Sorry to keep going on about the Ring but I’ve finally been back there (I have disembarked from the wagon). The verdict: mixed. The music is louder, the bar staff young and relatively trendy. The beer is worse, the prices higher. The layout of the pub remains, but the carpet has been replaced with dark-stained hardwood flooring. They claim they’re doing Thai and English food (I didn’t check). There are still one too many tables in there. There’s a bigger telly, but still no-one seems to be watching the darned thing. For now at least, the change has been a success in business terms: each time I’ve been in or past, the pub has been busier than I would have expected before the refurb. What’s more, the clientele is younger and apparently wealthier than it was, although there are still a few of the old regulars in there, looking faintly bewildered at the goings-on around them.

Most of which points to the bad, I’d say, except there’s still something good about the place. It feels friendly, relaxed and informal (compare and contrast with the hideously elitist Baltic next door) and is still a pleasant enough place to have a pint on your own or with a bunch of people.

Better news is that my ongoing search for decent backstreet London boozers has come up with another gem: the Lord Clyde on Clennam St, not far from Borough tube. A beautifully kept, simple, two-room classic, obviously much loved by owners and patrons alike. You lose some, you win some.