NES branch bus trip report - June 2018

Tuesday 3 July 2018

North East Suffolk branch bus trip

As it is no longer possible to visit many rural pubs by public transport we decided to organise our own bus trip, which is the reason that a group of 28 gathered at Beccles Old Market on a wet June morning to await the arrival of our transport for the afternoon, a poppy red 1970's single deck bus. Leaving only 10 minutes later than planned, the driver soon made up the time as we picked up a passenger in Bungay and again in Halesworth before arriving on time at our first stop of the day, the Wissett Plough, which is under new ownership and has been nicely refurbished including the previous small brewery area now being part of the pub. Leaving our driver to perform the tricky task of reversing the bus into the pub's car park the group, now numbering 30, entered the pub and received a warm welcome from the staff including the provision of some nibbles to eat. On offer on the day were Lacon's Encore, Adnams Southwold Bitter, Green Jack Trawlerboys and Greene King Abbot. Within a short time the sun had made an appearance so some of the group moved outside to the terrace front garden while a few of us were shown around the cellar area. After an hour or so it was time to move on so we boarded the bus for the short drive to our next stop, the Rumburgh Buck, which was found to be quite busy with local customers when we arrived. This pub has a dining room and three drinking areas off of the bar with a games room for pool and darts. Ruddles County, Adnams Southwold Bitter, Woodforde's Reedlighter, Mauldons Cuckoo and Shortts Farm Strummer (G) were available along with real ciders. By now, the temperature had risen significantly so the pub's pleasant garden was popular. A couple of beers later and it was soon time to move on so we boarded the bus once again for the longer journey over the county boundary into Norfolk and the Earsham Queen's Head, home to the Waveney Brewery with their East Coast Mild, Lightweight, Welterweight and Great White Hope waiting for our thirsty bunch of drinkers. It had now turned into a fine day so many of our group opted to sit in the pub's garden with the added treat of a few smoked prawns (thanks Richard). This lovely pub is just a few minutes by car or about a 20 minute walk to Bungay's pubs and I try to include it whenever I visit Bungay. Now running a little late, I had to encourage everyone to finish their drinks and get back on the bus for the short drive to our final stop, the Broome Artichoke. This pub always has a large number of beers available with Adnams Southwold Bitter, Exmoor Hound Dog, Nethergate Suffolk County and Lacons Encore on handpump with Ringwood Boondoggle, Dorset Brewing Gastank, Crouch Vale Yakima Gold, Box Steam Spring, Lacons Legacy, Bull of the Woods Twisted Wheel, Green Jack Lurcher, Kelham Island Pale Rider and Thornbridge Jaipur on gravity from the cellar. We managed an hour here before having to board the bus for the final time and our return trip to Beccles for onward travel having had a very nice day out on a poppy red bus.