Welcome to Terling, Essex Village of the Year 2017. The 2018 winner was Messing so there may be hope for Ugley or Fiddler’s Hamlet this year.
If you have 45 minutes to spare in Terling before the Monkey opens, there’s loads to do. No, really. For starters it has an open air swimming pool.
The village hall is licensed for music, dancing and er.. wrestling.
Tandems are popular.
The cricket club lies at the top of a beautiful woodland fringed path – perhaps it is called Terling Moss – where I spotted a brambling.
More Terling facts. All Saints Church dates from 1732. There is a windmill that featured in the film ‘Oh Mr Porter’ starring Will Hay. And they hold an annual International Trifle Festival. What more can anyone want?
But rest assured not everyone in Terling looks healthy and sporty. Just the ones I met. The pub, once the Rayleigh Arms, but apparently always known as the Monkey, reopened after a period of closure and seems to be thriving.
There was a choice of St Austell Trelawny or Sprucy Banger, a 4.5% collaboration between Northern Monk and Adnam’s. I am sucker for pine flavours and this worked well for me.
Heading further south-east to Westcliff-on-Sea and an unprecedented sighting of two Cloudwater cask beers at West Road Tap. Their 4% Pale was very good. They also had their 5.5% ESB and Billericay Black Christmas.
Over the years there has been slim pickings round the Southend area but this would have graced the Good Beer Guide in much more competitive locations.
It’s more stereotypical Essex than Terling round here.
And the crowd in the Rose and Crown in Rochford were real boozers in a real boozer. It is a classic example of Brewer’s Tudor.
So that’s Essex completed for another year, with time to enjoy a game at Great Wakering with Rover.