Tag Archives: pubs

Nailing It

As well as being the title of the novel, The Angel is also the name of the pub at the centre of the narrative. It’s a fictional village local somewhere in the Chilterns and, is a little like George Orwell’s … Continue reading

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The Sad Demolition of the King’s Head, Old Vine and Windmill

The Angel  is partly set in an outwardly idyllic English country pub — thatched roof, low beams, flagstoned floors and looking out through its mullioned windows on to the village green with its cricket pitch and duck pond. It’s a … Continue reading

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A Flying View of London

This weekend I visited the latest fascinating addition to London’s skyline, a construction that would probably have attracted a lot more attention had it not opened immediately before the Olympics — an event it was partly conceived to serve. Its … Continue reading

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Thatch

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Red Lion in Avebury — it’s the most typically English thing imaginable — a half-timbered, thatched pub situated right in the middle of one of the most significant ancient sites in the … Continue reading

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A Dickens of a Pub Crawl

As anyone who’d watched TV or picked up a newspaper since Christmas will know, 2012 is the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of arguably Britain’s greatest novelist. If you’re a person with more modern tastes in literature you may believe … Continue reading

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Wenlock Saved

I have a short update to the story of the Wenlock Arms in Hoxton, mentioned below, which is relevant to the fate of many pubs across the country. The Wenlock is a spit-and-sawdust, East-end style local (which looks from the … Continue reading

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When I Grow Rich…

…ring the bells of Shoreditch in Oranges and Lemons, Shoreditch being where mos of the start of my novel is set, although I very much doubt the bells of St. Leonard’s are going to help me get rich by writing … Continue reading

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On Your Bike Boris

A couple of weekends ago I decided, purely in the name of research for the novel, to research the area where Kim lives — what has been to me for many years the infamous borough of Hackney. I organised a … Continue reading

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The Zeitgeist of the Segnits

I wandered into Waterstone’s in Staines (of past Ali G fame) a couple of weeks ago and was magnetically drawn to a book called Pub Walks in Underhill Country by Nat Segnit, which had the good fortune for a debut novel, … Continue reading

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The Oak and the Book Club

I went to three pubs in Aston Clinton tonight (a village about 4 miles south-east of Aylesbury).  The last one we went to, The Oak, is probably about as similar to The Angel as any pub could be. It was … Continue reading

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The Gravediggers

A close friend of mine, Charlie Mackle, has come up with a series of short pieces (almost flash fiction in some cases) about a fictional pub that sounds like the dark twin of ‘The Angel’ — it’s ‘The Gravediggers Arms’. … Continue reading

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Elegy for the Pub?

The Economist’s Christmas-New Year double issue had a fantastic article on the current challenges facing British pubs — both economic (recession and the rise in energy costs), legislative (smoking ban, ratcheting up alcohol duty and being paranoid about upsetting the … Continue reading

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Tattoo Culture

I mentioned in a previous post that the Belle Vue pub in High Wycombe has recently opened an art gallery. The second exhibition starts on Tuesday next week, 23rd November and runs until 28th December — open 12-11pm, free entry. … Continue reading

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Belle Viewing

In another example of truth following what I’ve written as fiction, I’ve discovered via our excellent local Campaign for Real Ale magazine, Swan Supping, that an art gallery has opened in a pub in the local area. It’s not a … Continue reading

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The England of ‘Long Shadows on Cricket Grounds, Warm Beer and…’

…I’m sure John Major in his rather risible but memorable speech would have included Morris dancing in his wistful list of unchanging Englishness. That speech is a particular bug bear as beer should NEVER be warm — the belief that … Continue reading

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The Naked Office

I was doing some ‘research’ today which involved sneaking in the back door of my local pub when it was officially closed up for the afternoon — the landlord had previously told me he’d be staying open all afternoon and … Continue reading

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Some Pleasant Research

I went up to the Eight Bells in Long Crendon today — the local Campaign for Real Ale’s pub of the year. (I wrote its entry for the forthcoming 2011 Good Beer Guide.) It’s interior is very much like the … Continue reading

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Penthouse and Pavement

We ran on past our finishing time last night in our workshop — so late that the university building was locked up before Guy and I had our tutorials with Alison. These then took place on an amenable table outside … Continue reading

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‘Mad’ Frankie Fraser, Jack ‘The Hat’ McVitie and the Bulgarian Carrot

For various reasons I’ve been incredibly pushed for time over the last week — principally related to a suspected outbreak of an unpleasant type of virus in the household. While it didn’t affect me directly, it had quite a knock … Continue reading

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Transvestite Roofer From Banbury

Truth can be much stranger than fiction and I heard a superb example tonight. I’d driven up to a pub in a village called Stewkley, which is almost in Milton Keynes (though people there would not like to be associated … Continue reading

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