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Watermill Inn, Ings

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user reviews of the Watermill Inn, Ings

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

I decided to give this place another chance while in the area recently.

It was the Tuesday after a Bank Holiday and my first observation was how quiet it was at around 12:30pm - I recall on my previous visit a couple of years back it was rather busy.

Apparently has been affected by the flooding and re-opened earlier this year and had a bit of refurb work done as a result. I am pleased to say that the bar service was much more friendly than on my previous visit, and as that was the only thing that let the place down last time I'm going to up my rating accordingly.

I noticed the real ales were listed on a chalk board above the bar, which confirmed my suspicion that perhaps the beer selection was split across the two bars. I wanted to try the Watermill's own beers so went for the W'ruff Night (5.0%) which I think was £3.85. A very nice pint and because it was quiet I got the pick of the seating so had a nice view of the water running by outside.

I gave in to temptation and ordered food, and a second pint to wash it down. This time Dog'th Vader which again I think was 5% or so. A dark stout/porter and very pleasant indeed. The haddock and chips I ordered was very tasty. I am fussy about chips, and they were good. The tartare sauce and mushy peas were also well above average. A polite young lad was doing the rounds asking diners if all was OK with the food, and so you get the impression that they want to impress.

The pub started to fill up a bit around 1:00pm-1:30pm but was not full by any stretch of the imagination.

Well worth a visit, in my opinion. I would seriously consider staying a couple of nights here just to work my way through the beers!
RealAleRobUK - 20 May 2016 14:29
Lovely pub and brewery on the main road from Kendal to Windermere in the small village of Ings.

13 ales, 1 real cider and Framboise on tap. A quantity of the ales are from the onsite brewery which is aptly named Watermill Inn & Brewing Co. Having never drunk any of their beers before I chose a pint of Collie Wobbles @ 3.7%.

Ordered a couple of Panini's, the wife had a Cumberland sausage and I had the Tuna, both were very well presented & blinking tasty

Dog friendly pub with plenty of dogs in the River bar

Brewing was in process in the brewery that is visible from the River bar.

Overall a cracking pub and one that I will spend more time at on my next visit to the Lakes
lezford - 5 Oct 2014 16:11
Called in here after reading about its impressive selection of real ales, and the place looks very inviting from the road!

On entering you are presented with a choice of two bars - the River Bar to the left or the Smithy Bar to the right. I opted for the River Bar and ordered a pint of "Bit'er Rough" which is a pale coloured ale and rather pleasant. There were about 6 hand pumps in front of me so plenty to choose from. The signage boasts 16 real ales, so perhaps there were additional pumps in the other bar, or maybe it's a rotating selection. The bar area itself looked very traditional, quite small and cozy but with a fair bit of seating.

Bar service was not particularly friendly, bordering on surly. I'm not one for excessive awkward chit chat at the bar, but I do expect basic manners such as a "thank you" when I hand over my money and a "here's your change" - maybe even followed by "enjoy your pint" if we were to push the boat out. But sadly no, none of that, and from handing over my cash the transaction was carried out in silence. I was left to feel like I was a bit of an inconvenience, so I didn't stay for the second pint I was originally contemplating.

When sat down with my drink, the table staff around me serving diners seemed very polite and friendly. There was a mix of clientele in the place but seemed mainly to be tourists. Drinkers do not feel out of place amongst the diners, like you can in some places.

