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This year has seen a resurgence of pub quizzes in West Norfolk

In his weekly The Bar Man column, Jeff Hoyle discusses the humble pub quiz...

Meat and potato £2 in Jamaica, steak and kidney £2.50 in Barbados and chicken and mushroom £3 in Cuba. Name the film. We will come back to that later. It’s the type of question that you might get down your local pub quiz, and this year has seen a resurgence of them, except they have spread way beyond the pub.

I have taken over the running of the Marriott’s quiz which happens on the fourth Wednesday of every month in the Fred Hall room on the top floor of the building. For just a fiver, you will have an hour’s entertainment, a coffee and some of the bar wife’s fabulous biscuits. The morning quiz has proved so popular with a certain demographic that I ran one in aid of the King’s Lynn Arts Society out at the Warehouse and Taproom at Setchey, where Amanda generously allowed us to use the function room without charge and provided us with urns of tea and coffee.

Jeff Hoyle AKA The Bar Man
Jeff Hoyle AKA The Bar Man

Was it as good as the one organised there for the ‘On the Ball’ charity as part of Dave from the Moon Gazer brewery’s barrel push? That did give me the chance to sample some of Dave’s excellent Pintail beer and attempt to finish one of their scrumptious pizzas, so the jury is out. If you have any interest in brewery history, ask to have a look at the photo display in the function room at the Warehouse Tap where 36 photos of former breweries together with their beermats adorn one of the walls. The cuts in funding to enterprises such as the Night Shelter mean that there are more deserving causes out there than ever and it was very generous of Tracy at the Ferry Lane Social Club to let us use the Nightingale bar to host quiz evenings for a variety of causes over the year, including True’s Yard, the Food Bank, the Night Shelter and weirdly, the West Norfolk Flower arrangers.

With a couple to go, I reckon that this year’s total raised will be around £4,000 though my guest spot for All Saints in Blackheath accounted for half of that as they can charge much higher entry fees in the more affluent areas of London. And it’s not down to me. I might write and ask the questions, but credit should go to the organisers, markers, raffle ticket sellers, publicists, bakers and the rest who make these events happen, and most of all those who turn up on the morning or evening. I don’t know if they come for the challenge, the coffee, the biscuits, or the company, but thanks to each and every one of you who have supported the various causes over the past year.

It has also been good to take part in a few quizzes run by other people. Rod at the Nelson in Clenchwarton must be approaching the 200th of his monthly quizzes. It was the usual high standard at the North Wootton Scout Hut recently with Roger on top form while it was good to see the old team from Park House relocated to South Wootton Village Hall raising money for Rotary. So, a question and an answer. When did barbers’ poles change from the traditional red and white which signify the blood and bandages of the barber surgeons to the prevailing red white and blue? I have no idea, but I can tell you the answer to one of my favourite questions of the year at the top of the column. Those are the Pie Rates of the Caribbean. I’m here every week.


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