2022 Hull Trip – Day 1 (A Road Trip from Norwich to the Raymond Mays)
Much as I am always surprised and delighted by travelling by rail, primarily surprised they’re running at the moment, there’s something exciting about a road trip. Back in early September 2022, my friend Liam and I decided to go to Hull for the weekend and so the next few posts will all be about that trip. What a treat for my two readers. And yes, it was ages ago, but I took rather too long writing about the US. But back to the trip, our first stop was about three minutes into the adventure to get a Greggs to sustain us for the journey. That was my idea.
Some al fresco dining. I can be very continental at times.
Our next port of call was Bourne, a town that I don’t think I’ve visited before. Founded in Roman times, during the Middle Ages Bourne was a centre of the wool trade and the town prospered as a result. In the 12th century, an Augustinian priory was established in Bourne and the town might have been where Hereward the Wake was born in around 1035. Its economy was boosted with the arrival of the railways in the nineteenth century, but they were withdrawn in the late 1950s and now the nearest railway station is twenty miles away in Grantham. Which brings me onto why we were here which is that a new JD Wetherspoon pub opened here in the spring of 2022 and I can’t easily get to it by public transport.
The pub is named the Raymonds Mays and above is the memorial plaque to him. Raymond Mays was an English racing driver and engineer who was active in motorsport in the mid-20th century. He is best known for his association with the ERA (English Racing Automobiles) racing team, which he co-founded and for which he also drove. Mays was a talented driver, who competed in several major races and events, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Mille Miglia. He also played a significant role in the development of the ERA racing cars, working on the design and engineering of the vehicles.
In addition to his racing career, Mays was also a successful businessman, and he was involved in the development of several innovative technologies, including the high-performance engines that powered the ERA racing cars. He is remembered as one of the pioneers of British motorsport and is widely regarded as one of the most talented and innovative drivers and engineers of his generation. And, yes, it was my idea to come to this pub.
Here we are standing opposite the pub with Liam surveying the scene. This was two separate shops until around 2012 when they closed, with the buildings being left boarded up for several years until JD Wetherspoon came along. Provincial towns once on the route of major roads are I think fascinating, so much history with the old coaching inns and various hostelries.
The interior is open plan and it’s quite cavernous, but it felt ordered and comfortable. It’s also got a long beer garden at the rear with various car related items to add some character. I had a quick half of Bear Island from Newby Wyke Brewery, a well kept hoppy blonde ale, keenly priced as ever.
Being quite dull, I’ve established that it’s possible to get a measure of a JD Wetherspoon pub’s operation by looking at their Google Reviews scores. They nearly all fall within the range of 3.8 to 4.1 out of 5, so any one of their venues outside of that range is likely either doing very badly or very well. I should publish a treatise on this fascinating piece of research and observation of mine. This one is sitting at 4.0 out of 5, so things seem to be going well. One reviewer summed up the pub’s beer policy:
“They serve larger in ale glasses, ale in larger glasses and they pour the ales flat with no head other than that it’s ok”
I’m sure the management will consider this carefully….. There’s nothing else memorable that I can much mention about the pub, but it seemed relatively busy and it’s another one ticked off my list. We then had to make some progress as I had decided that we had time to pop to Brigg next.