Monday, 6 May 2013

Grand Junction Canal is no cock and bull story

As part of our visit to Ally and Ben in Milton Keynes this weekend we went to a recommended curry house in Stony Stratford. While there we walked along the high street and saw the two famous coaching inns, the Cock and the Bull.

Stony Stratfordians will be eager to tell you that the phrase "cock and bull story" originates from these two hostelries. In the heyday of the coaching era, so they say, the inns would compete with each other for the most outlandish travellers' tales.

Whether that's true or not, one way the Bull scores over the Cock is that the former can claim to be where the Grand Junction Canal was born.


Thankfully there's no mention of tall stories on the simple and informative plaque.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

As you may have suspected, the Stony Stratfordians are themselves telling a cock and bull story. The plaque on The Bull says it goes back to 1609.
In "Law Trickes" by John Day, he writes,"What a tale of a cock and a bull he tolde my father." The book was published in 1608!

H.S.

Val Poore said...

The explanation by HS sounds very plausible, but I like your cock and bull story, Halfie :-) Nice one!