pubs Somerset

Drinking with Dad in the backstreets of Highbridge

Drinking ale with my dad in a down-to-earth backstreet pub in a small town in Somerset was just what I needed, it turns out.

Dad’s been unwell for large chunks of the past year. Lying awake in the small hours fretting about him, I frequently found myself thinking: “What if we’ve had our last trip to the pub together?”

In Brighton a couple of months ago we did make it to the pub, and made the best of it, but he still wasn’t himself, and needed a wheelchair to get around. I wondered if he’d only come out for my sake.

But there have been encouraging signs in the past few weeks. The wheelchair has gone into storage and he’s started eating, as Mum says, like a bloody horse.

When I went down to Somerset on Saturday to take them out for lunch, however, I was still expecting that we’d have one or two drinks as we ate, and that would be it.

Instead, he did something so characteristically himself that I could have cried: he decided, out of the blue, that we were going to visit some pubs, and started issuing directions to Mum, our designated driver.

First, we checked out a country pub that used to have good Butcombe Bitter a decade or so ago. But it was a wash-out – simultaneously pretentious, and grotty, with all the atmosphere of a council storage shed. The passive-aggressive signs on every surface did nothing to help.

Dad was not in the mood for giving up, though. “I know where we’re going,” he said. “The Globe.”

“In Highbridge?” asked Mum. “Is it even still there?”

I was able to confirm that, yes, it is, having walked past it on Boxing Day – the first time I’d ever noticed it, despite having spent some time living in Highbridge as a kid.

Highbridge is an old railway and market town which has been absorbed into nearby Burnham-on-Sea.

And The Globe is a simple Victorian building surrounded by a new red-brick housing estate, on a road that doesn’t really go anywhere.

As we pulled up outside it was immediately clear that, if nothing else, this pub would be more lively than the previous one. The picnic tables on the pavement outside were crowded with people enjoying the spring sunshine, smoking, vaping, and laughing with each other.

Inside, it’s dominated by TVs and a pool table. The floor has bare boards and the walls and ceiling are decorated with:

  • football memorabilia, mostly Liverpool FC
  • joke signs
  • pictures of Elvis
  • electric guitars

Almost everyone was drinking lager but there was a single cask ale pump which Dad zeroed in on. He was disappointed not to find Butcombe Bitter but Cheddar Ales Gorge Best would do. The pints we were served were topped with an inch or so of beautiful froth.

We took a table a little distance from the bar and Dad turned to watch the football. Then he tasted the beer and turned back to me with a look of absolute delight on his face. He declared it a good pint. A little after that, he declared it a good pub, too.

Mum told me that they used to drink there 40 years ago, when I was small, if they could convince my grandparents to babysit. Highbridge has never had many pubs but there was just about a crawl, if they included hotel bars.

Some of the people in the pub also looked as if they’d been drinking there for 40 years, possibly continuously. I was pleased to hear the traditional local greeting “‘Ow be on?” delivered in earnest for the first time in years.

By my frame of reference, it felt like a Bridgwater pub: not ‘rough’, although I suspect some might read it that way, but straightforward, without pretence.

And yet it was also spotlessly clean, especially the gents toilet, which had a selection of aftershave and deodorant, along with proper soap, boiling hot water, and a functional hand dryer. (This should not feel like a pleasant surprise.)

The other killer feature? Pints of exceptionally good cask ale, in exceptionally good condition, were £3.50.

That’s probably why, after Mum had said we ought to be going, then went to the toilet, Dad leapt up and rushed to the bar to line up two more pints before she could get back, like a naughty kid. And watching him swagger up to the counter I thought, “There he is, he’s back.”

We’re going to take Jess sometime, and play euchre, though I doubt she’ll feel quite as at home as Mum and Dad, or as me. It’s the kind of pub I grew up in, and around, and doesn’t have a hint of London about it.

But then there are pubs Jess likes where I don’t feel completely at ease, which I believe she’s going to write about soon.

beer in fiction / tv opinion

Real ale as folk horror

It’s a standing joke amongst horror fans that you can make the case for almost anything to be part of the ‘folk horror’ sub-genre. But what about real ale?

This thought started with a conversation I was having on BlueSky about cultural cycles of reaction against technology in which I said:

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the Campaign for Real Ale, The Wicker Man and the English Morris dancing revival all landed at about the same time.

