For that was the title of the very informative illustrated talk I attended yesterday at Braunston Village Hall, courtesy of HNBOC and a chap called Martin O'Keeffe. It was very informative. Very very informative. I'm afraid my attention may have started to wonder towards the end of the first two hours, but after a cup of tea I was ready for the final session.
I did learn some interesting stuff, some of which I might even retain, and there were lots of lovely photos. For example, there was a family firm of boatbuilders called George Hale and Sons at (I think - see, memory's going already) Oldbury, from the 1870s to the 1960s, so I quickly texted my sister, who is in the process of compiling a family tree, to see if they could possibly be related to us. Sadly she replied that all our ancestors, that she had traced, were either railway or agricultural workers, from Swindon and the area around Devizes. My paternal grandfather was actually called George Hale, but he - I'm very proud to report - was a boilermaker for the Great Western Railway.
Before the talk we met up with Dave and Izzie at the George in Kilsby to try out their lunch menu. The landlady and staff were very pleasant and friendly and the food was sound, but not outstanding. The 'traditional pub food menu' at £4.90 was very good value - I had faggots with mash and mushy peas. I would quibble at faggots being cooked dry and served with separate gravy, but they were tasty enough and the portion was a good size. The 'main' menu on the other hand, and the desserts, were pretty expensive.
Then after the meeting - at which many exciting things (well, it's all relative) happened which I shall relate separately, a few of us retired to the Plough in Braunston High Street, where we would have had a nice relaxing few pints before heading home had it not been for the fact that in order to celebrate the eighth anniversary of taking over the pub, the entire staff and regulars ware dressed in clown outfits (apart from the fortune teller) and karaoke was threatened, so we made our excuses and left.