Thursday 1 December 2016

BRAPA - November Review / December Preview

Ho ho ho!  We are approaching that magical time of year where people go to pubs in silly jumpers, act like idiots, stand at the bar, and generally make you crave miserable January pubbing.  But it won't stop the well-oiled machine called BRAPA from turning over for one final push in 2016......

November Review

I'd aimed for 25, I achieved 30 new GBG pubs and one excellent pre-emptive (Wath Tap) but I did really push myself quite hard all month after the terrible October.  So a good outcome and should be back in striking distance of the 1,000 come the New Year (on 957 as I write this).

Some great days were had, enjoyed getting back into the South Yorkshire Tuesday night swing.  The Dobcross/Stalybridge day was a great bonus.  The quality was high on the Winter Woollen trail.  Berkshire was, well, worthwhile, and though I felt ill on Greater Manchester day, enjoyed some of the pubs.  Finishing East Yorkshire (again) was a highlight.

The general pub standard of the month was not the most fantastic ever, but I've picked three that I'm sure any proper pubber would enjoy:

1.  Gundog, Halifax
2. Swan Inn (Top House), Dobcross
3.  Swan, Three Mile Cross

So they go into the mix for "BRAPA Pub of the Year" award.

December Preview

Of course Christmas parties and nights out can distract me from BRAPA duties so I am determined to be single-minded, well as much as possible without becoming a festive pariah.

And it all starts in style with a weekend double header.  An East Berkshire mop-up on Saturday (key pub at Moneyrow Green, four of my remaining ten in this county) and then a North Yorkshire Dales chauffeur day on Sunday (key pubs, two at Aysgarth).

The following week sees me doing BRAPA on Sunday rather than Saturday and I may get myself out Cheshire way again if feeling more adventurous than Greater Manchester!  Alphabetically, Cheshire is my first "local" county.

On the 17th, it is my monthly Hull City outing as we make our first trip to West Ham's new Olympic monstrosity.  Re pubs, I know Tom has "irons" in the fire so am willing to listen to his proposals before making a final decision as I know he can be a bit over adventurous at times on match days.

Christmas Eve irritatingly falls on a Saturday, and as it is my Mum's birthday, I will be spending the day with Wales' favourite ankle victim rather than jetting around the UK.

New Year's Eve is also a Saturday therefore, a bit annoying too but reckon I can have day out somewhere pre-party but can only imagine what the pubs will be like - or do people stay in and be sensible until about 7 or 8pm?  Hmmmm, it's a new world to me, NYE daytime drinking.

Excitingly, on Tuesday nights, I am only two pubs away from completing South Yorkshire so assuming I can do that before Christmas, I am going to "mop up" any North Yorkshire pubs I can do on evenings before focussing on West Yorkshire in the new year.  These could include Skipton (may need to be a Friday), Scarborough (bit outlandish but hey ho), Thirsk and West Haddlesey (if I can work out a bus).  I think Coxwold may be too much but will look into it just in case.

Happy festive season, keep on pubbing and remember a pub is for life, not just for Christmas.



  1. Do let me know if you venture into Cheshire( footballers' wives territory).....or even North Staffs ( footballers' grannies).

    1. I do have a plan coming up for Jan/Feb in that part of the world so will let you know but as am sure you know, I only spend 27.5 mins in a pub at a time before next leg of journey so pinning me down to a pub at a set time may be tricky!

  2. Be a festive pariah Simon. Trust me, it's great.

    The cunning plan I had in mind for West Ham United is the Ship Inn, Gidea Park, from where trains run direct to Stratford. However, as said trains are all shacks, and the 315s are bogless, there is potential for the Romford 'Spoons as a staging post, with the additional bonus that there are fast bins from Romford to Stratford. There is the Eva Hart 'Spoons, Chadwell Heath as an early opener. I don't know whether you need anything around Liverpool St these days. Post match I'm unsure, Highbury, Bow, Liverpool St are all ideas, I'm not sure how much of a farce getting away from the ground will be. Even west end on the Central line maybe. I'm not going to be in the ground by the way.

    For West Haddlesey, there are various school day only services which I don't think help you. The Monday only 496 could work with a day off and a walk from South Milford to Monk Fryston. Other permutations may be available. Otherwise, I reckon it's a walk from somewhere like Hambleton. I can't even see any suitable demand responsive transport.

    New Years Eve I find myself similarly unbooked. My New Years celebration is planned to be seeing Hull City away at West Bromwich Albion.

    1. Thanks Tom, it is looking like West Haddlesey may have to become part of a "chauffeur day" as I trust your research.

      NYE may become Wortley (South Yorks) now just looking at my difficult evening schedule and determination to "finish" SY in 2016.

      I'm looking at the West Ham idea and I quite like the Gidea Park idea, I wondered if we could even start further out at Brentwood where there is an 11am (not sure what time we are in, do Romford Spoons if really early instead) and Chadwell Heath one on way to ground to break it up a bit. Near Liverpool St, I need one called King's Stores at Spitalfields and Phoenix at Old Broad Street but it doesn't open weekends.
      Other idea you may find too boring from a shack ticking perspective was getting north on central line to places like Leyton but you'd probably say we'll be playing them soon!

    2. West Haddlesey is an example of the poor public transport in North Yorkshire. Whilst I often slate Lincolnshire, and rightly so at evenings and Sundays, it does have the comprehensive largely demand responsive Connect network. I find it amazing such a system doesn't operate in the equally rural North Yorkshire.

      I shall send an email for West Ham. I will say though, on a shack tick perspective, the Central line would probably be more profitable for me, however it is an easy insomnia project for the wee hours of a Saturday morning. On the Shenfield electrics I need the sum total of Brentwood. I had considered suggesting Brentford but got frightened of breaching the code of conduct and thought it might be a step too far.