Section 10 of the LOOP took less time than I thought it would so, when I spotted the Crane about 2/3 through the trip, I popped in for a beer. It is still TECHNICALLY “The Crane” for licensing purposes although the signage indicates they would rather focus on the Indian food. However, the atmosphere was pure barfly inside and before I could get my Foster’s order in I was accosted by a very drunk Scotsman (John) with an impenetrable accent (here’s a clip of Rab C Nesbitt that is about halfway to the WeeGie white noise coming out of John’s face). I’ll just give you the semi-transcript/subtitles and deleting my repeated “pardons?” and “what wuzzats?”
“So, is that a carrot, then?”
“Oh, no sir, I’m just glad to see you.”
“No, you daft git,” pointing at my beer. “You’ve been running. Is that a carrot?”
“Oh, I see. Maybe years ago, but I think I’m such a hopeless sot it’s more of a stick than a carrot.”
We talked about work (he drives a DHL truck) and American politics as much as we could since we are equally baffled by Trump. We found points of reference between my Atlanta and his Paisley and Glasgow, and pretty much agreed that the English are hopeless bastards, complete tools. “Tell me this, then,” I asked, “how is the Second Referendum going to turn out?” This was about 48 hours before Nicola Sturgeon officially called for another Scottish Independence vote.
“It won’t be close, this time.” I’ll check his prediction here after the vote which will be late 2018 or early 2019.
Here’s a map.
I left the Green Man refreshed and ready to start Section 10 of the London Outer Orbital Path by looping around and entering the River Crane Causeway at the end of Section 9 (which I will return to early in May running it and several of the lower numbered Sections). This looked promising and, except for the run back along the highway to find my way over the Piccadilly Line, it was fairly well way-marked.
And, damn near impassable:
There was a scenic fly tipping exhibit:
And, a chance to wave to visitors of our fair isles as I crossed under the landing path at the east end of Heathrow’s runways.
Scenes of pristine waterways were a bonus:
St Dunstan’s appears to be derelict, but the cemetery is well-maintained:
Toward the end of the trot (not far past the Crane pub), there were signs of springtime coming. The council is probably counting on the vegetation to hide all this garbage:
Section 10 concludes as you pass the Nestlé factory on the canal at Hayes. Just up ahead, there are more refreshments at the Old Crown.
The Green Man is just below Heathrow Airport on Faggs Road not far from the Hatton Cross tube station, Feltham. There’s enough adolescent humour there for just about anyone…Faggs, tube, felt ’em. F’narr, f’narr.
Friendly pub; it only looks empty inside because everyone was either in the other room watching Italy v France in the 6 Nations Rugby or out enjoying the unseasonably warm and occasionally sunny weather.
I would have loved to linger in a place like this but I was on a mission to complete Section 10 of the LOOP. So, after a quick beer and waiting the very short time it took for France to make their first try, I ran.
Here’s a map to the bar.
The Stewart Arms is worth a stop. True, it’s a lager house but it is crammed with locals. Not the sort of locals that are buying flats in the neighbourhood for £2 million, but locals … old guys who were probably brought into this pub (or another in the neighbourhood before the pub apocalypse) for their first beer by their grandfathers. Everyone knows each other and — due in large part to my observation about the stratification of Shepherd’s Bushians being so accurate — they don’t really want to know you.
On the plus side, the vending machine on the bar has hot nuts! I need to grow up.
It’s not the easiest place to find, but here’s a map.
A friend who doesn’t run pointed out that I’ve been repeatedly doing a section or two of the London Outer Orbital Path (LOOP). This is how I wound up running the Ridgeway Challenge a couple of years ago after doing most of the Avebury to Wantage segments of that long distance path; I decided to approach this one sensibly and do it entirely in sections as defined by the Transport For London pamphlets about the LOOP.
I’ve already covered Section 11, near enough, in the run posting from late February (including the trip to the White House pub along the way). Section 12 gets a lot of attention from me since it is the nearest one to the house; it was covered variously in postings about the Coy Carp, the Bear on the Barge, and the Swan and Bottle.
With plans to finish this in Spring, I’ll do a couple of more sections up till then but really focus on the final 100 miles over a couple of weekends in May. As it stands, I have 138 out of 150 miles (22 out of 24 Sections) still to go and really need to step up my game as far as route description and photography go…Des de Moor’s blog should be considered the gold standard for this (his postings on Sections 11 & 12 are here).
Had a touch of actual (not bottle) flu earlier this week and the fever returned Saturday; since it wasn’t a full-blown relapse, I went for a jog making the loop through Northolt then back to South Ruislip to pick up a bottle of wine for supper. I’ve passed the Northolt Harvester dozens of times since moving here, but I don’t rush to include purely chain pubs in these pages (note that another Harvester got bypassed last week and the one on the northeast edge of Swindon didn’t get a visit for the first 5 years we lived there). This isn’t really fair to the ones that do a decent job but, for the most part, what you have here is a Denny’s with a bar.
As is their way, I was greeted by a waitress for seating but waved her off with, “just off to the bar, love.” She followed me over and pulled my lager and I found a spot at one of the tables grouped in the corner near the bar. This set up made the bar seem actually pub-like — a feature not lost on the 8 or 9 barflies hanging out in the area. The wait staff kept coming for orders but there were enough of us there to keep a bartender busy without the diners.
Except for the shit music, it wasn’t half bad. The manager seemed a bit grabby with the girls but Northolt is already 20 years behind the rest of society before you set your watch back another 20 years by entering a Harvester.
I found, on looking up the business link for this one, that it is technically called the Mandeville Arms (a detail that featured absolutely nowhere that I looked while there). It’s across from Northolt station if you happen to be in the area (here’s a map).
I had been out for a run to the Beaten Docket and continued from there northeasterly to Arnos Grove Station but didn’t want to finish the day’s journey with a Harvester (the only pub I could see nearby); so, I jogged on to the Bounds Green Station which I thought I recognised from another running trip ages ago (although that was actually Wood Green). As I thought I remembered it at the time, the area was surrounded by drunks and junkies and I made note of several bars to come back to, someday; now that the day had seemingly come, I couldn’t find any of them [duh]. I wandered down the street and stopped an old gentleman and asked if there was a pub nearby.
“A … pub?” he half asked/half spat with the same tone I would have expected if I had asked for a zoo or a satellite tracking station in the neighbourhood.
“Yes, sir. A drinking establishment,” I translated whilst enhancing the effect with the classic pantomime pint glass hand gesture. He continued to stare at me as if I had two heads, so I twirled my finger in the air and added, “you know, in the area?”
He swung his cane dangerously close to my face as it arced behind him. “The Ranley is just there.” I thanked him more for the story than the directions and headed down the road.
The doors to the Ranelagh had not been open long when I arrived sweaty and disheveled but the house already had a group of new mums (a dozen or more of them with prams in tow) milling about as I pushed forward to the bar.
“Terribly sorry, but I didn’t bring a baby with me. Can I be served without one?” The bartender smiled politely.
“Just this once.”
“I really must start reading the memos.”
It appears to be a foodie pub and almost everyone that came in while I worked my way to the bottom of the dark brown and nutty/chocolatey pint of Musselburgh Broke (I seem to be on a horse racing theme today) ordered lunch. The menu looks really good.