The-Bird-in-Hand at Kent Green

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Roy Bailey

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Apr 10, 2007, 9:01:11 AM4/10/07
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Followup to: uk.food+drink.real-ale

I wonder if anyone can satisfy my curiosity. I have just been reading a
book entitled, 'Back Door Britain' by Anthony Burton. It is about a
journey around the canals of England by narrow boat in 1975.

This was around the time when the Campaign for Real Ale was just making
its presence felt, and the author has a bit of a pop at the Campaign.
Despite that he likes his ale, and appreciates unspoiled pubs. At one
point he enthuses about a pub called The-Bird-in-Hand at Kent Green, on
the Macclesfield Canal. The trouble is, I can't find any place called
Kent Green, although there is a Key Green just off the canal east of
Congleton.

The Bird-in-Hand which he describes would be a shoo-in for CAMRA's
National Inventory. It gives the impression that you are in someone's
living room as there is no bar, and with an ancient landlady who takes
the glasses down to the cellar to fill them with ale from wooden
barrels.

It sounds a wonderful place, but I bet it doesn't exist any more, does
it?
--
Roy Bailey
West Berkshire.

Message has been deleted

Stewart

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Apr 10, 2007, 10:16:31 AM4/10/07
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I had the pleasure of visiting the Bird in Hand and having a few beers
many years ago, probably the early 1980's. It was indeed run by an
elderly lady who had to go down the cellar to bring a jug of beer.
There were very few drinks other than beer available, a few odd
bottles including Sweet Sherry, Martini Rosso and the like, for the
ladies. It was like being in someone's very under-furnished living
room as there was a collection of mixed chairs and a few tables. The
beer was very good as I remember.

The building is still there but had been badly, partly, re-furbished
as a private house the last time I saw it a couple of years ago. It's
a double fronted cottage right beside where Bridge 88 used to be, on
the towpath side of the cut.

Stewart

Brian Waine

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Apr 10, 2007, 11:22:29 AM4/10/07
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The Bird in the Hand was listed in the 1975 Good Beer Guide.

Only beer listed was Bass Worthington served by gravity.

It was also listed as a "Beer only" licence.

I cycled there a few times in the mid 70's but can't remember when it was closed.

--
Brian Waine
Warrington
"Roy Bailey" <ne...@waitrose.com> wrote in message news:m4aoB0HX...@roy.bailey.waitrose.com...

David Kitching

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Apr 10, 2007, 12:15:49 PM4/10/07
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On Tue, 10 Apr 2007 14:01:11 +0100, Roy Bailey <ne...@waitrose.com>
wrote:

Sadly long gone. The Landlady died in the late 1980's and that was the
end. The building deteriorated for a number of years but has fairly
recently been done up as two cottages.

Yes it was like being in the living room because you were in the
living room. A great place to drink whilst it lasted.

The location is at

http://tinyurl.com/38bc4e

The pub was just above the letters PH in the area by the canal just
above the centre of the map.

Cheers,

--
David Kitching

Malcolm Lee

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Apr 10, 2007, 12:31:18 PM4/10/07
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I second/third all all the other responses/comments I've just read. We
stopped there one lunchtime on a canal trip in 1979. The beer was
Draught Bass. It was served from a large 4 pint jug which was filled
in the cellar and brought up to the drinking area which was a pretty
basic room about the size of a large lounge (maybe 10 by 10 yds).
The old lady wan't there on our visit - we were served by an academic
(I think he was a Prof) from Manchester University who said he helped
out there occasionally as a sort of hobby. The Bass, by the way, was
fantastic.

It was indeed a wonderful place - there's not many one remembers so
vividly after 25 years or so - and it certainly would have walked into
the National Inventory were it still going in it original form.

As a PS - it was very similar in layout and atmosphere to the Mounted
Rifleman in Oare/Luddenham in Kent which had a similar sized drinking
room and beer (Fremlins, I think) brought up from the cellar in a
jug. That pub also is now, alas, a private house.

Malcolm

Mike Jones

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Apr 10, 2007, 1:10:14 PM4/10/07
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Are there any left any more? (I'm talking quaint old pubs still run by
old families, not beautifully preserved/retained old features pubs).
Can't be more than 5 in the country, with all the pub groups taking over
now.