The Wicker Man, directed by Robin Hardy and released in 1973, is arguably the key text in understanding what folk horror means.

It stars Edward Woodward as a mainland policeman sent to a remote island to investigate the disappearance of a girl.

He finds that the people of Summerisle practice a form of paganism and, though they’re a weirdly friendly bunch, he soon discovers that sacrifice plays an important part in their religion.

Other important examples of folk horror include The Blood on Satan’s Claw, directed by Piers Haggard, released in 1971, and the 1973 novel Harvest Home by American writer Thomas Tryon.

For a fuller explanation of what folk horror is, or might be, check out this post from Rowan Lee and, indeed, her entire blog.

The main point is that many of the stories concern secretive cults which are unwelcoming to outsiders and cling to arcane practices and rituals. Which brings us to CAMRA.

Calm down! I’m kidding. Sort of.

If you’ve read Brew Britannia you’ll know that Jess and I made the case there for CAMRA as part of a post-post-war reaction against modernity. After 20 years of space age, atom age technology, including keg beer and concrete pubs, it felt like time to get back to basics – and to nature.

We highlighted connections with preservation movements, protest movements, and E. F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful.

In 1976 CAMRA founder Michael Hardman even wrote a book called Beer Naturally (we have a signed copy) which opens with this statement:

Beer at its best is a reflection of a golden field of barley, a reminder of the rich aroma of a hop garden. Scientists can argue endlessly about the merits of the man-made concoctions which go into much of today’s beer but the proof of the pint is in the drinking… the best of British beer is produced from the gifts that nature gave us and by methods which have been proudly handed down over the centuries. The story of beer is a story of nature and of craftsmanship; a story of farmers and brewers who join forces to create beer naturally.

Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle in an excellent tweed suit. Edward Woodward as Sergeant Howie is behind him. They are in a lush garden.

Now, try reading that in the voice of Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle, whose actual speech goes:

What attracted my grandfather to the island, apart from the profuse source of wiry labor that it promised, was the unique combination of volcanic soil and the warm gulf stream that surrounded it. You see, his experiments had led him to believe that it was possible to induce here the successful growth of certain new strains of fruit that he had developed. So, with typical mid-Victorian zeal, he set to work. The best way of accomplishing this, so it seemed to him, was to rouse the people from their apathy by giving them back their joyous old gods, and it is as a result of this worship that the barren island would burgeon and bring forth fruit in great abundance.

We’ve written before about the spooky potential of pubs, including The Green Man in The Wicker Man and, of course, The Slaughtered Lamb in An American Werewolf in London. That’s not generally considered folk horror but those scenes on the Yorkshire moors could definitely be framed that way.

Beer loosens inhibitions. Beer puts people in touch with their animal instincts. Beer is magic.

The crossover between folk + horror + beer is perhaps best captured in a traditional song recorded by Traffic in 1971 as ‘John Barleycorn Must Die’:

“There were three men came out of the West
Their fortunes for to try
And these three men made a solemn vow
John Barleycorn must die…”

Just to run over those dates again:

  • The Blood on Satan’s Claw, 1971
  • ‘John Barleycorn Must Die’, 1971
  • CAMRA is founded, 1972
  • The Wicker Man, 1973

Much as I was enjoying my thought experiment, I wanted a sense check, and immediately thought of Lisa Grimm.

She’s a beer blogger and podcaster who I also happen to know enjoys folk horror. She says:

The Venn diagram of real ale, CAMRA, folk horror and – depending on whom you ask, more or less tangentially – mainstream archaeology in the mid-to-late 1960s and 1970s is not quite a circle, but there is a huge amount of overlap.

While archaeologists have always liked their beer (I’m pretty sure I learned more about beer than prehistory in my two degrees) popular archaeology fed into the eventual folk horror media landscape starting in 1968, when Richard J. C. Atkinson’s work at Silbury Hill was broadcast on the BBC.

This makes its way into Doctor Who in 1971 in The Daemons, which ticks all the boxes: a traditional pub called The Cloven Hoof, predating The Green Man in The Wicker Man by several years; televised ‘archaeology’ summoning an ancient evil (albeit one from another planet, in this instance) from definitely-not-Silbury Hill; good witchcraft; a maypole; and even some dodgy Morris dancers thrown into the mix.

