More Dregs from the Drip Tray

Truman's London Stout.

These are a few bits and pieces that didn’t warrant a blog post of their own.

  • Mini book review: Beers of Britain by Warren Knock and Conal Gregory (1975). This oddity was recommended by Michael ‘Beer Hunter’ Jackson in the intro to his book The English Pub in 1976. A slim paperback, it takes the odd approach of reviewing pubs by region in prose, rather than, Good Beer Guide style, with alphabetical entries. Worth reading for (a) an informed but view that isn’t CAMRA propaganda; (b) to find out what beer in your town was like forty years ago; and (c) for the occasional nugget, e.g. St Austell didn’t pasteurise their keg bitter in the seventies. A little dry for our tastes, though.
  • An account of election time in the eighteen-thirties, from Recollections of Old Taunton by Edward Goldsworth (1883): ‘The elections in Taunton were a disgrace to all England. The first candidate’s arrival was made known by several hogsheads of beer being rolled on the Parade. It was then drawn off in buckets, pitchers, and jugs, and most of it consumed on the spot; the effect of which was soon both audible and visible, by singing, shouting, swearing, and fighting among the men, and screaming, cap-tearing and hair-pulling by the women… The second candidate would do as the first, and in addition would issue tickets for obtaining beer at public houses…’ As a result, when asked by the Poll Clerk how he had decided who to vote for, a local called Simon Duffer replied: ‘I hear they gives away the most beer.’
  • We were pondering the ages of CAMRA chairs in the early days. We don’t know how old Chris Holmes or James Lynch were The first, Michael Hardman, was 25 when he took the job in 1971. Christopher Hutt (1973) was 26. Gordon Massey (1974) was 27. Chris Holmes (1975) was 30. Chris Bruton (1976) was 31. James Lynch (1978) was 32. Joe Goodwin (1979) was 31. Tim Amsden (1980) was 29. When did CAMRA last have a chair under the age of 35? It would take a pretty ambitious character to pull it off today. (UPDATED after correspondence with James Lynch, July 2013, and further research.)
  • You all saw this long post we wrote on West Country brewers Starkey, Knight & Ford, didn’t you? Good. Just checking.
  • We’ve been posting some things which are too short to blog but too long to Tweet over on Facebook, by the way.

6 thoughts on “More Dregs from the Drip Tray”

  1. Chris Holmes retired from Castle Rock last year, suggesting he he had reached 65, which would have made him, again, 28 or 29 when he was Camra chairman in 1975-6.

  2. I thought the S,K&F post was brilliant but a bit overwhelming. I was going to leave a comment anyway, saying you were turning into Martyn or something, but then I saw that Martyn had got there already.

    Elections meant something very different before 1832 (do you mean “eighteen-thirties”, by the way, or earlier than that?) Two members for Helston, one each for East and West Looe and none for Manchester. (Admittedly there weren’t so many people in Manchester in 1832, but there can’t have been that many in Looe.) Looking at local guidebooks last time we were down there, I got the distinct impression that some people still missed the old system.

    1. Ah, now, Mr Goldsworthy was no more specific than ‘fifty or sixty years ago’, and he was writing in 1883, so it might be earlier.

      We’ve tended to write short posts and have learned, if the urge to write a long one strikes, to post them on Saturday or Sunday morning when people have a bit more time. Having said that, if you have a smart phone or tablet, we can highly recommend Pocket, aka Read it Later, which enables you to save longer articles for reading at your leisure. That’s how we read most of Martyn’s stuff, rather than on a PC screen.

  3. That’s interesting, I find I get a MUCH better response if I post weekdays rather than at weekends: there’s a distinct dip in traffic to my blog at weekends.

  4. It’s not a scientific judgement on our part — just based on the fact that a couple of people complained about how hard it is to read long posts at work, and our own tendency to skip anything over c.700 words until the weekend when we’ve got time to absorb it rather than skimming.

  5. I am amazed by your consideration for the reader. I would not give a moment’s thought to their employment status and the peril my writings post to it! ;-)

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