Malcolm Lee

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Apr 10, 2007, 1:34:54 PM4/10/07
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Mike Jones wrote:
>
> Are there any left any more? (I'm talking quaint old pubs still run by
> old families, not beautifully preserved/retained old features pubs).
> Can't be more than 5 in the country, with all the pub groups taking over
> now.

Well, there were at least two in Kent that I used until we left about
2 1/2 years ago. Both were old, unspoilt and run by people who'd been
there for decades. I haven't heard either has changed, but you never
know....

They are Queens Head, Cowden Pound and the Red Lion, Snargate.

Here in Suffolk, there's a few "timeless" pubs but none that I know
of that has been in the same family for generations.

Malcolm

MikeMcG

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Apr 10, 2007, 1:39:19 PM4/10/07
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On 10 Apr, 18:10, Mike Jones <a...@127.0.0.1> wrote:
> David Kitching wrote:
> > On Tue, 10 Apr 2007 14:01:11 +0100, Roy Bailey <n...@waitrose.com>

There was a thread here a year or so ago(?), about the Unspoilt Pubs
list that did the rounds (& was münchened in the excellent beery/pubby
book - The Longest Crawl, by Ian Marchant) it would seem to fit the
bill.

see hear - http://tinyurl.com/yvcmpp
cheers
MikeMcG
(whose canal pub & beer fixated brother would prob know a lot more
info about this whole subject - )

MikeMcG

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Apr 10, 2007, 1:53:23 PM4/10/07
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On 10 Apr, 17:31, Malcolm Lee <n...@malREMlee45.ukfsn.org> wrote:
> Roy Bailey wrote:
> > Followup to: uk.food+drink.real-ale
>
> > I wonder if anyone can satisfy my curiosity. I have just been reading a
> > book entitled, 'Back Door Britain' by Anthony Burton. It is about a
> > journey around the canals of England by narrow boat in 1975.
>
> > This was around the time when the Campaign for Real Ale was just making
> > its presence felt, and the author has a bit of a pop at the Campaign.
> > Despite that he likes his ale, and appreciates unspoiled pubs. At one
> > point he enthuses about a pub called The-Bird-in-Hand at Kent Green, on
> > the Macclesfield Canal. The trouble is, I can't find any place called
> > Kent Green, although there is a Key Green just off the canal east of
> > Congleton.
>
> > The Bird-in-Hand which he describes would be a shoo-in for CAMRA's
> > National Inventory. It gives the impression that you are in someone's
> > living room as there is no bar, and with an ancient landlady who takes
> > the glasses down to the cellar to fill them with ale from wooden barrels.
>
> > It sounds a wonderful place, but I bet it doesn't exist any more, does it?

Hi Roy, I just found a few mentions of the place via googling <<"bird
in hand" "kent green" macclesfield>>
e.g. from - http://www.marple-uk.com/Frog2.htm -

"2pm Reached the hamlet of Kent Green, site of an oft recommended Inn,
'The Bird in Hand,' run by an elderly female character whose name was
legendary in the many dockside bars of Strines and High Lane. Beer and
Porter only, with the ale being carried up from the cellar in large
enamel jugs. We were eager to meet her. Sadly, she had passed away a
few weeks previously. We thought that most inconsiderate of her, but
then perhaps she had heard that we were coming. Not to be defeated we
explored the quiet lane beside the now empty Inn and located 'The
Rising Sun', not 25 yards away, lurking in the undergrowth."

I went to see a travelling theatre group perform in a similarly
unspoilt canalside pub a few years ago (beer hauled up by jug from the
cellar by elderly landlady - dusty, dingy but characterful pub) -
Anchor, High Offley, Staffs on Shrops Union Canal.
cheers
MikeMcG

Jason Hill

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Apr 10, 2007, 3:01:39 PM4/10/07
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Kent Green is near Scholar Green. I remember the Bird in Hand but,
sadly, it doesn't exist any more.