There’s no way the pub in this episode – or, indeed, The Green Man – wouldn’t pass muster with early-years CAMRA. These look like hardcore real-ale spots with aggressively local-rural clientele. The punters literally out of central casting also fit the stereotype – all beards and tankards, no kegged lagers here!

The other thing Lisa flagged is that modern breweries are leaning into this connection.

She highlighted Verdant’s collaboration with the people behind the Weird Walk zine and their Ritual Pale Ale.

This made me think about other ways folk horror, or pagan imagery, or horror imagery, has leaked into beer branding.

Hop Back sprang to mind immediately with its grimacing green man mascot, as did Exmoor Beast.

Oakham also has a sort of green man crossed with a hop – imagine meeting someone wearing that for a mask in a Kentish field at midnight before the harvest!

These days, folk horror has also leaked into the mainstream in some interesting ways.

Detectorists isn’t horror, it’s a gentle comedy, but its creator Mackenzie Crook clearly knows the tropes. And his Worzel Gummidge was practically The Wicker Man for kids. Both shows feature beer and pubs conspicuously as a benign symbol of Englishness, and of life on the land.

Then there’s Morris dancing, another revived folk tradition that surged in popularity in the 1970s. I recently watched Tim Plester’s interesting 2011 documentary Way of the Morris about the rebirth of Morris dancing in the Oxfordshire village where he grew up, and the role his father and uncles played in the process. It was distinctly beer-soaked and blokey but Plester’s gloss on the story also made it feel somewhat spooky – or, at least, mystical.

Another interesting artefact, from 2018, is this excellent video for the song ‘Apparition’ by Stealing Sheep:

Reframing beard-weirdy finger-in-ear folkiness as something deeper, darker, and more magical is a clever trick.

And it might work in real ale’s favour.

cider Somerset

Good food and cheap cider on the Somerset Levels

Rich’s is a farm, a factory, a visitor attraction, and a great value family restaurant that feels as if it’s been transplanted from Bavaria.

Rich’s has been part of my life for as long as I can remember.

My dad isn’t a committed cider drinker but, having grown up on the Levels, he sometimes gets the taste.

When I was young, he’d often turn up with a plastic jerry can of Rich’s medium to take to a barbecue or party.

Recently, he’s been a bit under the weather, and it was touch and go whether we’d be able to celebrate his birthday at all.

Then, last week, he decided he wanted to go to Rich’s for lunch.

It’s been a while since I was last there and what I remembered was a barn, piles of apples on the ground in the car park, and a kind of canteen in a Portakabin.

“OK, fine,” I said, with a baffled shrug.

As it happens, it underwent a refurb in 2020, and that canteen is now a substantial restaurant with (counts on fingers) seating for about 150 people.

When we entered, Jess immediately said, “This feels like a German beer hall.”

And she was right.

Not a historic one – the kind you find in a post-war block, or out in the sprawl, or in a neat little village.

It’s something to do with all the polished wooden surfaces, perhaps.

Or the pervasive smell of roast pork.

Or the people: there were plenty of sturdy looking country folk digging into heaped plates.

If it wasn’t Bavaria of which it reminded me, then it was one of those diners Guy Fieri visits on Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives. The type of place that “cranks out” hearty meals to the delight of contented regulars.

Good cider, as far as we can tell

We’re not cider experts. As with wine, we don’t really want to be, though we’ve dabbled. And I suppose, being from Somerset, I ought to try a little harder.

I’m vaguely aware that Rich’s isn’t considered to be in the top flight of scrumpy producers. Its reputation is for being accessible and commercial, without the challenging funk and dryness of some competitors.

What I do know is this: Dad was delighted with a pint of their Golden Harvest at 4.5%. It’s a bright, ever-so-slightly fizzy Thatcher’s competitor but with less sugar than the bigger brand and an extra dimension or two.

I found Vintage (7.2%) good for a half, with some toffee character and sherry notes.

Jess, who has the driest palate in the family, went for traditional dry scrumpy at 6%. It’s still clearly a farm product but with the mud scraped off its boots.

And get this: all of those were about £3.80 a pint, with even Vintage only creeping up to the round £4.

Boak & Bailey eat big dinners

Having got used to increasingly stingy portions in pubs in the past year or two, and based on the prices on the menu, we over ordered for the table. And, again, were transported to Bavaria.

