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Keeping Things Simple.

Time for the first outdoor ride of the year. That's right! For one reason or twelve I have yet to pedal in the great outdoors in 2023. Regular readers, that's both of you, will have noticed that I've been doing a bit of virtual riding, often accompanied by Emma the besotted bicycling bot, but I have yet to feel the air on my face or feel the tears streaming down my cheeks since before New Year's Eve.

I'll keep things simple. No complex route which would need a map and navigational skills, that or for the directions to be downloaded onto my GPS. Just a couple of circuits of a local lumpy loop will suffice. No complex interval session either. No set of five minutes 'on' with one minute 'off'. Even twenty minutes 'on' and four minutes 'off' is too complex to consider. Today it's going to be simple. Just go out and ride for about an hour, working between a hundred and fifty and a hundred and seventy watts for about an hour. Simple stuff.

Off I pedal. It was nice to see that the snowdrops' buds had opened...

...but sadder to note that the Holly Bush still hasn't opened again. Possibly it'll have to have a post of its own shortly.

Holly Bush Grange Mill

At least the simplicity of the session meant that I did manage to complete it successfully.

Mission accomplished.

Whilst a hundred and fifty-one Watts won't set the cycling world alight it might be just enough to keep the lights on in Ridlington.

Ridlington? Yes, Ridlington. In the unlikely event that you've not heard of it, it's a tiny settlement in Norfolk, midway between the towns of North Walsham and Happisburgh, and it used to have a small, simple pub – the Plough Inn.

I'll plough on and, to continue to keep things simple, this will be a simple post about a simple pub. No deep directory digging or careful census crawling in this one, for I want to have it finished before I settle down to watch Leicester Tigers hopefully beat Saracens this afternoon.

This postcard shows the thatched Plough Inn. Described as "...a very basic house..." it was in existence from at least 1836 and the Norfolk Pubs website suggests that it may even have been going as far back as 1794. At the time the photograph was taken it was in the tenure of one Thomas Payne.

Plough Inn Ridlington
Thomas Payne was licensee between 1904 and 1908.

The Plough was the only boozer in the village and is marked on this old Ordnance Survey map and it looks as if it could have given its name to the common.

25" Ordnance Survey map, surveyed in 1905.

In 1853 it was put up for auction, along with the Hill House and the White Swan in Happisburgh together with the North Walsham's Maid's Head and Dog, as part of the estate of newly declared bankrupt William Colk, a brewer and wine and spirit merchant from the latter town. Of these five pubs only the Hill House is still in operation today. Eventually the Plough found its way into the hands of Norwich brewers Steward & Patteson who closed it in May 1952. Its full licence was transferred to the Wherry Inn at Langley. That is now closed too, as some of you may have read in this previous post.

Although the pub has gone the building still exists, and is still thatched. Or at least it was when Mr. Google drove by in 2021.

Plough Ridlington
The former Plough in August 2021. © Google 2023

And that is simply it. It's all over. It's all over at Welford Road too, but that wasn't quite so simple. Still, Tigers' Dad's Army of a side just managed to hold on to win 24 – 18. That must signal that it's time for a beer. An Everard's Tiger somehow seems appropriate.

The map extract is copyright and is reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under this licence.

If you've read this far, then thank you. Possibly, like me, you may have some sort of interest in bygone boozers. Clicking here will take you to a searchable/sortable index which you can use to see if I've already featured any lost locals from your locality. You can also subscribe to ensure that you don't miss any future posts. Simply click here to return to the home page (opens in a new tab), follow the 'Subscribe' link and complete the form to receive an email notification of any future post. Or you could simply follow the link at the top of this page.

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