It's 7.45pm. Bottle of Aldwark's Nostrum Gold beside me and already tiring of hearing the wisdom of Messrs. Lineker, Lampard, Shearer and Ferdinand, football's foursome of failure in international tournaments, I pick up the laptop, do a bit of random clicking and up pops this image. There's absolutely no clue as to its name, when it was taken, where it might be or if it was still serving. No brewery name, just the licensee's above the door – Ernest F. Thorpe. This will take a while, I thought. Save it to the folder named Mystery.
Half-time. 1-0 up. Things going OK. Pick up the laptop again and type Ernest Thorpe, publican, victualler, innkeeper into the usual range of search boxes, in the usual range of websites, expecting nothing when up pops this in Kelly's 1925-6 directory of Suffolk.
Was this the pub? Quite possibly, but it was time to get another Aldwark ale and remove the product of the first from my bladder before the start of the second half. The investigating would have to wait
1-1. Extra time. Still 1-1. Penalties. Inevitable result. Time for bed.
Morning. Wash, dress, breakfast and with an inevitability almost as great as reading about the social media abuse received by Messrs. Rashford, Sancho and Saka, but with less sadness, I find that whilst it is the pub it had closed by the time Mr. Google drove by in 2011.
Further delving reveals that it was operating from at least the 1840s and the pub closed in 1999. You can find a picture of it in its open days if you click here.
So, that's that! The mystery didn't take so long to solve after all. Now, how long will it be before England manage to win another international tournament of any merit?
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