Sunday 29 May 2022


Sunday should be a day of rest.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not religious.  I just don't see Sunday as a pub ticking day.  Unless it is part of an epic holiday, in which case all bets are off.

I prefer my Sunday's to be uneventful.  'Cold compress to the head, cucumber slices to the eyes' kind of uneventful.  A chance to reflect that the extra ESB in the Parcel Yard the previous evening wasn't so wise.

Rise at 11am, pop the washing in, do some exercises, water the plants, make a lunch with plenty of fresh veg but never cauliflower, watch David Attenborough talk to otters whilst ironing the BRAPA leisurewear, clean a few surfaces, read a bit of my crime novel, catch up on Neighbours, write a small bit of blog if I can be bothered, make an elaborate late tea, Antiques Roadshow, and bed.  

That's my ideal Sunday.

But sometimes, in extreme circumstances brought about by silly pub opening times in pubs in silly locations with silly lack of public transport, you have no choice but to summon up your Daddy BRAPA and get ticking!

One tick remained in each of North Yorkshire and County Durham.  Only on a Sunday do they open before 6pm.  

First up, the North Yorkshire one, the 12 nooner. 

It didn't look particularly open from the angle we parked at.  A cobwebbed window with a packet of Be-Ro that looked like 1979 vintage had my heart fluttering in panic.  Daddy BRAPA seemed more confident, which is a rarity in these circumstances.

Thankfully, what I hadn't realised that this was a pub in reverse.  The front was the back, and the back was the front.  

Some departing American tourists with a distinctly Milwaukeean air about them chuckled at the above photo, and we entered Lord Nelson Inn, Appleton Wiske (2220 / 3782) , the relief was palpable.  This was the second time I'd finished North Yorkshire.  But even better, I'd completed all four flavours of Yorkshire (North, East, South and extremely bitter .... kidding!) for the first time ever.  I order a beer with a tragic grey Canarf Wharf cityscape on the front, point this out, and one of the many lively ladies working here asks a man "what we doing ordering ale from That London?"  She needn't worry, it's a classy drop.  I survey the scene.  A lone local lady is eating Sunday dinner, she looks like she's done here every Sunday for the last 30 years.  It is an unpretentious honest sort of pub.  Stained glass windows, a deep green carpet, and a pleasing shape, which manages to partially obscure the slightly irritating family with dogs and twild strewn across the floor like a tripping up accident waiting to happen.  This is Daddy BRAPA's first outing with me since THAT Gillingham day, but he and Mummy B have been low-key ticking Gwent on holiday to make me jealous.  They've bought me a holiday souvenir, Brecon the Sheep (nickname Breckie).  He's no Baba Toure, but I introduce him to Col.  Sunday Lunch Lady looks intrigued but her mouth is far too full of Yorkshire puds and roast potatoes to vocalise her opinion on these peculiar pub mascots.

Swooping back in, fresh from Gwent, to claim the decisive tick

Onwards towards rural Teesdale, close to where my Auntie lived before her controversial big money Lancaster transfer.

We're both dying for a wee by the time we arrive and consider driving onto a secluded peeing point because Dad reckons the pub is closed.  Uh oh, it is gone 3pm so it should be open by now! 

But don't panic, Dad has done exactly what Simon Dewhurst did in Braughing yesterday and was looking at the wrong door.  

Full bladder, brave face

The loos are just beyond the end corridor, slightly outside, at the Red Lion, Cotherstone (2221 / 3783) like so many of the best pubs in the country, so we can relieve ourselves before entering the bar area.  Problem is, on returning from the loos, the demanding pub cat Kevin tailgates us.  I'm glad I mention this fact to the owner, because he says some dogs are due in soon so he best get Kevin outta here!  I'd be banning the dogs instead if this were my gaff, but dogs are popular with the masses.  I'd been imagining him (the guv'nor, not Kevin) to be more long in the tooth and loud than he is, a sort of old farmery character who opens the pub on limited occasions under sufferance to appease villagers and walkers.  But he's actually quite young.  Smiley, switched on, engaged, but not a loud bolshy character.  Despite the mild weather outside, it is freezing in here and the roaring fire is most welcome.  I guess that just shows how sturdy and thick the walls of this old building are.  It is a fabulous place, and isn't long before a smattering of tourists, much anticipated dogs and colourful local characters join us.  The Aysgarth Falls is a fine drop, the carpet is everything you'd hope for, and I'm so glad we (well, Daddy BRAPA) made the effort.  Three counties done in one weekend, will I ever beat that in my BRAPA lifetime I wonder?

Big Kev

That's a pub!

It is the final day of the Premier League season, so the journey back is spent listening to the latest scores coming through.  "C'mon you Burnleyyyy, ohhhh Burnley why are you so bloody useless" comes the cry from the BRAPA-mobile.

5pm, and second half kicking off time as we arrive back on the outskirts of York.  Time for a final celebratory pint?  I think so.  Our go to pub, the Fox is the chosen venue, my favourite York pub.

Fat Cat Milk Stout

We choose to sit outside, because once more it is warmer out than in.  It is so quiet and peaceful for a Sunday afternoon.  Everyone must be watching the football.  Even the traffic passing on the road outside sounded muffled.  It reminded me of when we ticked the Admiral Rodney in Criggion, and no one has ever said that before.

A most productive weekend, thanks Daddy BRAPA, thanks Simon D.  Which county will fall next?  Place your bets now!

See you back here on Tuesday for Part 3 of our outer Preston tetralogy.  

Bye for now, Si 

1 comment:

  1. How did you get David Attenborough to iron your BRAPA leisurewear?

    Please can I put a penny on the following sequence of the next county clearances: Staffs, Lancs, GM, West Riding, East Riding.