Ruby Jack’s, Faringdon, Oxfordshire   2 comments

Ruby Jack's Faringdon sign


For the Queen’s Birthday, I decided to run 5.6 miles (the length of 90 football pitches, one for each year).  I could have done this with the homeward commute from the Swindon Cop Shop to Old Town but, instead, hopped off the bus just after the Buckland Turn and headed out to the farmland for a semi-loop to Faringdon:


2016-04-16 Queen's Birthday run


Faringdon is an odd little town largely due to the influence of the late Lord Berners, who is responsible for the Faringdon Folly and who once forced his house guest Salvador Dali to walk around town in a deep sea diving outfit. As I passed the grounds of his pile, I paused for a picture of one of my favourite statues there:


Faringdon statue at Lord Berner's house


But, the real impetus of the run was to examine Ruby Jack’s, the newest incarnation of the Portwell Angel’s Cellar Bar which closed in February but reopened a few weeks later.

The joint always seems to be doing a brisk trade as I come through town on the way home, but then it always did as the Cellar, too.  On this occasion, they had a barbecue set up for the QE90 celebration and from the looks of things they will probably do so again in June when the official celebration takes place (and the closing times are relaxed).

But, the place is friendly and I got the feeling (which I have been wrong about, before) that everyone was happy for a stranger to appear.  My eyes hadn’t adjusted enough to scan for a gravity cask but there was a pump labeled Belhaven out of which a sublimely bitter fluid was extracted.  I watched some locals toss darts and eavesdropped on folks catching up with one another (as they hadn’t seen each other for probably hours).  This is what a local should be like.


Ruby Jack's Faringdon Street Party

I finished and left to peruse Twitter and listen to the news on Radio 4 whilst waiting on the bus; in the ensuing 5 minutes, there were dozens of tweets saying that Prince was found dead in his Paisley Park Studios.  Stunned, I didn’t have the presence of mind to turn off the broadcast before the words, “this just in…” preceded confirmation.  Shit.  Changing the station for the ride home, there were already endless sets of his music playing in memoriam.

Or, maybe they were requests from Buckingham Palace.  Either way, Happy Birthday, ma’am.

Happy Birthday Yer Maj

Pub map here.



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