Pride in the pub.
Bridford, or Bridaforda as the Doomsday Book recorded it in 1086 – means Bride’s Ford.
It’s unclear whether her marriage lasted, but presumably not, or we’d be calling it Wive’s Ford, or Mother’s Ford, or even Widow’s Ford, heaven forbid. But to stick at this life stage is curious, and makes me question its time-limitedness.
Bridford today is just as strongly independent as it needed to be historically. Even modern vehicles can’t make it through to Bridford on a snowy day. Bridford can be cut off by the steep hills that surround the village, and the village has always had a self-reliance that comes from this natural weather-dependancy.
During a cold wet snap, Bridaforda may as well be as from the mainland as Sark is from Guernsey.
With this in mind one can imagine some discomfort in the village when the pub was taken over by a couple of blokes who were openly in love, even driving around in a pink Beetle.
You can almost hear the “Men’s Men” having to perform mental gymnastics to rationalise getting a pint. Obviously, the gymnastics must have been done in a way that couldn’t be construed as gay.
In Bridford they say that their small heart grew three sizes that day – the community pub remained at the cherished heart of the village.
The Bridford Inn now has new hands, and is rated very highly. Do check the weather forecast before booking a table, though, a storm could see you cut off for days, and heaven knows who you might meet.