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, and the Hop Pole, which we had visited the previous year. At that point the pub that we arrived at had not started brewing. Frustratingly they were just a few weeks off starting to do so. We were pleased to find they were still brewing, so Hope Pole Aylesbury (1)Glyn and I enjoyed a pint of one of their beers. Unfortunately a combination of : time; 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 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!. Stuart Hadaway joined us there shorty afterwards. 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

A band began to setup their equipment, including the most enormous Drum kit. We have a friend who plays in a number of excellent bands – Darkside (Pink Floyd tribute) & Off The Rails to name but two, he would have drooled over that kit. Unfortunately, in a small pub they were somewhat LOUD. Normally, Glyn and I would have just sat back & enjoyed their playing (as they played “our” sort of music). However, it made conversation very difficult. 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. They were for people who had lived in that street and been killed in the First World War.

Whilst in the pub we also discussed Stuart’s forthcoming book (Pyramids and Fleshpots). It is about about the First World War fighting that took part in Palestine and he had just finished writing it. 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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