Was a bit disappointed by the service, but other than that, was a nice pint in a pleasant and busy pub.
RealAleRobUK - 28 May 2014 17:59
My wife , dog & I spent three very comfortable nights at the Watermill. The room was very clean, cosy and comfortable, a little on the small side but everything else made up for this.
Evening bar meals were exceedingly good and well priced, as is the vast selection of beer. Breakfast was also very good.
If you have a dog this is certainly the place to stay as the dogs are made to feel most welcome, even by being able to sit with you at breakfast.
We shall definitely be returning.
Phantom_Pigeon - 30 Dec 2013 15:46
Great cosy traditional real ale pub on the main route to Windermere. Many people call in here en route to the Lakes and I would recommend you do too.
Had a pint of Dogth Vadar from their micro brewery and was so impressed I purchased a few that were available in bottles for the road.
anybody - 9 Mar 2013 17:07
Visited the Watermill for the 1st time on Friday & was more the impressed by everything. As I was driving I only had a half of Collie Wobbles, a lovely light, "moreish" pint & I look forward to sampling the full range of beers when I don't have a car! In addition, there was an excellent range of malts, including one of my favourites, Caol Ila, a rare event in a pub.

The food was fine - nothing fancy, but proper pub food grub, quickly served & a lot of it. The pub is a also very dog friendly, serving up biscuits & water for our 2.

I can't think of a single bad thing to say about the Watermill & look forward to returning soon.
colinsmith01 - 6 Oct 2012 17:48
Excellent pub- good food, dogs and children very welcome and a great range of real ales from their own brewery. We enjoyed an excellent evening meal in the suntrap beer garden. And they must have read one of the previous reviews as the chips are now home made, and very nice too. My favourite ale was the Isle of Dogs, as reccommended to me by a local.
edchambers - 18 Aug 2012 21:33
A really nice haven after the M6. Their own beers (from the adjoining micro-brewery) seem to me to be reliably good and the service seems to have improved a bit since the last time I was here (3 years or so ago). A friendly place. 7/10
HenPen - 12 Jun 2012 19:55
Very crowded on my Sunday evening trip with a lot of tinies (half-term?). The beer was very good, especially their own mild. Pub is attractive and well located and the service was very good. I guess I think the food is a little mediocre.
Psi - 31 Oct 2011 09:59
Saw the pub advertised on back of CAMRA booklet and quite desperate to find a pub with really good grub in the area, we decided to give it a go,,hubby was attracted by the promise of good real ale and i was attracted to the Old Rosie, rarely found unfortunately. We were greeted by a very friendly young barman, and taking our drinks, we sat down to peruse the extensive menu. The pub was quite busy and we anticipated a lengthy wait for our food, so we savoured our drinks (hubby was delighted with his 'Colly Wobbles'). The food was served a lot quicker than we expected, it was very good, I even forgive them for the cardinal sin of using frozen chips!
The young serving staff were extremely polite and attentive and we treated ourselves to another drink. Hubby was a happy bunny when I treated him to a gift pack of bottled beers. The rating would have been 10/10 if the chips had been hand-cut, otherwise highly recommended!
gabbyannie - 4 Aug 2011 20:08
I returned here in May 2011 after being impressed in the past. How it has fallen. I was served 3 beers and all had no condition and one was undrinkable. The barman thought it funny!!

If you like a good pint dont come here. They even managed to ruin the Grasmoor from Legendary Ales.

This place has gone to the dogs
fellwalker2010 - 20 May 2011 07:59
Went here after doing the Kentmere Horseshoe and it was perfect. Cracking Ale and a great selection and a good mix of other walkers with their dogs. Perfect end to a rewarding if tiring day. Well worth a trip
jimineyc - 25 Oct 2010 21:40
I love walking, i love real ales and i love animals(especially dogs) if you dont like like all these things combined then find another pub because this place does some of the greatest beers in cumbria, welcomes children, dogs n muddy boots and serves food ..... yes you may have to wait a while for service but you have to in any quality pub, especially one that has guest ales well into the double figures available permenantly!
burtonjohnn - 20 Aug 2010 23:16
I felt so strongly about the stupid comments from the last couple of "users" who should be booted off a good site for posting such utter rubbish
Yes the beer is great and the food is what a pub should serve! Good quality pub food and my god its very busy lunch and night time for food which shows how good it is! can stick "Gastro pubs" where the sun don't shine. It has a very good local reputation, speaks for its self.
Taxi £30...what are you taking??????? Windermere is 2 miles away, I got a taxi each night for £4.50 for 4 of us, so where the hell did you come from?...France?
Lacks atmosphere you when you left it lifted and became a happy place.
We all thought it was the best pub we visited in the area and that was last week
Beautiful Collie Wobbles £2.60 a pint....ooh sooo expensive....NOT!!!!!
Try Grasmere....£3.00 a pint for Tetleys bland mass produced
By the way the pub brews its own beer on site and might I say, well done great beers!

