A-Z Pub Challenge...

Back in late 2008 I started out on a challenge unlike any other that I'd ever read about in any scooter magazine. My challenge had been inspired by David Halls visit on his Lambretta to all 92 football league clubs. However, I decided that my challenge would be slightly different and would feature pubs and the alphabet. The rules are pretty simple:

  1. Only one pub per letter of the alphabet.
  2. Only one pub per current UK county (so no Humberside then as it ceased to be a county in 1996!!).
  3. The word THE can be discounted from any pub name so for example The Red Lion will simply be (the) Red Lion.
  4. The pub must be currently open for business (not necessarily at the time that the photo is taken).
  5. The pub must be just that a PUB, no bars, restaurants or trendy wine bars!!
  6. The photograph has to include the scooter and either the pub sign or the pub.

The main sticking point always seemed to be finding a list of counties that was correct. I'm not sure that I've quite got that sorted but the list of counties I'm using is as follows:

  • (Avon) Defunct as of 1 Apr 96
  • Bedfordshire
  • Berkshire
  • Bristol
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Cheshire
  • (Cleveland) Defunct 1 Apr 96
  • Cornwall
  • County Durham
  • Cumbria
  • Derbyshire
  • Devon
  • Dorset
  • East Riding of Yorkshire
  • East Sussex
  • Essex
  • Gloucestershire
  • Greater Manchester
  • Hampshire
  • Hereford
  • Hertfordshire
  • (Humberside) Defunct 1 Apr 96
  • Isle of Wight
  • Kent
  • Lancashire
  • Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • London
  • Merseyside
  • Middlesex - Defunct government unit still used for postal addresses
  • Norfolk
  • Northamptonshire
  • Northumberland
  • North Yorkshire
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Oxfordshire
  • Shropshire
  • Somerset
  • South Yorkshire
  • Staffordshire
  • Suffolk
  • Surrey
  • Tyne and Wear
  • Warwickshire
  • West Midlands
  • West Sussex
  • West Yorkshire
  • Wiltshire

So since 2008 how far have I got? To be honest I've had 2 cracks at this now and something always gets in the way of it so in 2008 and 2009 I haven't completed it. To get me through 2010 I'm going to do a "mini" challenge in Leicester (and Rutland) and will do an A-Z here. Mind you, there are no pubs begining with X in either county and there are probably a couple of other letters missing as well. But keep checking back to see how I've got on.

2010 saw me doing my Leicestershire challenge over 2 days, I think I got it down to 2 letters that I didn't get which were V and U - simply a case of time beating me over the 2 days that I did it. Encouraging stuff. Now its 2011 and time to crank the Pub Challenge open again. Suffice to say I'm going to bar myself from using any of the pubs I've already used and will start afresh - here's hoping that 2011 is the year that I finally crack this one!

2011 has not got off to the best start. I had set out to do a number of counties in a day to get the challenge really started. I set off from Leicester and head towards Northamptonshire via the A5 and a number of other A roads. I ended up nabbing one pub and having a blow out on the rear, due to a faulty Michelin airstop inner tube. A lengthy day with no real reward. Back to the drawing board and the garage to fix the wheel and plan my next move on this one!