Thursday, 13 March 2008

Ruddles County


Please forgive me if you know the story of why this pub is called The Jackson Stops and has a white horse on the sign, but it's always worth re-telling. The inn is in the village of Stretton, just off the A1 in that part of Rutland that is more like Lincolnshire in character. In the late seventies we pitched up here very regularly, usually to drink Bass in the little brick-floored snug with its wooden bench with a hole in it that you threw pennies into. I can't remember the name of the game, but I was no good at it. These were riotous evenings, better not to go into too closely. But I did play darts with Roger Chapman out of Family one night. Oh yes, the name. Well, this pub was once called The White Horse, the emblem being painted on the big iron roundel that once denoted ownership by Ruddles. And then it was put up for sale, and yes, the agent was Jackson Stops. They put their big sign in the hedge, but took so long to sell it the locals started calling the pub after them. Much may have changed here, but the humour lives on. The pub was also at one time used as the local polling station. Vote For Eccentricity.

26 comments:

Peter said...

The coin-tossing game is Nurdling

Peter Ashley said...

That's it. Nurdling. The champion in our time was Merv whose scores were chalked up on the wall.

Tommy 3 jags said...

Is the Pub still the same inside?

Peter Ashley said...

I haven't been in for some time, perhaps in trepidation of it being a ghastly gastro, or similarly wrecked. But I don't think it will be. Worth a punt I would think.

Tommy 3 jags said...

I've leaving now

Justin Savage said...

See you there.

Peter, when you played darts with Roger Chapman, were you in that dress, and did it make the nation burlesque?

Great story. With current property market propaganda raging we shouldn't have to wait too long for 'Ye Propertysupermarket Arms'.

Toby Savage said...

Roger Chapman is still going. Not to the pub. Well. Not that one anyway, I don't think. He played the Y Theatre in Leicester two years ago. Same voice. I missed it, but did see Family in Bournmouth when I was student in the 17th Century. Cue Justin and reminisance of 'My Friend the Sun' and purple VW Beetles.

Justin Savage said...

More Dunlop Sps, eight track player, woolly jumpers for goalposts, terrifying tow home from Salisbury to Leicestershire on a shorter and shorter rope. That one?

Peter Ashley said...

Lovely, thankyou. Hope Diplo gets involved with towing stories.

Jon Dudley said...

Dunno about Nurdling being the tossing game, I always thought Nurdling was one of those invented rustic pastimes like 'Dratting' which featured on a BBC comedy show years ago only to be taken up by Rotary Clubbers or Round Tablers at their fetes. However, as in so many things I may be wrong. The tossing game, involving pitching brass or (with more difficulty) lighter stainless steel discs at a hole in a lead-covered table is known as 'Toad in the hole' around these parts. The world champioships are held almost yealy at Lewes town hall attracting teams from as far afield as Uckfield.

Diplomat said...

For Peter's benefit - towing story No1: Disabled Ford Granada being towed by Ford Transit from Daventry to Peterborough. My mate was driving the transit with his old Dad in the Granada. At Oundle Dad grumbled and insisted on swapping places. Off they go and within minutes it is apparent that Dad has forgoten his tow and son. Driving through Elton at break-neck speed he decides to stop for a swift one at The Black Horse, pub on left, car park on right, stops dead in the middle of the road without any warning leaving nowhere for the Granada to go but through the front door of the pub. Expensive pint I think.

Peter Ashley said...

I have just laughed so much at that I have had a coughing fit lasting a full five minutes. And spilt my first morning coffee out of its Penguin Book mug (Wuthering Heights) all over my trousers.

Mr.Dudley: Do you still burn Popes in Lewes. Can you get us an in?

Philip Wilkinson said...

I went to the annual bonfire and pope-burning at Edenbridge once. Barrels of gunpowder and a Catherine wheel the size of a house. Terrifying.

Diplomat said...

More fireworks!

Peter Ashley said...

