Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Hero Of Old, Sat Astride A Brown Horse


Sometimes I surprise myself with the lengths I will go to in order to fulfill a Theme Thursday challenge. My willingness to make sacrifices, my overriding sense of duty, my resolute acceptance of my mission should be held up as examples to all. In better days my story would have been serialised on the inner pages of The Eagle comic under the generic heading "Men Who Helped Build The Empire". In years to come people would talk with pride of the exploits of Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, Scott of the Antarctic, and Alan Burnett. What did I do, you may ask. I went to the pub, I will reply.

Not any pub. Oh, that would have been easy. That would have been a challenge for a mere mortal. No, to meet the challenge set, the pub would need a "brown" somewhere in the title. I could have set out for the Brown Cow in the centre of Halifax .... but that closed in 1863. The Brown Cow in Elland rose up to public house heaven in 1934, followed with indecent haste by a whole succession of Brown Cows in King Cross, Ripponden and Sowerby Bridge. It was almost as though some dreadful disease - some alcoholic BSE - was laying waste to all the cows. I went in search of a Brown Bear but one couldn't be found within the County and any hopes that someone had named a pub the Brown Ferret or the Brown Chihuahua were dashed with a cruelty that was almost palpable. But then, after hours of weary searching, just as I was about to give up, just as I was about to settle for a cup of brown tea, then I found the Brown Horse.


According to the sign, it is Yorkshire's only Brown Horse. The fact that there may be other Brown Horses in other counties meant nothing to me. Try telling a dying man who falls upon a desert oasis that it is no big deal because there is another oasis a few hundred miles away. For me, the Brown Horse was a sign of salvation on the road to Keighley. For me, for just a few precious moments, it was home. As I went inside and ordered a brown ale (Newcastle Brown - creamy and nutty taste, fresh and malty) I recalled those famous words written by my good friend Martin Hodges

One of the courageous few,
Alan traveled each lonely mile.
In desperate search of the perfect brew
Wood cask, brass tap and porous spile.


For other courageous attempts to match up to this week's theme, go to the THEME THURSDAY BLOG.

21 comments:

  1. oy, i wish i was as daring as you AB....ha. newcastles not bad as well...fun verse to end as well. have a great tt!

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  2. "Try telling a dying man who falls upon a desert oasis that it is no big deal"

    Great line, and great adventure for a TT!

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  3. I love that the Brown Horse was a sign of salvation for you, Alan. It looks like the lovely quintessential English pub. Long may they reign.

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  4. Not only did you find a brown pub, but once inside you had Newcastle Brown Ale (my own personal favorite as well). Would that all our lives could be spent on such heroic expeditions!

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  5. Brown Ferret? haha...

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  6. terrific! glad that tt can inspire such a satisfying quest!

    i'm with betsy - ha ha to the 'brown ferret'

    and yummy newcastle brown ale - no debating the color!!

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  7. Another Pub I Dont Know! {Off-Topic, but where have all the pubs in Keighley with Tim Taylor signs gone?} Happy T.T. Alan!

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  8. Alan! Your posts never fail to fascinate!

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  9. Alan as always a great short story. You are definitely a wordsmith, are you absolutely sure you have no Lancastrian roots.

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  10. Bob Mac : Don't be ridiculous Bob. I once knew someone who lived in Todmorden, does that count?

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  11. Tony : Don't know, it sounds a bit suspicious to me. Souvenir hunters?

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  12. Betsy / Mouse : There is a pub called the Ferret and Trouserleg in London. And a Dorset brewer has a beer called Fursty Ferret.

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  13. Must be a rarity - I've seen plenty of Black/White Horses but never a brown one. There is one Brown Cow in Bingley that has so far escaped the cull. It has Tim Taylor's too.

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  14. i'll have a rich brown ale or black brown stout with you.

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  15. You could have grabbed it off the Internet and no one would have been the wiser:

    http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/494692

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  16. Alan : But then I would have had no excuse for visiting the place.

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  17. Way to take one for the team! Great TT! :)
    -C

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  18. That tt was pure AB! -J

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  19. Wonderful read, and great journey you took us on the New Castle sounds enjoyable right now. We have nice brew pubs here but not like that.
    Nice TT

    Joanny

    http://thedowsersdaughter.blogspot.com/2010/08/early-to-rise.html

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  20. Isn't there still a 'Brown Cow' pub at Scammonden? Not been out that way for years, so it may have gone.

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  21. Volie : Far as I was able to discover it has now closed down. It was certainly for sale and I think it has gone but perhaps I will take another trip up there just to double check.

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