Jason


In message <m4aoB0HX...@roy.bailey.waitrose.com>, Roy Bailey
<ne...@waitrose.com> writes

--
Jason Hill

Mike Jones

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Apr 10, 2007, 3:39:52 PM4/10/07
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Ah, yes. Glad to hear they're still extant.

Christine

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Apr 10, 2007, 4:02:03 PM4/10/07
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In article <WxPSh.273$vV5...@newsfe5-win.ntli.net>,

Mike Jones <ad...@127.0.0.1> wrote:
> Are there any left any more? (I'm talking quaint old pubs still run by
> old families, not beautifully preserved/retained old features pubs).
> Can't be more than 5 in the country, with all the pub groups taking over
> now.

The Sun at Leintwardine, Herefordshire, sounds pretty well identical to
those already mentioned, and it was extant last year.

--
Christine Pampling

Dave Mayall

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Apr 11, 2007, 4:32:25 AM4/11/07
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"Roy Bailey" <ne...@waitrose.com> wrote in message
news:m4aoB0HX...@roy.bailey.waitrose.com...

Closed as a pub many years ago, and had been derelict for some years. There
have been a number of apparently abortive attempts at conversion into a pair
of houses over the years, which seem finally to have come to fruition.

When we went past on Sunday, the houses appeared finished but unoccupied.

Location - Immediately adjacent to the site of the former Swing Bridge
number 88. The derelict remains of the bridge were removed within the last 5
years, but the stonework remains. There is a traditional Gypsy-style caravan
on the opposite bank.


Roy Bailey

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Apr 11, 2007, 5:48:16 AM4/11/07
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Followup to: uk.food+drink.real-ale

In article <583moaF...@mid.individual.net>, Dave Mayall
<da...@research-group.co.uk> writes


>
>Closed as a pub many years ago, and had been derelict for some years. There
>have been a number of apparently abortive attempts at conversion into a pair
>of houses over the years, which seem finally to have come to fruition.
>
>When we went past on Sunday, the houses appeared finished but unoccupied.
>
>Location - Immediately adjacent to the site of the former Swing Bridge
>number 88. The derelict remains of the bridge were removed within the last 5
>years, but the stonework remains. There is a traditional Gypsy-style caravan
>on the opposite bank.
>

Thanks for this and all the other responses. There are several different
ones on uk.rec.waterways, who maintained a separate thread.

Mention of the 1973 'Nicholson's Real Ale Guide to the Waterways'
reminded me that I had a copy somewhere, and when I found it I also
discovered a copy of 'Waterside Pubs' by Ronald Russell (David and
Charles - 1974).

Not only does this contain a description of The Bird in Hand, but there
is also a good black-and-white photo. The licensee then was described
as, '... a man of decided views but always ready to listen to yours.'

MikeMcG also mentioned The Anchor, High Offley, Staffs, on the
Shropshire Union Canal. I visited that about 3 years ago, and thought it
was marvellous. I imagine the Bird in Hand must have been similar.

Roy.

Malcolm Lee

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Apr 11, 2007, 7:57:46 AM4/11/07
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Roy Bailey wrote:
> Followup to: uk.food+drink.real-ale
>
> [snip]

>
> Mention of the 1973 'Nicholson's Real Ale Guide to the Waterways'
> reminded me that I had a copy somewhere, and when I found it I also
> discovered a copy of 'Waterside Pubs' by Ronald Russell (David and
> Charles - 1974).
> [snip]


Roy (and everyone else interested in "proper" pubs),

If you haven't already got a copy (and can find one), I recommend

"The Quest For The Perfect Pub" by Nick & Charlie Hurt
ISBN 0-283-99807-5 (first published 1989)

It's an amusing tale of what must have been an epic pub crawl.
It covers about 300 pubs which are the "best" (in the sense
of unspoilt etc) that they found. Certainly all the 70 or
more that I've drank in over the past (too many) years are great pubs.

Unfortunately, the crawl was by car, so there's not too many
canal side pubs in the book.

