It's been said that if you put something extremely sweet in your mouth, it'll make whatever you follow it with taste a thousand times more sour. So if you stuck a spoonful of sugar on your tongue, then followed it with a bitter lemon, your face would turn inside out with the sheer pain of its tartness.
I bring this up as a caveat before I write anything about Craven Arms. You have to remember that I had just arrived in the town after a morning in the beautiful, charming Church Stretton. I'd rambled over hillsides and wandered picturesque streets and enjoyed the beauty of nature. I was now somewhere else. That place might not be the most wonderful place on earth, but coming right after Church Stretton, its flaws seemed all the more apparent.
Due to flood damage the pub will be closed from 7pm tonight until Monday, sorry guys!!!
A follow-up post appeared on the 4th March:
Heyyy all just to keep you updated we now have heating again but we are still waiting on the coolers to be done 😞 fingers crossed will be this week
On the 20th March 2020, the government closed all the pubs and put us in lockdown. I imagine at that point the licensee thought "stuff this for a lark," packed up their goods and disappeared into the night. I don't blame them to be honest, but it did leave a big hole in the middle of town. If you're the town of Craven Arms, it feels wrong that the pub that gave you its name is no more. It was sad and also ominous; a real ravens leaving the tower moment.
You know when you go on holiday, and you end up in the local supermarché, and it's all familiar and yet at the same time, deeply weird? That was what it was like wandering round Tuffins. It sort of made sense as a supermarket - there was milk and bread and orange juice - but the brands were odd, and the layout was strange. There was a garden centre next to the bakery. There was an aisle that sold balls of wool on one side and children's underwear on the other. It had a charmingly ramshackle feel to it, like it had started as a tiny shop but they'd kept buying the buildings next door and knocking through and then trying to find stuff to fill it with.