Galloping ahead with car games

Ye Olde White Horse in Spalding is worth four points in Trish's car game. Just count the horse's legs. ANL-150901-161043001
Ye Olde White Horse in Spalding is worth four points in Trish's car game. Just count the horse's legs. ANL-150901-161043001
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TRISH TAKES FIVE: With blogger Trish Burgess

“The White Horse – that’s four points to me.” Have you ever played The Pub Game during a long drive?

A popular pastime for the Burgess family over the years, the idea is to take it in turns to spot pubs and gain points depending on the number of legs applicable to each name.

The White Horse would give you four points; one for each leg.

If you spot The Ship Inn, you get nothing as it hasn’t got any legs (and don’t try the ‘but there may be sailors inside’ argument).

I know my husband, Dougie, has chanced his arm with these spurious claims along with a shout for The Royal Oak because there was a picture of a King in the middle of the pub sign. He didn’t get away with that nor did he get extra points for The Fox and Hounds by exaggerating the number of dogs.

Playing this game is just one of the benefits of taking the picturesque, ­motorway free, roads around the UK when travelling.

We did the Exeter run twice in December/January to pick up our son from university and deposit him back again three weeks later. Having tried various routes including the A14, M5 and M6, we have decided that taking the scenic route is preferable, certainly at weekends.

From Peterborough we take the A605, the A45 and A43 around Northampton, the A34 bypassing Oxford before the final two-hour bumble along the A303 past Stonehenge. On that final stretch, bored of The Pub Game, we searched for other opportunities to pass the time.

Trying to beat the SatNav’s estimated time for our journey wasn’t an option as we had given Jane the day off.

We started to make words from registration numbers and then I remembered a game I hadn’t played in ages: find a village that sounds like an elderly Shakespearean actor.

Have you never tried it? Imagine an elegant retirement home and picture a number of smart, cravat-­wearing gentleman reminiscing about their theatrical experiences. What village name sounds like one of these old thespians?

Travelling locally I’m rather fond of Burton Pedwardine (just off the A17) and Boothby Pagnell (near Grantham), but driving around the West Country produced a fine selection of luvvies.

“The name’s Charlton Musgrove. Delighted to meet you, old chap!”

“Ah, Charlton, the pleasure’s all mine. Compton Pauncefoot. You may remember my Lear at the Old Vic: The Standard said it was a triumph.”

“Was that in ‘53? Remember it well. Have you met my dear friend, Osmington Mills? Worked with Stanley Pontlarge in Stratford.”

The conversation continued, using names on the road ahead plus a few I had gleaned from my road atlas.

Dougie asked whether the retirement home took elderly actresses? This threw me so I asked why. “Have just seen a possibility, ­ Fenny Bridges?”

*You can follow Trish on Twitter @mumsgoneto and read her blog at