Good Beer, Better Company

Last evening I met blogger Matt and his lovely lady, Tig, at The Royal Oak pub in Gretton. When I worked at Winchcombe in the late ’70’s it was our ‘local’, being just up the hill from the pottery. There was a closer pub, but in those days it wasn’t a ‘Freehouse’ and therefore they only sold beer from the big breweries (think Budweiser…just don’t drink it). ‘The Oak’ was an intimate and dark place in the good old days, but since then it has been transformed by a big glass addition which gives fantastic views of the Cotswold escarpment across the Vale. A lot of the pubs in these parts have been ‘tarted up’; cleaned, polished and sanitized. It’s not always my favorite idea, but I don’t want to be a Luddite…
Meeting fellow bloggers on this trip has been a real bonus. What a fantastic group of fun and thoughtful people they/we are! Matt has pottery in his genes, being a descendent of Elijah Comfort, who taught Michael Cardew a thing or two! Matt and Tig are both working towards a career in craft and you have to admire their pluck. An 8′ x 8′ shed in the garden is matt’s workshop (kiln included!) and Tig makes soap in the kitchen. We talked for hours and are planning to meet again next week. I’m here to tell you that these youngsters are as charming as their writing would lead you to believe.
I’m including a shot of the bread plate that Ron inquired about the other day; Margaret Brampton was correct that they are made by Andrew McGarva. Fantastic decoration!
I met with the folks planning the memorial exhibition this morning for our friend Eddie Hopkins. On the way home I passed about 20 of these old Aston Martins parked by the side of the road. How can you not love this place!?

4 Responses to “Good Beer, Better Company”

  1. Ron

    Wow thanks for posting those plates, they are wonderful to see. Good you got up with Matt and Tiggy. Sounds like a fun time.

  2. Hollis Engley

    You have to find one of those similar old-time motorcycle rallies somewhere near you. Those people know how to treat old vehicles. And old potters, too, for that matter …

  3. Gary Rith Pottery Blog

    HA! I just wrote that myself, as you saw, don’t clean up the bar too much! (and as the bar tender says to the newcomer who doesn’t know “no bottles, no Bud”).
    Nice to meet you, and I know Matt and Tig from afar myself and have a number of those soaps and one of those mugs from Matt and wish I could visit them too!


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