A ploughman’s lunch (£14.95) was served on a hunk of wood the length of a cricket bat, with enough cheese for the whole table. A portion of lasagna (£12.50, I think) seemed to be… a whole lasagna. And the small carvery plate (£10.95) was, in fact, a large carvery plate.

Oh, yes: we wrote about carveries recently, observing their disappearance. At Rich’s, which is pleasingly behind the times, the carvery lives on, seven days a week.

When was the last time you got presented with the bill in a restaurant and felt compelled to check with the waiting staff that they hadn’t forgotten something?

An overwhelmingly filling lunch for six, with drinks and a couple of desserts, came to £120.

Now, we’re not restaurant reviewers, but the point is that this really brought home how diminished the offer has become in towns and cities.

Rich’s has some economic advantages, of course.

First, they own the land on which the sprawling restaurant sits. Planning permission was presumably the main challenge.

And, secondly, they produce the core product themselves, on site, with no middle men or delivery costs.

Thirdly, Rich’s received a grant from the European Fund for Agricultural Development, which contributed to development of the restaurant, farm shop and museum. Presumably nicking in under the Brexit wire.

What can publicans do to compete with that? Not much, really. Taprooms might get closer – but we won’t hold our breaths for a carvery at Lost & Grounded just yet.

And, yes, thanks for asking, Dad had a great time, even if he was a bit knackered after all the excitement and the challenge of a large-small carvery plate.

Rich’s Cider Farm is in Watchfield just outside Highbridge at TA9 4RD. The website has menus.

Blogging and writing

BOOK REVIEW: An uneasy journey into Clubland with Pete Brown

Pete Brown’s latest book is really three-in-one: a history of working men’s clubs, a portrait of clubs as they exist today, and an emotional memoir of a life spent struggling to navigate the English class system.

Like Pete, I’ve got a strong connection to working men’s clubs. Although my parents tended to prefer pubs – better beer, better atmosphere – they were also members of The Railwayman’s Club in Bridgwater, and of The Royal British Legion.

But my maternal grandparents, Lancastrians who moved to Somerset in the 1960s, were club people by nature. Grandpa had a strict three-pint limit and liked the fact that, at the club, it felt OK to nurse a half-pint of mild for an hour or two. Nan liked bingo.

The club I think of when I think of The Club is Highbridge Social Club where my grandparents drank for several years and which for a while my cousin actually managed.

A social club.
Conservative Club, Bath.

In Clubland Pete writes about the difficulty of knowing whether he really likes clubs or is appreciating them through a middle class filter. Is it nostalgia? Or, worse, ironic detachment?

Personally, I think it’s both of those things, but also completely sincere. I remember visiting the former railwayman’s club at Truro for the first time (it’s now just a pub, albeit one in a Portakabin) and feeling deeply, wonderfully at home.

Drinking a brown split, in lieu of mild, sitting on a bench under fluorescent light, I was eight-year-old me again, but also my own father and grandfather and uncles, but also a writer thinking: “There’s content in this.”

Pete Brown navigates this awkward space with the confidence you might expect from a man who has been writing about beer and pubs for 20-odd years and seems to win Beer Writer of the Year most years he’s eligible.

A particularly mean-spirited review of one of his previous books, by Jonathan Meades, of all people, dismissed Pete as a “professional northerner”. Still smarting from that, perhaps, Pete has nonetheless leaned into it: good point, Mr Meades – but what does that actually mean? Let’s not shy away but, rather, dig deeper into it.

How does a man from Barnsley – whose identity is built on being A Man From Barnsley – feel when he walks into working men’s clubs in Newcastle or Sheffield, knowing that he is also now a middle class writer from North London?

In the introduction to the book, he recalls how, as a student, he visited the hometown club with his father and, suddenly, didn’t fit in:

“I’m at college,” I said proudly (‘college’ being the catch-all term for any education after the age of sixteen. You just didn’t say the word ‘university’).

“What’s tha study?”

This was brilliant. A follow-up question! A real conversation with the lads. ‘Management Studies,’ I replied proudly.

An embarrassed silence fell immediately around the table. After a while, one of the other blokes, without lifting his eyes from his pint of John Smith’s, muttered, ‘Tha can’t study management.’

