summat.

  3. If you have to do a 2000th pub in GBG23 as well as GBG22 you'll be in trouble.