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Give It Some Welly...

...which is hardly what I've been doing these last few weeks as far as my pub blogging is concerned...

...but never mind, all good things come to those who wait (well here's another blog post anyway....)

This intriguing Greene King poster caught my eye, though I have to admit it might not have been during this latest pub visit (it could have been the last pub visited? See 'factory reset' issue below).  I tried to find out a little bit more about the Black Baron and Greene King's website suggested that I click on their Seasonal Ale Calendar to find out more.  When I did I got a white page with a bit of computer programming text that said 'Access Denied' - so I'm none the wiser...


This visit was to the Wellington Arms, 56 Park Road, Southampton.  Whatpub says that it's a Star (Heineken) owned pub and dates from the 1860s.  Though it's earlier name of The Swan has changed, the pub certainly retains its traditional residential street corner location…
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All In All It’s Just A...

Sitting in the hermitage, with shafts of early morning sunlight shining through the trees..

...and illuminating the steam gently rising from the compost bin, I suddenly realised that I hadn’t done a GHGTTP2 blog post for a while...

So back to Southampton town centre for a quick one at a pub near the revamped cultural and educational quarter by the civic centre.

The Scholars Arms is housed in what appears to be an old department store style building...

...and is owned by the country’s leading pub retailer and brewer (their words, not mine), Greene King.  Unfortunately they’re not leading the TripAdvisor rankings with this pub, but I suppose being ranked 249, out of 985 pubs in Southampton could be a lot worse.
Inside the pub is a large single space with a raised area on the left and large bar on the right.  It is a generic eating pub, like Brewers Fare, and all the rest (too numerous to mention)...

At the bar, as you might expect, there’s a fine selection of beers from the country’s le…

History - But Not As We Know It Tim...

A misappropriation of a famous Dr Spock line from Star Trek - perhaps...


...but as I visit another of Southampton’s Spoons emporiums, I realise that Weatherspoons must have an ace researcher (or research department) possibly spending many hours on the internet and in local libraries etc, to come up with relevant history for their premises.

I guess this is a lot easier for some premises which are part of history themselves, but others, like The Giddy Bridge, in London Road, Southampton, have to make do with more tenuous historical links.


The name of the pub, according to Weatherspoons website, is based on the fact that the it stands on the site of a 17th century field which was known as the ‘Giddy Bridge’.  The origin of the name seems to be unknown, but undaunted by this Weatherspoons historical researcher has provided a range of random or tenuously linked bits of local history, such as...

...the Rabbit Woman scandal - about a woman alleged to have given birth to 15 rabbits...

...the …

‘Crammed' (verb) - Full to Overflowing...

From the title you’ll no doubt be expecting a story of a pub at the peak of it’s popularity, full of adoring customers enjoying a range of top quality real ales...


...well no - that’s not quite it....

This is a story of  a 'Herne Disciple’ the owner of a micro-pub, who is overflowing with determined optimism, despite the difficulties he has experienced, to own a successful micro pub.

It’s easy to forget when new micropubs are opening every week (if not every day) that there are also a proportion that are closing after relatively short existences.

Matt Lucker previously owned the Tram Stop Bar & Kitchen micro-pub in Portswood which closed in 2018.  I’d been in there once during a local CAMRA micro-pub tour, and it was a generously sized micro on a corner plot in Portswood's main shopping street.  It comprised a bar area and a lounge area with sofa seating etc where light lunch type meals were served.  The bar had a good range of real ales.  A really nice place and it’s a s…

The Cricketers Arms

The Cricketers Arms sits in the quiet backwater which is Carlton Place in Southampton and rubs shoulders with adjoining regency style properties.  The adjacent Carlton Crescent conservation area is known for its fine rows of Regency houses - once the private residences of businessmen, army and navy officers, but converted to offices for solicitors and the like during the 20th century, and now all Grade II listed.


Records indicate that The Cricketers Arms was around as a public house/beer house as far back as 1861.  I couldn’t find out if has always had the same name - but I couldn’t spot any others on a brief search of the internet.  Perhaps the name comes from the fact that it was not far away from the Hampshire County Cricket ground which was in nearby Northlands Road from 1885 until the new Rose Bowl ground took over in 2001 (the Rose Bowl is now the Ageas Bowl thanks to the wonders of modern sponsorship).

The sound of leather on willow, appeals for lbw or the cheers from the crowd…

The Guide Dog

Finally I made it to the pub with more CAMRA Pub of the Year awards than you can shake a stick at...and achieved another tick in my 2018 Good Beer Guide...


Yes of course I’ve worked out that if I buy a Good Beer Guide very year, the pubs in it change, and that would mean that you would have to race round the UK every year to keep up with ticking all the new pubs in the Guide.

What would be the point of that....when I can take my time ticking the ones in the 2018 copy....(if I’m not too busy visiting Hampshire dining pubs)?

Anyway - I digress....

It was a nice walk from Weatherspoons Standing Order to the Guide Dog, fortified with curry, Peerless Oatmeal Stout and Wychwood Dirty Tackle...

...past the rather grand Star Hotel...



...which according to the stone plaque, once did a competitive stage coach service to London...


...latterly superseded by National Express coaches which probably don’t stop at Alton and Alresford on their way up the M3.  Of course what the history books don’t te…