"Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." So goes a quote from Tennyson's In Memoriam. No doubt this applies to those that loved the unique appeal of the Cross Keys Inn in Salmonby, Lincolnshire. A couple of days away, staying with friends on the Lincolnshire Wolds, Tennyson country, opened up new lanes for pedalling and a new supply of bygone boozers.
Riding through Salmonby one can't fail to notice the sad face of the Cross Keys Inn. Operating in the mid-19th century it closed its doors in 2015 upon the death of one of its co-owners. He'd been born in what was then Rhodesia and had given the place an African theme, including appropriate taxidermy. Planning permission for change of use/building/alteration to provide three residential properties was applied for in March 2018 but was refused six months later. What its fate is I'm not sure, but another quote from In Memoriam, although somewhat out of its original context, may apply. “Dark house, by which once more I stand, Here in the long unlovely street”.
Pootling around the little lanes we came upon the Click'em Inn.
Closed! But only as it was a Monday lunchtime. It would be open again that evening, so we booked a table and after consuming some of our own refreshments, pedalled off.
The Wolds have a wonderful network of lanes, some flat(ish) with others somewhat lumpier, connecting a myriad of tiny villages and hamlets. One of these is the somewhat Middle-Earth sounding Bag Enderby. Here the tiny church contains a small display celebrating the life of Tennyson who was born in the rectory of the neighbouring settlement, Somersby.
Quite why the Bag Enderbians are poaching Tennyson's fame I'm not really certain. It's claimed by some that the steam flowing through the village was the one that inspired him to pen The Brook, but it's certainly not the only watercourse in the vicinity. One thing is certain, unlike Tennyson's brook, “men may come and men may go, but I go on forever”, hostelries are far more like men than brooks.