I stayed overnight in Braintree last Saturday. Tranmere were due to play an FA Cup tie on Sunday lunchtime so I'd decided to travel down the day before. It was an expensive trip as the match was postponed an hour before kick off.
Anyway, my Northerner prejudices were demolished as I found it a pleasant town with friendly locals. I drank some excellent beer in Braintree including a Mild (!) and also in Chelmsford. Late evening I was tempted into the local Wetherspoons by their beer festival. A cavernous former cinema I was surprised to find a mixture of Dance and R & B music playing at a high volume. There was also Italian football on numerous screens. Is this a change of tack for Wetherspoons? I've not been in one of their pubs before with loud music playing. I found the juxtaposition of drinking Minagof Pale Ale from Guam while watching the Essex youth singing along to Ne-Yo blasting out from the sound system rather surreal.