Oh no you've got Diplo going now. I can't even start to tell you what a deadly and wholly unpredictable combination this man and fireworks is.

Tommy 3 jags said...

Lewes Bonfire night is a must do. 5 bonfire societies, the closest thing to anarchy as the parades walk the streets and then of course Harvey's and Bill's

Peter Ashley said...

Blimey it doesn't get much better than that does it, the primeval urges of burning effigies AND what I consider amongst the best pint(s)I've ever had. Harvey's Sussex Bitter. If it wasn't nearly half past eight and having helped demolish half a bottle of Bombay Sapphire at Bonkers Cottage I'd be on my way to the Market Porter in Borough Market NOW.

Jon Dudley said...

Indeed we burn many popes in Lewes. As Mr. 3 Jags says, this is close to anarchy. for years without number the old bill has attempted to curb the natural exuberance of the 'bonfire boys and girls' and still they fail comprehensively. Rook scarers are thrown with gay abandon amongst the processions, their loud reports stirring the jovial chaps (and girls) to greater excess. When I were a lad pubs were closed except to those in the know but nowadays some remain open and alcohol is consumed liberally in the street as well. The town is closed at 4.00pm until after midnight when most of the pandemonium has died down. All the societies will have processed to their bonfire sites and 'enemies of bonfire' will have been burned in effigy (usually local politicos and killjoys), and fireworks like you've never seen will have been fired. All that's left is for the befuddled to run through the dying embers of thousands of previously blazing torches as some sort of rite of passage. Yes, it's bonkers and wonderful. The anti- Papist stuff is symbolic now although there were rumours during the Norther Ireland troubles that there would be some sort of attempt by others to stoke-up old (very old) feelings; thankfully and sensibly it came to nothing and Lewes Bonfire survives. In the old days naughty drunken boys from Brighton were relieved of their bootlaces and kept in the cells until a few minutes before the last Lewes to Brighton train - then released. Running without bootlaces usually meant missing the train and a cold walk back home (that's enough bonfire sagas. Ed) I know a couple of people involved with this amazing event and could possibly effect an introduction.

Peter Ashley said...

Well. What can I say. Thankyou very much; I think you should start your own firework blog up NOW Jon. Call it Lewes Fuse.

So, c'mon lads 'n' lasses, get in the attic and find those rook scarers (they're under that pile of 1950's Homes & Gardens magazine), use Saturday mornings to make Chinese Mortars in the garden shed. The only trouble is, is there any chance we can all get to Lewes without "Where's the Matches" Diplo finding out?

warmpommybeer said...

G'day

I'd just like to say that I stumbled across your cute little blog by accident a few weeks ago ...Ripper!!

Bloody oath... it's takes me back to when I was in the old dart in the 80's

I've always liked you pommie blokes and your "put it about a bit" sheilas (no offence meant) If you train them up proper and they're lovely little things.

Love your pubs too ...


pity about the warm beer though...I used to drink something called "Real Ale" whatever that is "Skruttocks Old Vulgarian ..it used to have bits of straw and bird beaks in it!

Peter Ashley said...

Blimey , look what we've got here. You are more than welcome Mr. Warmpommybeer. Judging by the time I imagine you're about to get tucked-up in bed with a rusty galvanised jug of Penfolds, a stack of Vegemite sandwiches and a Dame Edna look-a-like. Except you love us so much you're in England aren't you? But tell us, are there still enamel signs by the railway into Sydney that say stuff like "Sixteen Miles to Griffith's Brothers Teas"?

Kalar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tommy 3 jags said...

oh dear we have been infiltrated. Lets have the bastard.

Ron Combo said...

My mother used to tell me that cold weather is God's way of telling us to burn more Catholics.

Peter Ashley said...

Oh Ron. It was "ash sticks" not Catholics. My father was once rabidly Protestant, and when I told him I was going out with a girl called Bernadette O'Connor he did an Ian Paisley and made me eat his bowler hat. With no gravy.

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