And that was the end of it.

Elsewhere, he runs himself in circles trying to work out if it feels right for him to join his local working men’s club in Stoke Newington. On the one hand, he’s helping it survive. On the other hand, he has a reflexive dislike of “middle class twats” appropriating working class culture.

Of course you might prefer your history with less personality, less emotion, and more footnotes.

The fact is that the facts are all here, in the service of a story about how the British working class has struggled against attempts to dictate how it ought to live, and enjoy itself.

Pete traces the origins of the club movement as an effort by well-to-do, well-meaning people who wanted to provide an alternative to the pub. At first, there was no beer, but the working man won that battle.

They then, after much wrangling, won control of the entire movement. In so doing, they wrestled free of the influence of brewers (real competition, cheap beer) and of moral arbiters – late opening, the development of a unique clubland culture behind members-only doors.

Tales of clubs in the north in the 1960s and 70s have a flavour of the novels of David Peace: an attempt to transplant the glamour of Las Vegas to a landscape of moorland and mines. Did you know Roy Orbison met his second wife while performing at a club in Batley?

A recurring point is that people underestimate the importance of clubs, overlooking their role in the history of everything from music halls to improved pubs, and the extent of their reach.

In 1974, he tells us, there four million people were members of Club & Institute Union (CIU) affiliated clubs.

Interior of the Buffs club, Penzance.
The Buffs Club, Penzance.

In the past we’ve referred to clubs as “shadow pubs”, invisible in many towns and neighbourhoods. Perhaps, as Pete suggests, they’ve flown below the radar in terms of cultural commentary too.

Pete’s accounts of visits to clubs still in operation today are distorted by the strange effects of the pandemic. Soldiering on, though, he talks to treasurers, committee members, bar staff and drinkers, making keen observations on the way.

For example, he is repeatedly told that the secret to the success of clubs is cheap beer. But it’s cheaper again from the supermarket so there must be something else that draws people in. It’s company, he suggests, and live music. (And the relatively cheaper beer doesn’t hurt.)

At the same time, Pete keeps checking himself for rose-tinted-glasses. He reflects on the sexism that blighted men-only working men’s clubs for decades, even as he seeks to understand it as a response to the accumulated trauma of successive world wars. Sheila Capstick, who campaigned to abolish the practice of second-class club membership for women, gets some well-deserved attention in a dedicated chapter.

Pete also forces himself to look long and hard at Bernard Manning who, for many people, epitomises the clubland comedian.

Throughout, the writing is frank, witty and warm. I particularly enjoyed the casual use of northernisms throughout the text – another “fuck you” to Jonathan Meades, but also mimicking the way your accent returns when you spend time with the folks, back home. “As the nature of being working-class shifts, and t’world continues to open up…” he writes at one point. Is it an affectation, or could he just not help himself? Either way, it’s a welcome touch of seasoning to the prose.

He concludes with some advice for clubs which are struggling to survive, including the very basic step of making it easier to join. After more than a century of exclusivity, some have simply not adapted to a world in which they need to attract members, rather than find excuses to turn them away.

Our nearest club is St Anne’s Board Mill Social Club, originally serving workers at a long-demolished cardboard factory. Maybe we’ll join, if they’ll have us.

Clubland: how the working men’s club shaped Britain is published by Harper North, RRP £20, but we got our copy for £15. There’s also an eBook and an audiobook read by Pete Brown himself.


From pub to pub in the company of friends

Last Saturday I walked from Cheltenham to Broadway with a couple of old friends, stopping at a few contrasting pubs on the way.

This trip, planned months ago, happened to be just what I needed after my wobble the other week.

Traveling from Bristol, Stockport and London respectively, we met at the Sandford Park Ale House in Cheltenham on Friday night.

We compared walking boots, rucksacks and water bottles of varying degrees of fanciness.

They, both being dads, swapped advice on the management of children.

And we asked all the obvious, important questions.

“Have you heard from…?”

“Did you hear about…?”

“How’s your mum?”

“How’s work?”

It’s a good pub, the Ale House. Remarkably so. Smart without being snooty, busy but bearable.

The beer is good, too. There are lots, and well chosen, covering all the bases. But once I’d spotted Oakham Citra, fresh as spring water, I didn’t want to drink anything else.

