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Thrupiece Pubs [An Occasional Series] #18

Being an occasional series in which our Hostelry Correspondents B & B Akkomo-Daishon explore the highways and byways of Dorset's most famous watering-holes in the hope that at some point in 2029 some of them will re-open for business.


The Harbour Inn: welcoming smugglers, punters, and more recently, real-ale lovers since 1386.

Originally a 14th-century repository for seamen and later an 18th-century brothel, The Harbour Inn on The Quay, Bridport is a typical seaside inn. It was first visited by Professor Thrupiece in 1958 when he was just 18 and had yet to have a proper shave. Local tradition suggests that he tried to order an Old Fashioned [which he thought was a boutique variety of Dandelion and Burdock] but was advised by jocular locals keen to test the young man's metal to "start with a lemonade shandy and see how you go sonny-boy" instead. He did, little suspecting that the shandy was made up of 1 part lemonade to 16 parts 18° proof home-brew or "Dorset hooch". The Professor was reportedly sick for a week and would, friends say, come close to retching at the mere mention of a milk stout or IPA thereafter. [Lest the idea take root that the Professor was being victimised, local historian Noah Tin-Doinheer [see Noah Tin-Doinheer [2012] Very Little Action: Bridport Through The Ages" [Threadbone Local Histories] reassures us that this was a local tradition amounting to an initiation rite or rite of passage to which all first-time drinkers were subject.]

Exterior of The Harbour Inn with the famous Sea-Shanty long associated with it. Tourists come many hundreds of yards just to be photographed next to it.

The 2021 CAMRATH Good Professor Thrupiece Pub Guide: Identical to 2019's edition though "with far fewer pubs".

Over the next 30 years the Professor would occasionally fetch up in the saloon bar, sometimes accompanied by a female friend and/or horizontal jogging enthusiast. A plaque to that effect hangs behind the optics. The local "ale" "Sailor's Scrotum" has recently been discontinued, having failed on more than a dozen occasions to meet with Health and Safety Standards. Tegestologist please note that beer mats carrying this logo are now highly collectable and are snapped-up quickly.

The pub is also famous as the place in which the well-known Sea-Shanty "He did her on the decking" was first performed. Though folk song collectors are unconvinced of its authenticity, it has been performed regularly at the pub's Sea Shanty Shindig [see below] and a late 20th century copy of its lyrics hang's on the hostelry's front exterior wall. Tourists often choose - inexplicably - to be photographed standing next to it.

The Harbour Bar is open during normal pub hours [10.30am - 11pm] weekdays [10.30am - 1am Saturdays, 12 noon - 3 pm, 8pm - 11pm Sundays] with an extension on the first Friday of each month when the popular Sea Shanty Shindig attracts local singers of variable talent. Occasional Whelk, Winkle and Quiz Nights occur throughout the year [contact hosts Annette and Rod Shell-Fischer for details]. They are popular with those with nothing better to do. [see Noah Tin-Doinheer [2012] Very Little Action: Bridport Through The Ages" [Threadbone Local Histories].

Traditional shanty: He Did Her on the Decking. It is sung to the tune of Salty Dog aka All Things Bright and Beautiful.

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