Posted in Updates on Saturday 22nd April 2006 at 8:52pm
For me, a lazy sort of day - up late and not out onto the railway station until after 9am! Our party soon began to assemble, and a neat total of eight meant two GroupSave tickets - half price travel in effect. To my slight dismay, a lone class 150 rolled into sight at almost exactly 09:25. Not a comfortable journey, but unusually in my terms this was more about the destination!
Arrived in Newton Abbot a little before 11:00 after a quiet and event-free journey. First part of the plan was to head into town for breakfast at a Wetherspoon's pub. Excellent value for money, and a much needed preparation for the day ahead. Only one of our party succumbed to the lure of a local ale at this early stage - not me I hasten to add! Once fed, it was a short walk back through town to Tucker's Maltings. The Maltings is a huge 19th century building on several levels, but the beer festival takes place on the ground floor where on a working day the soaked grain is left to begin germination. The long, dark low room was packed from end to end with casks of beer - nearly 250 in all, almost all from the South West of England. Once issued with a glass, it was down to the difficult task of choosing where to start.
Our group finally found a small haven in the corner of the SIBA marquee, and set out our picnic. From here, we'd wander into the building at regular intervals, each of us returning with some new find. Prize for strangest must go to Stonehenge's Sign of Spring - a green beer, brewed to emulate a Danish custom of colouring food and drink green to celebrate the onset of spring! It tasted rather good, despite it's appearance. My own pleasant surprise were the Bristol Beer Factory beers - something on my doorstep which I've been curious about for a while.
As the day wore on, the weather improved until it was quite bright outside. A spirited game of football was being played alongside the Maltings, with the teams wondering why they had so many spectators no doubt. Inside, there was entertainment from a singer who doubled as a stand-up act. Overall a really well organised day.
Far too soon, but probably just in time to prevent severe inebriation, we headed back to the station for the train back - another class 150, all shacks this time! I had an enjoyable and sociable day - and I'm really pleased to have been invited. The title, by the way, comes courtesy of Rocking Rod and the Strychnines.
I've had a home on the web for more years than I care to remember, and a few kind souls persuade me it's worth persisting with keeping it updated. This current incarnation of the site is centred around the blog posts which began back in 1999 as 'the daylog' and continued through my travels and tribulations during the following years.
I don't get out and about nearly as much these days, but I do try to record significant events and trips for posterity. You may also have arrived here by following the trail to my former music blog Songs Heard On Fast Trains. That content is preserved here too.