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Daft Stuff: 5


Come on you brainboxes, here are ten questions, so let’s see what you’re made of


1 Where was the first World Cup held?

2 What is meant by saying that the Moon is at syzygy?

3 What is the 1388 Battle of Otterburn alternatively known as?

4 Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to do what on August 6 1926?

5 Which Newcastle music hall did George Ridley first sing The Blaydon Races (1862)?

6 Alexei Leonov marked a first in space exploration on March 18 1965 by doing what?

7 Usually, every human being has 23 pairs of what?

8 How did Lord Kitchener die?

9 The tenth part of a Roman legion consisted of 600 infantrymen. What was it called?

10 Which British band was formerly known as Seymour?



1 Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1930. 2 It’s either full or new. 3 Chevy Chase. 4 Swim the English Channel. 5 The Wheatsheaf pub. The proprietor was called Balmbra which occurs in the song. Three years later, the pub became the Oxford Music Hall. 6 He made the first walk in space from Voskhod II. 7 Chromosomes. 8 He drowned when the cruiser Hampshire hit a mine off Orkney in 1916. 9 A cohort. 10 Blur.

Lord Kitchener. See question 8


This has been hanging around the computer desktop for so long we’ve forgotten where it came from. The sign was on a pub entrance, somewhere – or was it? A pint (or similar) to the tenth person who emails with the solution.


Anyway, Geordie humour always strikes a chord with us, so we’ll have some more of the same, please (send to the email address above). Or if you fancy, just say hello.


Meet And Drink came across this group of charity bike riders outside the former Boathouse Inn at Newburn, Newcastle (now Branzino Italian restaurant) close to the River Tyne just as the heavens opened. It was an uncanny throwback to The Great Flood of 1771 when torrential rain in the early hours of Sunday November 17 caused immense damage and suffering throughout northern England and even swept away huge sections of the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle (then a stone structure bearing homes and shops and situated where the Swing Bridge is now).

The deluge had to start somewhere but our photo captures a mere spittle compared with what we imagine the scene was like 250 years ago. The mark on the building describes where the water reached (next to the hanging basket – plus a drop of about eight metres to the River Tyne itself) while other markings record flood levels in subsequent years – 1815, 1832, 1850 and 1952 .

M&DJuly22DaftStuff Bikers.jpeg
Cyclists take a break in time for a shower to start
The level that marks The Great Flood of 1771 – and where on the building it reached
Damage to the Tyne Bridge in 1771 from an illustration in John Brand’s History of Newcastle (Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums)


“I like bars just after they open in the evening when the air inside is still cool and clear and everything is shining. The first quiet drink of the evening in a quiet bar – that’s wonderful.”

Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye


… and asks for a pint of Tennents lager and a gin and tonic. ‘That’ll be £2.50’, says the barman. The customer looks bemused but being a tight sod, he’s pleased at getting away with such a cheap round. He goes back to the bar shortly after with the same order. ‘That’ll be £2.50,’ says the barman. Fifteen minutes later, he’s at it again – lager and G&T. ‘That’ll be £2.50,’ says the barman once more. Finally, the customer says: ‘This is the only pub in the village, it’s a lovely place, but there’s nobody else in the bar except me and my wife and you charge £2.50 for lager and gin and tonic, so let’s get this straight – where are all the other customers?

‘Och,’ says the barman, ‘they’ll all come piling in in aboot ten minutes. They’re waiting for Happy Hour.’



The news that Heineken is to close its Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh has been met with disdain from beer aficionados the world over. OK, the likes of Deuchars IPA and 80/- (now branded as Edinburgh Castle) might not be the most fashionable or experimental ales around and they’ll find a brewing home somewhere, but they’re solidly enjoyable and more than 150 years of heritage and tradition is about to be cut off at the knees, all in the quest of greed and profit. Here is a photo of the brewhouse’s Mash Tun No3, with Deuchars bubbling away below what appears to be a diving board. Slàinte Mhath!


That’s all for now, pub-pickers. We hope you’ve enjoyed this issue of – and please tell your friends.

See you in September, same place, for similar terrific content. And… if one of the team spots you in a pub with this page open on your device, they have permission to buy you one of those pint things pictured on the left.

So pay regular visits to You never know…(AG)

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