July 2nd – Out on a long ride I was sad to note that the Meynell Ingram Arms in Hoar Cross – refurbished at huge cost after a previous closure – is still empty and gently decaying.

I thought it had closed relatively recently, but it closed without explanation in 2014, and has been vacant ever since. The last refurbishment was extensive, and must have cost a lot: outdoor ‘dining pods’ and other gimmicks apparently failed to pull the punters when perhaps more concentration on service and quality would have been more beneficial. A look at Tripadvisor is informative.

The establishment has had a chequered history and it’s current ownership and any plans for it are unknown.

This is a lovely country pub in a beautiful valley that would make an ideal real ale house with decent, basic food, and it’s so sad it can’t find an owner who loves it.

A real shame.

June 17th – From Amerton, I went for a long afternoon and evening ride around old haunts; Drointon, Blithfield, Newborough, Hoar Cross, Woodmill. A lovely ride, gorgeous golden hour on one of the warmest, most beautiful days of the year.

Newborough’s elegant, Francophile church is one of the finest in the UK, and certainly gives Staffordshire’s other gem, Clifton Campville a run for it’s money.

So sad to see the Meynell Ingram pub at Hoar Cross is still closed. That could be such a good pub in the right hands.