brianc - 9 Aug 2010 21:07
Good points

* Good selection of beers, wines and stouts
* Food okay

Bad points

* Miles from most places. Typical taxi fare return will set you back over £30 easily.
* Lacklustre service and staff, who seem to care little about the clientele.
* Complete lack of atmosphere. No craic or entertainment of any sort.
* Overpriced.
* Quite a drab interior.
* Too many dogs, I actually fell over three that were just strolling around.

Basically if the only reason that you go to a pub is to drink ales and not socialise with anyone, and you aren't interested in your surroundings and happen to be over the age of 60, this is the pub for you. There is even a "Beerfest" that will grab any coffin dodger who happens to have the capacity to handle a few overpriced pints at the bar.
There are no discernable views to write home about, and nothing that marks this pub out from any other. Strangely enough, I went to this pub back in 2005 and seem to remember it was quite good. It appears to have gone downhill since then.
jc1979 - 15 Jul 2010 21:52
how dare somebody go into this pub and order a stronbow is quite beyond me..get some real ale you know you want
loiner8 - 12 Jun 2010 10:08
I think you must just have been unlucky, Catswhiskers, because in my frequent visits to the Watermill I have never had a bad meal.

Regarding your assertion that the Strongbow contained at least 10% water, I take it you mean over and above its normal water content of about 95%. If so I do hope you have contacted Trading Standards, because diluting drink is such a way is a criminal offence. I do hope you can justify your claim.
arihall - 11 Jun 2010 17:43
Perhaps we were just unlucky but this is the worst pub I've visited in a long time. I ordered "Game Casserole", which turned out to be steak and kidney. The menu had mentioned venison, but the closest that casserole had been to a deer was the picture on a bottle of Scotch whisky. My husband's pork fillet was ok. Potatoes and veg very basic and boring. The Strongbow cider conatined at least 10% water. My rating consists of one point for the ample parking and one point for the pleasant surroundings!
Catswhiskers - 11 Jun 2010 16:51
Excellant pub just outside Windermere.
16 Handpumps serve a vast array of beers. Several from the onsite Watermill Brewery - Collie Wobbles is very good.
Food is very good. Reasonable accomadation is available.
The pub is dog friendly in the left hand bar.
One of the best around.
bloomfieldjpm - 16 Apr 2010 05:09
I fully endorse the positive comments about this place.

