Pub Float – The Ranworth Maltsters

It’s our last full day on the Broads. We’ve planned our whole trip around a final visit to The Ship in South Walsham for their Thursday pub quiz. We’re tired, cold, and really just want one last night with hearty food and a few ales to round the whole thing off. So, you can imagine our emotional state when we arrive to find the pub closed until further notice.


We all hustle the mile and a half back down to where we’ve moored up, very aware that we have just thirty minutes of daylight left. There’s no lights on these boats; no way to navigate after dark. Unless we make it to the next mooring point, it’ll be Dorito crumbs and bruised apples for dinner.

The top speed on a canal cruiser is just a little over a stately walking pace. The light is dwindling.

At last, just as the light is beginning to fade, we round a bend and see our destination. The gang sighs with relief, then spends the next thirty minutes struggling to spin the boat round and moor stern on in the dark. Just as we get lined up, a snooty woman shouts at us to moor further away from her boat because she doesn’t want to deal with “a bunch of noisy, stinky boys”.

At this point, we’d gladly run into even the grottiest, dingiest pub. Even the Lady Of The Lake would do, frankly. But while we’d rush toward any other pub without a moment’s hesitation, this one made us pause.

Picture by, because it was too dark when we arrived

This place looks far too posh for us.

Having taken a moment to compose ourselves and flatten down our hair, we step in. The interior is light and airy, freshly painted in cream and blue. To our right, a gently glowing coal fire draws us in. As soon as the gaggle of children screaming up and down the place wrap up and leave, we stake our claim on the warmest end of the building.

The Maltsters has two ales on tap: Ghost Ship and Little Sharpie. Both ales we’ve seen many times up and down the Broads, but this was the best-served Ghost Ship I’ve had all week.

With beers poured, food on the way, and our feet toasting gently by the fire, we were almost all set. But we’d had our hearts set on something more – we’d been preparing for the pub quiz at The Ship almost the whole year. Were we now doomed to a quiet night of drinking and commiserating?

You already know with all this build up I’m clumsily writing that the answer is clearly no. For your personal enjoyment, here is the quiz I prepared for our merry band of shipmates.

  1. 2017’s FA Cup Final saw Arsenal beat Chelsea to the title. What year did those two teams last face each other in a cup final?
  2. In the second book of Kings, a gang of children mock the prophet Elisha for his baldness. The Lord sends two she-bears to rebuke them. How many children were mauled that day?
  3. Wills and Kate had two wedding cakes. One was a traditional recipe, but the other was made to William’s own recipe. What was the key ingredient?
  4. In 2017, all the homes in the UK were worth £7.1 trillion. How much were they worth in 1665?
  5. You will probably all remember Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus in The Matrix trilogy. He’s since appeared in the television series Hannibal: which main character did he play?
  6. Do fresh eggs float or sink?
  7. In what year did McDonald’s first release its special edition Szechuan sauce?
  8. Who was the highest paid actor in 2017?
  9. Jeremy Kyle has a degree in History and Sociology. From what university?
  10. Out of the first generation Pokemon (the original 151), how many are pure grass type?
  11. Who won President Trump’s Fake News Awards?
  12. What breed of dragon did Harry Potter face in the first Triwizard trial? (Thanks to the Maltsters staff for suggesting this one)
  13. Australian Steven Bradbury won Olympic gold in the 1000m speed skating in 2002. How?
  14. Who’s playing Simba in the live-action remake of The Lion King?


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