Normandy 2014 – Day#01 Friday 30th May

Pubs and brewpubs – that’s a different start for us… not!

Roebuck pubWe started off and first went to Banbury where we had lunch in a Hook Norton pub – The Roebuck. Hook Norton being a brewery that neither Glyn nor I had had beers from for a long time.
We then continued to Aylesbury which we had visited the previous year but at that point the pub that we arrived at had not started brewing; they were just a few weeks off however. Now, however, they had, so Hope Pole Aylesbury (1)Glyn and I enjoyed a pint of one of their beers, unfortunately time (and the fact that we were supposed to be on a historical research trip rather than just a tour of brewpubs (‘though that’s research in its own way!) and the fact that I was driving!!) meant that we had to leave after one drink. We then continued on to St Albans, booked in to the hotel and then walked the half mile to the Farmers Boy pub (the brewpub of the Verulam brewery – apologies to those wanting Military History stuff… we’re still on the “beer thing”… but don’t worry, history soon intervenes!) where after a while we were joined by Stuart Hadaway. Regular readers of this blog will be aware that, when he was a Curator at the RAF Museum in Hendon, he was very helpful in my research into Flt Lt John Harder. He now works for the RAF Air Historical branch, but our shared interest has continued & developed into a friendship.

Rock ‘n’ roll rears it’s head

Unfortunately for talking, a band began to setup including the most enormous Drum kit (one that a friend of ours that plays in a number of excellent bands – Darkside (Pink Floyd tribute) & Off The Rails to name but two, would have drooled over). Unfortunately, in a small pub they were somewhat LOUD and whilst normally, Glyn and I would have just sat back & enjoyed their playing (as they played “our” sort of music), it made conversation very difficult and so, reluctantly, we chose to move on to the White Hart Tap pub where we had met Stuart the year before.

War memorials, pyramids and fleshpots – an interesting mish-mash!

In this pub in the rear beer garden is one of the few remaining part of the original Roman city walls of St Albans, unfortunately there was a private event on and so we were unable to see them (cue return visit!). Stuart also pointed out that many of the streets in St Albans had their own war memorials from the first world war of people who had been killed in action who had lived in that street.

Whilst in the pub we also discussed Stuart’s new forthcoming book (Pyramids and Fleshpots) about the First World War fighting that took part in Palestine that he had just finished writing (here’s a link to his Facebook page which also will include details of the second and third books in the series)

On our way back to the hotel as we had not eaten we decided to have that staple of drinking nights for people in the UK: a kebab, which I have to say was very good.

Today’s photo albums

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