Malcolm

Mike Jones

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Apr 11, 2007, 8:46:22 AM4/11/07
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Malcolm Lee wrote:
> Roy Bailey wrote:
>> Followup to: uk.food+drink.real-ale
>>
>> [snip]
>>
>> Mention of the 1973 'Nicholson's Real Ale Guide to the Waterways'
>> reminded me that I had a copy somewhere, and when I found it I also
>> discovered a copy of 'Waterside Pubs' by Ronald Russell (David and
>> Charles - 1974).
>> [snip]
>
>
> Roy (and everyone else interested in "proper" pubs),
>
> If you haven't already got a copy (and can find one), I recommend
>
> "The Quest For The Perfect Pub" by Nick & Charlie Hurt
> ISBN 0-283-99807-5 (first published 1989)
>
> It's an amusing tale of what must have been an epic pub crawl.
> It covers about 300 pubs which are the "best" (in the sense
> of unspoilt etc) that they found. Certainly all the 70 or
> more that I've drank in over the past (too many) years are great pubs.
>
It needs updating; several have fallen from grace in the nearly 2
decades since that was researched. ISTM that nearly all pubs are now
owned by big pubgroups with restricted ale policies, restaurants,
keg-only and/or closed.

Christine

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Apr 11, 2007, 11:22:54 AM4/11/07
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In article <b6GHBHFg...@roy.bailey.waitrose.com>,

Roy Bailey <ne...@waitrose.com> wrote:
> MikeMcG also mentioned The Anchor, High Offley, Staffs, on the
> Shropshire Union Canal. I visited that about 3 years ago, and thought it
> was marvellous. I imagine the Bird in Hand must have been similar.

There used to be a joint social on the first Sunday in December between
Wolverhampton and Stafford branches at the Anchor: we used to sing carols
and drink Merrie Monk. As I left Wolverhampton branch nearly 20 years ago I
can't say if they still go there, nor can I say if the pub's still open. I
know it was refurbished at some stage, so that there was beer available
upstairs as well as in the cellar.

--
Christine Pampling

Roy Bailey

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Apr 11, 2007, 9:28:01 AM4/11/07
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In article <461ccd83.0@entanet>, Malcolm Lee
<ne...@malREMlee45.ukfsn.org> writes

>Roy Bailey wrote:
>> Followup to: uk.food+drink.real-ale
>> [snip]
>> Mention of the 1973 'Nicholson's Real Ale Guide to the Waterways'
>>reminded me that I had a copy somewhere, and when I found it I also
>>discovered a copy of 'Waterside Pubs' by Ronald Russell (David and
>>Charles - 1974).
>> [snip]
>
>
> Roy (and everyone else interested in "proper" pubs),
>
>If you haven't already got a copy (and can find one), I recommend
>
>"The Quest For The Perfect Pub" by Nick & Charlie Hurt
>ISBN 0-283-99807-5 (first published 1989)
>
I had a copy of this on extended loan some years ago, and I thought it
was one of the funniest books I have ever read. Unfortunately the
authors ran into legal problem with one of the landlords they featured,
and copies are hard to come by. There are two listed on bookfinder.com
at about £42 each - a bit steep for me.

Llewellyn ap Iorwerth

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Apr 11, 2007, 5:49:13 PM4/11/07
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On 10 Apr, 14:01, Roy Bailey <n...@waitrose.com> wrote:

I started boating in 1991, and I believe that the Bird in Hand had, by
that time, closed. I do seem to recall that its swing bridge was
still in operation, but I was disapointed a few years later to see
that, not only had the timberwork been removed, but the iron mechanism
had gone too.

The building itself, for some years, had what appeared to be an old BR
carriage tacked on to it as an extension, but that's gone too now.
For a couple of years or more the place was boarded up and badly
vandalised, but now appears to be lived in - I suppose we should be
thankful that the original building still stands.

BTW I also payed 1/- for my fist pint - did yours make you sick too?
(I blame the pork pie)

Martyn Dawe

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Apr 12, 2007, 2:03:32 PM4/12/07
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there used to be the New Mogul, Dover, public bar had a counter, but
the saloon was just the other side of the counter with a couple of
sofas. You sat right next to the Gravity Fremlins. long closed.

