Mid Week Socials

Branch Midweek Socials

Our Mid Week Socials have been variously described by regulars and visitors alike as ‘See Devon by Bus’, ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ and ‘Escape to the Country’. All these descriptions have some semblance of truth but these monthly rambles to the far-flung corners of our branch have provided branch member regulars and friends from neighbouring branches with a wonderful days entertainment.

The itinerary is planned in advance and the day starts with us all meeting at a particular bus station to begin our magical mystery tour to some of the finest pubs in in South Devon. All of the journeys are by public transport and include the occasional train journey when we venture off ‘our patch.’ For those of us who qualify the bus pass is very much to the fore and we enjoy reminding our younger journeymen of the £ we are saving. As you can imagine this is much appreciated.

Each month, usually a Wednesday around the middle of the month, we choose an area and a range of pubs to grace with our company. Don’t worry about the exact date as we always publish the social in What’s Brewing and on this website's Diary. Sometimes we concentrate on a town and other times, especially in the summer months we visit areas such as the Teign Valley, the South Hams and other idyllic areas of our beautiful county.

We are fairly well known to the landlords and receive a warm welcome; sometimes a bowl of chips and a great deal of banter ensues.

The memories of these wonderful days revolve around the countryside, the great pubs, and landlords and of course the beer. We all remember to score the beers don’t we? The abiding memory is however of the fun we all have and many a time I have arrived home and promptly gone to sleep in the chair!

Please come and join us and we especially welcome our friends from other branches who will be made to feel just one of the gang.

13 th June Midweek crawl - ‘ beers by the seaside’ ( or beers in the pub in the rain).

This was the first mid week crawl that I had organised for South Devon CAMRA since becoming branch secretary a few weeks before. Bob, our Chairman and I had been discussing different venues for the mid week crawls and he suggested I devise one to visit some of the pubs in Babbacombe and St Marychurch. As most of these are accessible by the 22 bus from Paignton or Dawlish via Torquay, this looked like a good plan. It was also a good chance to get some scores on Whatpub .I did a couple of exploratory trips myself and came up with a suggested route which was to begin in The Hole in the Wall in Torquay and travel up to Babbacombe from the nearby harbour bus stop. Everything looked good so the trip was advertised in What’s Brewing and on the branch website. Snag no 1 came with the weather, particularly the good old jet stream which plonked a load of rain across the area on the appointed day. Snag no 2 was my late realisation that the proposed starting pub didn’t open until well after my advertised start time, but I averted disaster by emailing three of the known participants the night before. In the end three of us met in Yates in Torquay and so it was that the intrepid party comprising Ian the Vice Chairman and treasurer, Andrew our magazine editor and myself the Branch secretary set off for Babbacombe. As we had missed our first ale stop we decided to stop at The Kents in Wellswood which was open and sampled a half of Camerons Old Seadog brown ale. Here we were joined by Bob, who had caught the next bus up from Torquay harbour and then we left to catch the 22 bus to Babbacombe. We decided to visit the ‘ town’ pubs first getting off at the stop nearest to St Marychurch and walking up to Molloy’s where we sampled Platform 5 ‘s APA at 4.6% and Coaster , a blonde ale at 4%. Both were in fair condition and the pub staff were helpful and friendly so we moved on through The Precinct (aka Fore St) to The Dolphin Inn which looked smart and neat when we entered. Here we sampled halves of Dartmoor Best, which isn’t often seen in this part of the area and which proved to be in excellent condition. After The Dolphin we walked up to see Dave at the Crown and Sceptre. Here the beers were of the usual superb quality particularly the Butcombe Gold sampled by the author which was very clear and fresh tasting. After this we retraced our steps to the Snooty Fox, a large pub opposite the churchyard in St Marychurch. We sampled two beers here, one from the 3D brewery, and a light stout from Hunters. We were very pleased with the condition of both of these beers. By then the weather had cleared a bit so we walked down to Babbacombe Downs and visited the Buccaneer (St Austell) for halves of HSD, another rarity in this part of the South West. Then on to the Babbacombe Inn for Bay’s Summertime and Dartmoor Legend we sampled the Summertime and Legend, both in good condition. After The Buccaneer we adjourned to The Dog and Duck. Unfortunately the Purity UBU was going off but the landlord refunded us without hesitation and we left with a good impression. After this we decided to return to Torquay and the Hole in the Wall, which was now open. Timothy Taylors Landlord and proved to be a very satisfactory end to the day.