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Cast in Sway

 

Here is an interesting map for you. The New Forest on the west (left) side, Portsmouth and Southampton conurbations, centre and right, and bottom right a small diamond shaped island, which, remains largely undiscovered by pub bloggers.  Though there was a brief expedition by the Famous Five (Four Old Farts and a Friend) in October 2018 (https://ghpub.blogspot.com/2018/10/five-find-lost-island-pt-1-ferry-to.html )  this failed to make much progress beyond the landing point.  On a positive note however Retired Martin has discovered a new island in Sheffield...
  

Today's expedition however, in pre-Lockdown2 August 2020, was along the blue line on the map from Hythe to the village of Sway in the New Forest.  Long before 'Concrete Bob' McAlpine got to grips with the stuff, and built the Glenfinnan Viaduct for the Harry Potter movies, Sway found its claim to fame with mass concrete.  The Sway Tower (photo above from Wiki) was built as a folly soon after the material was invented.  There's a fascinating little account of it here...  http://engineering-timelines.com/scripts/engineeringItem.asp?id=125

There are apparently a number of early mass concrete buildings in the Sway area, and one of the least mentioned is the mass concrete former piggery, now the premises of New Forest Koi, where we popped in for a bit of ornamental fish retail therapy (well at least we bought some fish food). (Image Google Maps)

Naturally, as a retired Civil Engineer, I’d be happy to talk concrete all day, but you wouldn't appreciate it.  However Sway also has a couple of pubs - so we couldn't pass by without stopping for a quick drink at the Hare and Hounds, a family owned hostelry.  As the photo shows it's quite a big sprawling pub, but nevertheless as non-bookers we were informed on this lunchtime that there was no socially distanced room inside the Inn - but plenty of room in the rear garden.

So - fully sanitised, we found a table in the garden and very efficient staff armed with smart pad computer thingies, quickly took our drinks order, while we relaxed and watched the pub garden world go by...

In classic Hampshire dining pub tradition there was nothing much going on, just peace and quiet, with one or two families dining outside...

...the distant sound of children in the play area, and a firmly grounded Granny fretting at Freddy frolicking fearlessly, far up on the climbing frame ...

...and tree stump art...

....and the gravity served cask house beverage specially for dogs.

The waitress brought the drinks to the table and the Badger Best bitter was perfect for a sunny summer afternoon,  (GHBSS 3). 

As the lacings slid slowly down the glass it was almost paradise.... in fact the only thing that even slightly dented the calm perfection that is Hampshire dining pubbing, was when a little boy dashed back from the play area to his parents table, to announce loudly and urgently, with appropriate trouser holding gesture, that he needed a wee...

But will it be the same post Lockdown2?...  

Soon, I may have to come out from behind the sofa and have a look....๐Ÿ˜

Comments

  1. "Cast in Sway"

    Oh I say! :)

    "Portsmouth and Southampton conurbations"

    Heavens! Such a big word. :)

    "remains largely undiscovered by pub bloggers."

    (small golf clap)

    "On a positive note however Retired Martin has discovered a new island in Sheffield..."

    For a second there I thought you meant the photo below... and it was a new 'vertical' island. But then I realised it was Ye Olde Kelham, so...

    (slow golf clap) :)

    "The Sway Tower (photo above from Wiki) was built as a folly soon after the material was invented. There's a fascinating little account of it here... http://engineering-timelines.com/scripts/engineeringItem.asp?id=125"

    Bloody hell! Folly indeed.

    Also, since I haven't seen my darling wife in 5 weeks now (!), I will shamelessly use one of my standard jokes. Ahem;

    You do realise for the Sway Tower that I had to lie on my back for five days in order for them to get it right.
    (think about it) :)

    "(well at least we bought some fish food)"

    The best kind of fish therapy!

    "Naturally, as a retired Civil Engineer, I’d be happy to talk concrete all day, but you wouldn't appreciate it."

    You never know; especially if it was over a pint. ;)

    "but nevertheless as non-bookers we were informed on this lunchtime that there was no socially distanced room inside the Inn - but plenty of room in the rear garden."

    Shades of the current conundrum. :)

    "while we relaxed and watched the pub garden world go by..."

    If the weather was good that's probably better than being inside.

    "In classic Hampshire dining pub tradition there was nothing much going on, just peace and quiet, with one or two families dining outside..."

    Truth be told, that's not a BAD thing. :)

    "and a firmly grounded Granny fretting at Freddy frolicking fearlessly, far up on the climbing frame ..."

    (slow alliterative golf clap) :)

    "....and the gravity served cask house beverage specially for dogs."

    Gravity served indeed!

    "and the Badger Best bitter was perfect for a sunny summer afternoon, (GHBSS 3)."

    Even though I am sipping a beer, that makes my mouth water.
    (and I see your scoring system is a tad harsher than Martin's) :)

    "As the lacings slid slowly down the glass it was almost paradise..."

    Perfection is best never achieved. Otherwise, what is there to aim for? ;)

    "with appropriate trouser holding gesture, that he needed a wee..."

    I had to do that whilst lying down to get the Sway Tower just so. Hence the extra bit on the left in the photo. :)

    "Soon, I may have to come out from behind the sofa and have a look....๐Ÿ˜"'

    Rumour has it next Monday will be a prime time to do that!*

    * -- Sadly, I won't be commenting come that day alas. My darling wife and I have agreed to work 'oop north' for the summer at the mining exploration camp we used to work in 10 years ago, starting on the 17th. It's long days with not much down time to relax (good money though!). I'll be home at most one week a month until late September so I won't be commenting all that much. (sigh)

    Cheers!

    PS - I found the link to your backyard pub!

    https://realaleadventures.blogspot.com/2014/12/its-pub-jim-but-not-as-we-know-it.html

    Quite cosy and your garden is gorgeous! Methinks my darling wife may decide to do something similar with our backyard this winter (with regards to getting rid of the grass). :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheer Russ and ‘as that day has come’ I guess you’ll be up in the Canadian north’s mining town. I wish you all the best with your business for the summer๐Ÿ™‚

      Try to get some relaxation in.

      I get the Sway Tower joke๐Ÿ˜Š(blushes).

      I have to score more harshly than RM to avoid giving Doombeer a good score ๐Ÿ˜

      Glad you found the pub shed posts and thanks very much for your kind comments about the garden (means a lot to a garden hermit!)

      Delete
  2. A new one on me Hermit...never heard of Sway but a remarkably decent looking boozer with splendid beer on offer...I am looking forward to Monday although work commitments (unlike you retired bods!) mean I'll probably have to wait until Thursday for my indoor debut!!!!
    Nice blog and great piccys

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank very much for your comment. A few more days to wait then BB. but I look forward to your first inside pub post.

      You’ll beat me to it though as have come down with a nasty infection this week (bacterial not viral๐Ÿ™„) so laid low just now and taking antibiotics.

      Cheers

      Delete
    2. Get well soon mate - you'll be back on the amber nectar before you know it

      Delete

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