Sunday, 4 June 2017

BRAPA - May Review / June Preview (2017)

The good ship BRAPA sails on, aimlessly across stormy beer filled oceans in search of perhaps the perfect pub, or at least the eventual 4,500th one!

Only a late flurry of 11 pubs across the Bank Holiday weekend helped me to retrieve a quite pathetic month, and I ended with a respectable 24, the monthly average for May is 23 so I had to be happy.

Trips to Surrey & South London, East Buckinghamshire, and rural Cheshire were the main away days, with bonus trips to Glasgow and Tyneside very enjoyable extras.  There was even time for a pre-emptive Hull tick.

The highlight of the month was bringing up one quarter of the GBG, my 1125th tick in the Red Lion at Marsworth.  The aim now has to be to try and stay above this total once the new GBG is published in September, and I have the inevitable drop in numbers when I "cross-tick".  I lost 110 last year, it's bound to be more, so I need to get to at least 1250 I'd say.  It'll be a tough ask!

Best three pubs of the month, well there were plenty of classics so was hard to pick:

1.  Lamb, Surbiton
2. Nags Head, Bunbury
3.  Lion Hotel, Moulton

Pub experience of the month - Nags Head, Bunbury, Cheshire.

Also the Laurieston in Glasgow and Rose & Crown in Ivinghoe were unique experiences in different ways, so honourable mentions.

June is traditionally a very fruitful month, but again, I think it'll be more of the same and it could be a struggle to get to twenty!  Last year, I did 41.

One of the 41.  Last June, in Troon.

We kick off in North Derbyshire on 3rd, the last BRAPA chauffeur day in a long time.  Apperknowle is the key location being the first alphabetically, and as I've said before, Derbyshire is becoming an increasingly important county as I'm getting through the likes of Bucks and Cheshire quite well.

On the 10th, I'm back in Buckinghamshire for a second trip north of the county, looking at the logisitics, I think I could be relying on the odd taxi which is never good!  But if I get the 4 done I want, I'll be delighted.

The 17th sees the yearly 'work summer Heavy Woollen trip'.  Less heavy woollen as the years go on, the plan is Oldham but I'm gonna see if I can edge them towards a second Newcastle trip of the year instead!  It'd be easier for me, and will get more pubs done.  See what they say at work next week.

And finally, on the 24th, my main York friends are joining me in Hartlepool, a trip I've had in the back of my mind for quite a while now.  Should be a good day!

It'd be a big help if I got myself back into a Tuesday night rhythm too, so if I'm able to leave at 4pm, I'm going to really push myself, otherwise I think I'll struggle to get above 20 as there's no holiday dates in June which I can use.  July will be far better!

See you then for more blogs and twitter check-ins in the near future!



  1. Your mean new GBG loss is 11.40%, thus you need to target 88.60% of your pre bookwork score to be 1125. Thus I'd say you need your target number of pubs visited by new GBG release to be 1270, thus allowing a loss of 145. From your current tally of 1138, that gives you 132 to do in a little over three months, a mean of 43 per month. I'd say tough but achievable. Attack attack attack.

    Are there any pubs in particular you are struggling with in North Bucks? I'm happy to have a look to see if I can come up with a cunning plan.

    I'd agree with a Newcastle day for the heavy woollen day. Coal was a key element of the wool industry. Newcastle is famous for coal. Oldham is surely achievable on a Tuesday night via a tram from Manchester or Rochdale. Through rail tickets are available.

    We all hate L**ds.

    1. Tom, that is superb statting thanks.

      43 a month, waaaah! I think it tells me one thing : pull my finger out re Tuesday nights.

      The two north bucks ones am really struggling with are Thornborough (Id walk from Buckingham if road looked safe) and Turweston (like, one bus a day!) but if you see owt else, let me know!

      Newcastle has been decided as the destination, a few pulled out but worth it, is Oldham really do-able midweek? I hope so.

      Re 1st July fixture day, if I moved us to Cheshire to help me with that county, how would you feel about Wrenbury, Nantwich and Crewe? Could it help you with your 'ticking'?

      I all hate L**ds too. Slutsky in!

    2. Thornorough is served by the weekdays only service 151 and isn't in the area of North Bucks served by the demand responsive Northamptonshire Call Connect, which is the first good idea from Lincolnshire to ever be so good another county has used it.

      Turweston is served by the demand responsive bus centred on Brackley and Towcester, so could maybe fit into a Northants day a little more economically. For details see:
      Turweston is also served by service 131/132 from Buckingham to Brackley and Banbury. The service is slightly less sparse than the one you have found, for the timetable see:
      Approaching from Buckingham, you can get an hour in Turweston, which should be ample pub time.

      Oldham is achievable midweek, although you might not get all pubs done in an evening.

      My Merseyside project is going well, depending on luck it could be complete in one visit, it could take 73. Thus I'm happy to be moved to Cheshire. However, whilst in the area of the local shacks between Crewe and Shrewsbury, is there anything over the Shropshire border in Whitchurch, Prees, Wem or Yorton. If after all that there is time, I'd also suggest Chelford and Wilmslow make sense. I might have other ideas also when I have made it to the library to view the GBG.

      The Slutsky appointment is taking too long. I reckon the Allams will cock it up and he will end up at Palace or Scunthorpe or somewhere.

    3. Cheers Tom for the transport gen anyway, it was quite a tough ask! Hope you aren't too appalled by my taxi'ing (not that I need to seek your approval!)

      How would I best do Oldham midweek, can I go via Huddersfield or am I best to get to Manc and Metro it?

      Thanks re Cheshire, it will help. Plenty in Whitchurch, but was hoping to combine that with Audlem or a bit more of Sandstone trail so might leave that for now. Perhaps Chelford OR Wimslow, both if time.

  2. Just don't tell me the taxi fares, I have 1600-1 odds of fainting today as it is, I don't want them reducing. I'm home alone, there'll be nobody to bring me round. I'm always appalled.

    For Oldham, if the pub is on the right side of the town, you could walk from Mills Hill. I presume the walk from Greenfield will be to long, so otherwise get the tram from Vic. If your train arrives at Piccadilly, either walk, or if you are lazy or rushed, get the first tram to Piccadilly Gardens. If said tram is a Bury tram, go through to Victoria, if it isn't walk to Market St, get on the first Bury tram to Victoria. You may find the occasional Oldham tram at Piccadilly or Market St in times of farce.

    If I score a Canton 150 or 153 on said day I will buy the first round in Wrenbury.