The Branch area's stock of non-real ale pubs continues to take a hammering. A recent visit to Linton revealed handpumps in the Waggon and Horses dispensing Greene King XX Mild, IPA and Abbot. This is that increasing rarity, a food-free locals/drinkers pub with no frills and no pretensions. The small single bar is simply furnished while a back room contains a pool table and little else.
Linton must have suffered the greatest percentage pub loss in the area with four of its seven pubs closing in the last twelve years - The Bell and The Green Hill (both GK), The Princess of Wales (Whitbread) and The White Swan (Ind Coope). The other survivors are The Dog and Duck (GK) and The Crown (Free).
The Milkmaid, Willingham, which previously offered only Greene King beers, is now taking better advantage of its free house status. Adnams Broadside, Morlands Old Speckled Hen and a changing guest have joined the GK IPA and Seasonal Beer. The folk club on Monday nights continues to present high quality attractions such as Alan Taylor, Jon Renbourn and Martin Carthy.
Interesting guest beers have started to appear alongside Wells Eagle at the Admiral Vernon, Over. Thwaites Daniel's Hammer has been the most recent.
New publicans at the Chestnut Tree, West Wratting are Tony and Linda Wheeler, determined that their Greene King IPA and Abbot will be second to none.
In the issue of ALE No. 285 last August it was reported that the Fox and Hounds, Weston Colville was relying on a good summer to survive. That summer never really came up to expectations and the pub closed in April, probably for good.