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Daft Stuff: 7


Ten of the best and no cheating!


1 If you lapidated someone what would you be doing to them?

2 In the year 674, St Wilfred is said to have built the largest church north of the Alps. Where?

3 What is the term for a group of alligators?

4 The Denmark Strait lies between what two countries?

5 They’re called Graham Crackers in the US but what are they called in the UK?

6 St Bernard is the patron saint of which group of people?

7 What foodstuff was first produced by Henry D Perky in Denver, Colorado, in 1893? 

8 Who is credited with inventing the process of deep-freezing food?

9 What musical instrument does Lisa Simpson play?

10 What animal starred alongside Ali MacGraw in the 1970 movie Love Story?



1 Stoning them to death. 2 Hexham, Northumberland. 3 A congregation. 4 Iceland and Greenland. 5 Digestive Biscuits. 6 Mountaineers. 7 Shredded Wheat. 8 Clarence Birdseye. 9 Saxophone. 10 Rhino Neal. (OK, sorry. That’s why this page is called Daft Stuff).



This is what we like to see, people having innocent fun with officialdom. Imagine driving along passing both road signs; you’d be tempted to turn round and do the stretch again should any of your passengers have missed the joke.


This fat-tyred beauty was spotted outside the Boathouse in Wylam, Northumberland – all chunk and style but not quite a pedal bike in the normal sense. The Sondors Ebike is, as the name suggests, an electric bike with the battery, controller and wires ­­– essentially the business end of the machine – tucked away in the main triangle of the frame. Clever, or what.

Solid and oversized platform pedals add extra oomph – probably just enough to satisfy the keen cyclists’ desire for serious thigh, knee and calf action.

This machine’s maximum range is around 20 miles on a full charge with a top speed of 18mph. Want one. Where do I find it? You could start at Cycle Centre Newcastle, 250 Shields Road, Byker NE6 1DX. Tel 0191 265 1462. They have an extensive range of e-bikes and conventional cycles as well at a variety of prices.

The Boathouse, next to Wylam Station on the Newcastle-Carlisle line, continues to be one of Northumberland’s favourite pubs and regularly comes top in reviews and awards for its beer quality, choice and friendliness. Brilliant cycle routes criss-cross the area and the pub makes a handy stopping-off point on the Coast To Coast route (sections 141/14 and 72). A Thai-inspired menu is home-made, prepared and cooked by a Thai chef.



“Two inches to the north west is written a word full of meaning – the most purposeful word that can ever be written on a map. Inn.”


King Charles I’s chair. Go on, you know you want to…


…and it’s so crowded he gets squashed up against a woman in front of him at the bar. Eventually she turns round and says: “Will you stop poking me with your… your thing?”

“It’s not my thing, you’re feeling” says the man, it’s the wage packet in my pocket.”

The woman says: “It must be some job you’ve got because it’s the fifth rise you’ve had in the past two minutes.”


Following his capture at Nottingham in May 1646, King Charles I was held by the Scots enemy in Market Street, Newcastle, at the residence of a Major Anderson (where Lloyd’s Bank is now sited). It is recorded he spent eight months’ open imprisonment playing chess and ‘goff’ on the Shield Field under heavy guard. He was also allowed to visit The Old George in the Cloth Market which dates from 1582, and by far the oldest pub in the city. The chair he is reputed to have used while enjoying his leisure time still exists (hmm…). Charles also attempted to escape his captors using the Lort Burn which flowed down what is now Grey Street and Dean Street, but was apprehended before he reached the Quayside and a waiting ship. 

Of course, the next time you step into The Old George, you’re going to try the chair for size, aren’t you? Be careful, though – visitors claim to have witnessed the outline of a grey figure sitting in it, while bar staff say they experienced the feeling of being watched and refuse to venture into certain parts of the pub unless they're accompanied by a colleague.

That’s all for now, pub-pickers. Feel free to pass the details of this issue on to your friends – and read it over again to your heart’s content. See you in 2023, same place, if not before.

And as ever… mine’s a pint. (AG)

Pictured at The Punch Bowl, Newcastle
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