It’s already fading away into the past, although it was only a couple of weeks ago.

The van coped really well with the distance, and the travelling between towns. Only a couple of things broke.

Our first stop, at Banham, involved a most pleasant afternoon with old friends (from the northeast).

Our stay in Banham was something of an accident; we’d not realised that we’d stayed at the same place a decade or so earlier. After a couple of days, we moved on.

I’d never been to Great Yarmouth before; I found, as I’d been advised, that it resembles Blackpool.

Gorleston was much nicer, although the dog enjoyed the beach at both places. We did manage to find some pretty cool bars, particularly the Tombstone brewery and Thirsty Crow.

On the return trip, there was the compulsory stay in Peterborough.


I’d never been to Bakewell before, or (until a couple of years ago) know about the Peakender beer festival. I really wanted to go last year, but knew it wouldn’t be wise to leave the bar for four days in our first year (I’d already done that for Glastonbury).

So, this year, we made the decision to go as a team and close the bar. We didn’t regret it for a second.

The festival was more than a beer thing, there was music and a lovely vibe about the place. It was dog friendly and we even found a nearby stream for the hound.

The Thornbridge brewery tap room was a must at the close of the festival, as was some time in the town itself.

And we were so pleased that the van only smoked a little bit and just one bit fell off.

Another two

So, last week, it was Fat Freddy’s Drop. In Durham.

And, the week before, Belle & Sebastian. Wonderful.


I’ve been a CAMRA member for a few years now, since before I became involved in bars, but I’d never taken part in activities or excursions.

Working in the current bar has changed that; a lot of guys who’re members come into the bar and we know a lot of them by name.

When an email popped up, mentioning a trip to Whitby, we agreed a team Microbus outing. This happened on Saturday and we all had a great day. The trip was so well organised, but, after a visit to Whitby Brewery, there wasn’t an agenda. The opposite was the case, since some of the bars couldn’t accommodate everyone at the same time.

This was the first time all of us have have had a day out together since opening the bar – we’re all rarely in the same place at the same time.

We realised that we can do more to promote future events. We’ve some ideas. We’ll certainly take part in another.


A little late, but we made a return (after a couple of years) visit to the Mighty Dubfest, in Alnwick.

We called off at Alnwick Brewery on the way, we had one of their empties in the bar. Their place is pretty cool, with a great tap room and beer garden. Lovely people too.

We knew what to expect with the festival; local bands and a limited choice of beer. But the weather was great and we bumped into a few people we knew, mostly through the bar (we don’t know many campervan people).

The hound seemed to have a good time too.

And another

Another week, another gig. I’ve not been to many in recent times; Covid, then the bar, got in the way. In the last year, I’ve even felt the need to miss a couple of gigs because I was too busy.

Now that the bar’s stable, and I’m working less hours, there’s more time to fit things in.

The other day, I saw the Beat at the Boilershop. Of course, there are two versions of the band. I did see the Ranking Roger-led version a decade or so ago. They were pretty good, but lacked the original lead vocal sound.

This time, Dave Wakeling led this version of the band. While he was the only original band member this time around, and his Birmingham accent is no more, the band worked really well.

One of my favourite bands of the early 80s, I never actually got to see them at the time. And their time together was relatively short.

A good night though, with Bow Wow Wow, another 80s band that disappeared a long time ago.

Three weeks

So, I’ve been to three gigs in three weeks; something I’ve not done in a long time. Only because I don’t get a lot of time away from the bar right now.

Anyway, all three were great. There’s nothing more to say really.

CMAT, the Rescue Rooms, Nottingham.

Kip Moore, the Sage, Gateshead.

Interpol, O2 Academy, Edinburgh.

A wire fell off

So, a few days ago, we set off for Nottingham in the van.

Needless to say, it broke down. Maybe that’s a little harsh. It wasn’t exactly a breakdown. We stopped at Wetherby services for coffee.

And then the van wouldn’t start.

After 20 minutes, a twelve year old RAC guy turned up. And fixed it in five minutes. A wire had fallen off. We both made the obvious judgement that someone so young wouldn’t have a clue.

And we were so wrong.

And we made it to Nottingham and back.

While we were there, we visited (among a couple of other places) the Partizan Tavern; a lovely micropub. We’ll, they’d been to our bar a few months ago. If you ever find yourself in Nottingham, it’s worth a visit.

And Neon Raptor’s just around the corner.

Weirdly, a cool T3/25 (depending on which bit of the world you’re from) drove pass when we were there.

Oh yes, CMAT was brilliant.