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The Marrowbone & Cleaver

UPDATE: I was trying to write this while I was half-asleep, having travelled back from America today. It was riddled with typos. Sorry. Hopefully I've got them all now.

Guy Martin isn’t much of pub regular, but when he found out the local in the village he grew up in was closing, he acted decisively and bought it. The Marrowbone and Cleaver, in Kirmington, North Lincolnshire had gone through two or three managers recently and the brewery that owned it had called time on the incumbents. After returning from the Land Speed Record practice week in Bonneville at the back end of last summer, Guy attended the last night at the pub with the Kirmington locals.

Guy never wanted to run the place, but he didn’t want it to be boarded up and derelict, it had been open since 1871. The plan he came up with was to have his older sister Sally run it. She had relevant bar management experience at the Chicago Rock Café Grimsby, where Guy had been a glass collector and bar-top dancer in his younger days, and Sally made the life-changing decision to give up her place on a nurse training course for the new adventure. The pub was in a worse state than the pair imagined and cost more to refurbish, but they did a great job. It’s been well thought out, great details and bits of character all over it, from the tin bucket urinals in the gents, to the pieces of wall of death dotted around the place.

It has a flavour of Guy, but isn’t a GM theme pub, like a more cynical or cash-obsessed family might make it. It still has a lot of the local WWII heritage, because the local Kirmington airfield, now Humberside International Airport, was a bomber command station in the 1940s.

I called in on a Tuesday morning in January and it was busy. The previous Monday night had been packed with the diners choosing from a decent menu full of pub grub staples. It’s a proper nice pub, well worth a visit if you're over that way.

Marrowbone & Cleaver, 3 High Street, Kirmington, DN39 6YZ

The pub’s signs were designed by regular Sideburn collaborator, Ryan Quickfall.

Lincolnshire Brewery, Batemans brew an exclusive Skull and Spanners ale for the pub. I had to have a pint. It's a tasty drop. According to the brewers, it's a blend of two thirds Bateman's Gold, one third of XXXB and a punch of XB.

A section of record-breaking wall of death. The green line was Guy’s start and finish. The Harley was built by Racefit. It’s so loud that Guy admits, ‘It nearly put me off motorbikes’. It's trick, though.


Lovely old TT photo that used to hang in Guy’s dad’s shed.

Polished shell casings.

Stained glass door with the crest of 166 Squadron, the squadron that were based at Kirmington. Guy was named after the commanding officer of another WWII Lincolnshire Bomber Squadron, Guy Gibson of the 617 Squadron.

Map of the area, Skull and Spanners, random knick-knacks on the mantel piece.

Lancaster Air Speed indicator on the mantel piece

More WWII memorabilia.

REMEMBER: Guy answers readers questions, however daft they are, in every issue of Sideburn. Submit yours to

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