All the time menaced by the throbbing pub rock.

  • Sunday, June 28, 2015
  • 0

Every so often we manage to gather a sporadic and motley bunch for a night run. These runs never fail to produce a variety of strange things and colourful characters.
We met at Downe in Kent, Jerry and myself, Karien, Richard, Andrew, Sue and Ralph, two South Africans, one Zimbabwean and the rest natives, gathered on the pavement outside the Queens Head pub. It wasn't long before the local village sage stumbled out in a dirty waxed jacket and was attracted like a moth to a flame by Jerry's Union flag shorts. This is Nigel Farage country after all. A conversation ensued and we learnt some interesting facts about the area as well as some utter bullshit, understandable when wax jacket informed us that he had lived in the area his whole life and had been in the very pub we were heading for all day. He did tell us that two aircraft had crashed into the Kings Arms over the years, once during WW2 and more recently a jet. This seems partially correct. On the 18th of August 1940 there was an air raid on the area and a bomb landed next to the pub and the pub was strafed wounding some customers. Two cars parked outside exploded and a Dornier bomber crashed a short distance away. History records that Mrs Taylor owned one of the cars and was learning to drive but after that she didn't bother.
Extracting ourselves we ran off toward Biggin Hill airfield and he weaved away to find his dinner. Off we went through Ginger Cat Gate and over the fields, briefly accosting a women, a boy and a dog to ask if they had any interesting facts about the area. They didn't but the lady did enquire if we were Orpington Road Runners to which I replied that we were a mash up of clubs. She took a moment to digest this, nodded once, turned and tugged the boy and dog away. It was about this time just over a mile into our run that loud music free distortion began in the far distance and we appeared to be running towards the vortex it created. Reaching the perimeter fence of the airfield with it's forbidding security notices we turned right and began our run along the runway, all the time menaced by the throbbing pub rock. It was a bit like being in a bad sci fi movie where aliens capture humans using some dastardly means to get them in their thrall, we ran zombie like in single file toward the mother ship, deadpan, silent and emotionless. After traversing a waist high wheatfield we arrived at the Kings Arms which bizarrely and ironically was the source of the music that had been torturing our ears for miles.
The Kings Arms is one of those myriad historic English public houses, typical in it's low beams and with walls festooned with paintings and prints of second world war aircraft. A particularly nice touch were the Christmas lights that looked as if they had been strung in the 1950's. Thankfully, as we entered the music died away and I enjoyed a bottle of Corona whilst the rest of the bunch sipped on real ale. Drinks finished we departed into the dusk, scaled a high gate, dropped into the wheat and began the return journey. No aliens tried to apprehend us but right on cue the music started up and it didn't stop as we ran the 4 miles back to Downe.
A great and sociable run with good people finished in the Queens Head filled with rustics wearing a variety of patriotic English and British garb, I think they were celebrating some historic occasion or perhaps that's how they always dress? I don't know but I had fun.

No comments :

Post a Comment