Carusus

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Apr 14, 2007, 4:33:37 AM4/14/07
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I remember it with great affection. One sunny spring day in 1974 I
walked from Kidsgrove to Congleton along the canal with my uncle. Around
11:00 we were quite thirsty - it was a hot day - and the Bird in Hand
was 100 yards ahead.
We entered - outside pub hours in those days - and found the owner
cleaning. We asked if it was possible to have a drink, and ordered two
halves of lager.
The owner descended to the basement, to emerge 2 minutes later with two
naturally cool beers.
There was an aspidistra in the window - I kid you not - and the room was
about the size of an average living room.
I used to go there often afterwards, just to remember that day. I was
very saddened by its closure and derelict state. One of my fantasies was
always to buy the pub and run it. It was quintessential old England.
Its oddest feature was that it was obviously built for the days of
barges. The road is nowhere near it ...
Thanks for reminding me of it Roy.

Carusus

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Apr 14, 2007, 4:35:32 AM4/14/07
to Roy Bailey

I remember it with great affection. One sunny spring day in 1974 I
walked from Kidsgrove to Congleton along the canal with my uncle. Around
11:00 we were quite thirsty - it was a hot day - and the Bird in Hand
was 100 yards ahead.
We entered - outside pub hours in those days - and found the owner
cleaning. We asked if it was possible to have a drink, and ordered two
halves of lager.
The owner descended to the basement, to emerge 2 minutes later with two
naturally cool beers.
There was an aspidistra in the window - I kid you not - and the room was
about the size of an average living room.
I used to go there often afterwards, just to remember that day. I was
very saddened by its closure and derelict state. One of my fantasies was
always to buy the pub and run it. It was quintessential old England.
Its oddest feature was that it was obviously built for the days of
barges. The road is nowhere near it ...
Thanks for reminding me of it Roy.

Carusus

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Apr 14, 2007, 4:37:13 AM4/14/07
to Roy Bailey

Carusus

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Jun 10, 2020, 1:30:04 PM6/10/20
to

Mark

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Jun 11, 2020, 2:26:37 PM6/11/20
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Went there once with friends in the late 80’s/early 90’s. I remember it like a sitting room. We were the only ones in other than the landlady Who held court, and a bargee who was helping out as she was not well at the time. Beer came up on a tray, pints of something like Worthington Bitter straight from the cask. We stayed for one and I aimed to go back again but never did.

Another classic was the Berkley Hunt at Purton, basically an ale and local cider house on the canal. A central corridor to the parlour where the barrels were stillaged, with rooms to legt and right furnished like a sitting room with sofas. A £1 ploughmans was a huge hunk of cheddar, bread and pickled Onions. Lovely. It’s a house now...

Kerr-Mudd,John

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Jun 11, 2020, 3:17:25 PM6/11/20
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On Wed, 10 Jun 2020 17:30:03 GMT, Carusus
<cb710b50e091d2a8...@example.com> wrote:

> It was in Kent Green . See
> https://www.closedpubs.co.uk/cheshire/pics/kentgreen_birdinhand2.jpg
>

The discussion was 13 years ago; and the pub it seems, closed in the early
80's.


--
Bah, and indeed, Humbug.

Kerr-Mudd,John

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Jun 11, 2020, 3:41:32 PM6/11/20
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On Thu, 11 Jun 2020 18:26:36 GMT, Mark <marksh...@btinternet.com>
wrote:

> Went there once with friends in the late 80’s/early 90’s. I
> remember it like a sitting room. We were the only ones in other than
> the landlady Who held court, and a bargee who was helping out as she
> was not well at the time. Beer came up on a tray, pints of something
> like Worthington Bitter straight from the cask. We stayed for one and
> I aimed to go back again but never did.
>
I missed out.
> Another classic was the Berkley Hunt at Purton, basically an ale and
> local cider house on the canal. A central corridor to the parlour
> where the barrels were stillaged, with rooms to legt and right
> furnished like a sitting room with sofas. A £1 ploughmans was a huge
> hunk of cheddar, bread and pickled Onions. Lovely. It’s a house
> now...
>
BTDT.

Flossie's (Sun, Leintwardine) is OK but just a museum piece now, ISTM.
Bessie's (Dyffryn Arms, Pontfaen) I wonder if that'll reopen (& many
others for that matter).
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