On the way back to the hotel, we were tempted to have one more and chose a pub purely because it was advertising Butcombe, of which one of my companions is a particular fan.

A DJ was blasting out what sounded like The Best Ragga Album in the World… Ever while a single manic dancer threw himself around in the empty centre of the pub, enveloped in the stink of weed.

We should have turned round and walked out but the pub was almost empty and we dithered until we felt committed.

We sipped our flat, gravy-like bitter, groaning occasionally.

“Shall we ditch it?”

We ditched it.

The next morning I was, somehow, hungover. Not badly – just slight seasickness. It seemed unfair on three and a half pints of standard strength cask ale.

“Ugh,” said one of my pals, grappling with a slice of Premier Inn bacon. “I blame that dodgy Butcombe.”

By 9am we were on the way out of town and towards Cleeve Hill.

“Looming over Cheltenham like Mount Fuji,” someone observed.

As we schlepped, the conversation got sillier and more relaxed – not quite like when we were 21 but at least more interesting than house prices and kitchen fittings.

Several hours later, as we trudged in the midday sun along a dusty path, a bike pulled alongside.

“Where you walking to, lads?”


“Do you want to know a nice pub to stop at for lunch?”

Following the stranger’s advice, we later calculated, had added about three miles to a walk that was already, perhaps, a bit too ambitious.

The sign for The Craven Arms

The Craven Arms is a country pub in Brockhampton, one of those perfectly composed Cotswold villages where nobody actually seems to live.

“This is the kind of place Mike Oldfield has a mansion.”

“Or Mike Batt.”

The Craven Arms had better Butcombe along with North Cotswold Brewery Jumping Jack, a 3.9% summer ale.

Is it possible to give objective tasting notes after a walk?

I was hot and thirsty.

Jumping Jack was cool and wet.

I enjoyed it, insofar as I had a chance to notice it in the moment between picking up a full glass and putting down an empty one.

The beer garden was tidy and full of dogs barking at each other. Waitresses rushed around carrying food balanced on boards and slates. About half the drinkers, in designer wellies, were drinking wine.

“Shall we get going?”

We got going.

Broadway seemed to be getting further away and our conversation dwindled.

“My boots are definitely beginning to rub.”

“Which route gets us there quickest?”

“Shall we stop for another pint on the way into town?”

Snowshill had a pub, our map told us, and it would only be another hour’s walk from there, all downhill.

So we took another detour and descended through a valley full of wild garlic flowers into an even more idyllic village: red phone box, tiny church, neatly barbered village green and, yes, a lovely looking pub.

The Snowshill Arms in yellow Cotswold stone.

“What time is it?”


“It doesn’t open until six.”

We peered through the window.

“It looks so nice.”

Then we sat on the grass and looked at the pub for a few minutes. Perhaps if we looked sad and tired enough, the publican would take pity and open early.

“If we don’t move soon, I don’t think I’ll be able to move at all.”

We moved.

Hobbling into Broadway, tired but triumphant, we scoped out the pubs on the way. Most looked more like restaurants but The Crown & Trumpet caught our eye.

“Lots of normal people drinking there.”

An hour later, now seriously seizing up and with tender feet, we shuffled back to it like three elderly men. The five-minute walk took more like fifteen.

It was worth it, though.

The 1980s idea of the Victorian pub is a happy place for me.

It had red carpets, dark wood, brewery memorabilia all over the walls and, of course, horse brasses.

A photo of a moustachioed man smoking a big cigar. (Jimmy Edwards, I think.)

At the bar, instead of the dour indifference we’d received at The Craven Arms, we were immediately engaged in a conversation about beer.

“The North Cotswold is our bestseller at the moment. Cheltenham Gold’s off at the moment but that’ll be back on in a bit.”

While my mates ate their prawn cocktails I drank the best pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord I’d had in years.

Wait – was this the walk talking? No, I don’t think so. It was bitter, flowery, clean and clear. Blossom and fresh bread.

As night came on, our conversation became less coherent and less animated until we were all but drowsing into our pints.

“One more pint? Or a glass of whisky?”

We couldn’t. We didn’t.

The next morning, barely able to move, we gathered around the breakfast table.

“That Cheltenham Gold was so good,” said one of my pals, “that I was thinking about going back for opening time to get one more in before we leave.”

But there was no time. We had a steam train to catch.