ONE MORE CLAIM TO FAME ?
Do we have the oldest working telephone in its original position in the whole country ???
The black bakelite phone at the Birch Hall Inn was installed in the 1930's and has stayed there ever since....and even when the BT engineers told us it would no longer work with the new exchange and we reluctantly got a new one, we wouldn't let them take the old one away.
A visitor to the pub in the '80's spotted it gathering dust on a shelf in the shop...its braided cord still attatched to the original bell box...now sadly silent. Since then John has paid an annual pilgrimage to see it ( and have a pint and a butty at the pub of course ) and eventually suggested he could reinstate it for us...We were surprised to find it could be in use again and NOW IT IS !
He paid us a visit this week and as of Thursday 18th June 2009 our lovely old phone rings again ! He is convinced, after some research, that we have the oldest working phone, exactly as it was installed,in the country !
For those of you who are similarly addicted to phones..
it was installed in the summer of 1938. ( Goathland 245 )
the phone is a 1933 model 162
the bellset is a rare no.25
and the wall bracket ( when we find it ) is a no.12
Return of the Stick Men !
It was Monday morning, January 13th 2009..
all was quiet after a busy weekend and as I began to sweep out the bar my broom caught on something under the bench in the corner...
out came a twisted and knotty old stick..branch rather, and not knowing what else to do I propped it outside the bar door in case someone should come back for it.
Tuesday morning came and the stick remained so I debated whether to hang on to it or not..it seemed fairly nondescript... my first thought was to chop it up to light the fire ( we're always shory of kindling in the winter ),
or I could send it off down the river,
or just fling it in the hedgeback...
Luckily I chose the latter !
Imagine my surprise when I checked the e.mails just after I opened the pub at 11.00 and found a message from 'Pete and the gang' asking if I found their stick..they thought they may have left it under the seat in the corner.!
and if so could I keep it till they came next January.
Braving the mud and nettles I reclaimed it from behind the hedge and rather than keep tripping over it for 12 months or 'putting it somewhere safe ' then forgetting where...I hung it up on one of the beams in the bar where it has been a bit of a talking point !
On June 26th. some of the 'gang' happened to call for a pint in passing and after spotting their long lost stick slung from the beam declared it had to stay there till the whole party came again in January 2010..so we'had to look after it a while longer.
Now it's gone.They arrived last weekend ( Jan 24th. ) had several pints of Black Sheep Bitter and went off happily reunited with their precious stick !
How's the Chick ?
we had an orphan egg on Saturday May 10th. and had to hatch it out on the rayburn...so of course we became Mum & Dad !!.. the tiny thing followed us around like a wee shadow.. roosted happily on our shoulder and snuggled beak first into the crook of an elbow to have a warm up or a nap fom time to time ...before going to bed for the night inside its woolly hat !
Of course guest appearances at the bar were the order of the day and he/she became quite a celebrity...one customer even turned up with a dish of leftover scrambled egg from her B & B ...went down a treat
Now fully feathered .. she's definitely a she and has joined our little flock to enjoy the freedom of the fields of Beckhole
... and hopefully lay us lots of eggs..
she still joins us for breakfast if we go over to the sunny bench in the field in the mornings...loves banana and grapes...and leftover spaghetti......
Dropping down the hill into Beck Hole you might get the odd feeling it could be twinned with Royston Vasey !
In the shop you wouldn't be surprised if you were asked that terrifying question.. "are you local ? " ..and Gill was a bit on the short side .....tho' I never heard her ask
" can you lift me up ? "
Actually the natives are very friendly and though we do have our very own Tubs, as far as I know no one keeps toads in the hole..
.. but dare you order a taxi ?
Adam Edwards visits a tiny and old-fashioned pub in the North Yorks Moors
A pub can be too small and the Birch Hall Inn in Beck Hole in the middle of the North York Moors is miniature. Its public bar is 10ft by 10ft and while the landlady swanks that 27 people and a dog can fit into the square footage, the dog, at least, would need to be a chihuahua.
The bore of such a small pub is that one is obliged to talk to the other customers and, in the case of the Birch Hall Inn, they tend to be ramblers. While ramblers are perfectly tolerable when they are rambling, they transmogrify into sanctimonious cattle when they crowd into a bar baying to be fed and watered while patronising the broken-veined, chain-smoking locals who like to drink when they are not thirsty.
Fortunately, the Birch Hall Inn, which comprises two tiny stone cottages at the bottom of a one-in-three hill that were turned into a pub in 1860 for the quarry workers, has not been too crushed by the politically correct hiking boot of the rambler.
The pub, which has a fine sign painted in the 1950s by the
Royal Academician Algernon
The cask beer and excellent sandwiches are served through a hatch from the miniature general store in the narrows of the building.
On the counter bang next to the open bottles of vodka, gin and many whiskies is an array of old-fashioned sweets, including humbugs, gobstoppers, Victory Vs, liquorice, lemon sherbets and Pontefract cakes.
This is where the bran-fed children of the shandy-drinking ramblers spend their pocket money. This is where they stock up on sugar and E-numbers and thereby learn a useful lesson for later life - a great pub does not exist solely as a watering hole to quench the thirst of the hale and hearty. It is also a candy stand to satisfy the indulgences of the idle and feckless.