Don't worry too much about the dog thing! They're only allowed in the left hand bar, so if you are dog-averse, turn right and you'll be fine.
arihall - 23 Mar 2010 13:57
This pub has a really rural feel to it, despite being next to the main road. Of 20 pubs we tried in Cumbria and Durham last weekend, it was marginally beaten into second place by Tweedies Bar in Grasmere (not listed on here). There were several Watermill beers - Collie Wobbles, W'Ruff Night, A Winters Tail, A Bit'Er Ruff, Dogth Vader & Isle of Dogs, in addition to Theakston Old Peculier, Loweswater Grassmoor, Cairngorm Nellie's Monster Mash, Coniston Bluebird, Hawkshead Bitter and Keswick Thirst Run. Despite this, there were still spare handpulls. Cider was Weston's Old Rosie. We ate here, and I would only rate the food as average. As other people have commented, the smell of wet dog is also a little off-putting. I'd definitely come back again as the pub has plenty of character. 8/10 for me, which isn't too bad as I'm generally fairly critical!
blue_scrumpy - 26 Nov 2009 17:40
This place is turning into Crufts - fine if you're into the smell of wet dog while you're eating but this wonderful pub's dog-friendly policy is now getting out of hand. I've lost count of the number of fights, snarls and bark-fests I've had to sit through recently (don't come here if you want to read your Sunday paper in peace). Some of these owners have no shame whatosever. Don't get me wrong, I love this place and visit several times a month - it keeps the best cellar in the area if not the country (I travel a lot) - but enough with the dogs, please!!
graeme666 - 23 Aug 2009 21:15
I wish this place was around the corner, probably the best I've visited in the whole country,great food, even better beer, service and atmosphere tops,this was the only place we went to in the lakes after fully intending to try some of the great pubs in the area, we just had to return every night10/10 all day long
vinnnie - 21 Aug 2009 12:40
real ale and food heaven thats the best way to sum the watermill up its no wonder it has won camra awards each pint my friend and myself tried was well kept but it was the food that i will always remember this evening by i went with my family and amate mid june on a sunday night my wife had a seafood pasta and it was the best she had tasted my mate had a superb steak and ale pie that was deffinatly more dog than kennel if you know what i mean my daughters spag bol was kept to herself requests of can i try a bit resulted in no its all mine i well my lamb henry was so tender i gummed to death we also had 3 starters and the total bill excluding drinks was a reasonable £52 so if you are staying in the area or driving on to windemere it is well worth a stop
loiner8 - 15 Aug 2009 17:00
Good place on the way into the main lakes. So many beers on it's hard to do them all justice when driving and it's just too far out to come back to unless you stay here. However, tried a half of the Loweswater Gold and it was fantastic. Their own brew (Collie Wobbles) was also very nice. All in all a good pub. Good friendly staff, good food and good atmosphere. Their bottled beers are nice (I bought a couple), but very expensive at 2.70 odd per bottle. Shocking considering the beer is brewed on site. Avoid this and go to Booths just down the road - you can get Barngates Tag Lag for £1.60, which is much better. Also great selection of other cumbrian beers.
Mothbag - 27 Jul 2009 15:13
Great range of beers (many local). Food excellent and staff really friendly. Worth stopping on your way into Lakes
beerme - 23 Jul 2009 20:27
If only I were not the nominated driver, I could happily have sat here all afternoon and gone through the extensive line up of beers. Next time I will have to get the bus. Nevertheless, we had a couple of excellent pints (brewed on site) and a good lunchtime snack. Pleasant location away from the main road, and comfortable interior, with a friendly service from the staff.
fromedrinker - 23 Jul 2009 14:52
Called in twice last week ( could have been more often but there were so many great pubs in the Lakes it was a job to get them in! ). Rightly named CAMRA pub of the year in the region. Approx 15 Real Ales on tap, 6 from the micro brewery in the back! Staff knowlegable and pleasant. Food of good quality though not cheap, but then evrywhere in the Lakes is expensive in comparison to many Urban pubs struggling to survive! Highly recommended!
brewmaster54 - 23 Jun 2009 12:54
Have visited this pub twice this year and agree the beer brewed on the premises is excellent. Plenty of information at the bar about the flavours, strengths and origins of the beers on sale. Nice welcome for dogs (ours was given a few dog biscuits as we tucked into our pints). Not too sure about the food: last week we paid £12.95 each for a lamb tagine which was just some over sweetened fatty lamb stew served with rice which brings the rating down a bit. Pity.
Steve.Ottevanger - 22 Jun 2009 15:10
Went in the other day top beer, top food - excellent!!!!!
sootythebeerbear - 20 May 2009 19:18
Came here ever Easter where they had a beer festival on - over 20 beers but I stuck to the breweries dog themed beers. Loads of individual bars in this lovely pub so I needed some string to find my way back again. Good partner to the Hawkshead brewery near by. A wonderful place.
Booze_Allen - 20 Apr 2009 18:40
One of the best - and now Westmorland CAMRA Pub of The Year - great beer, atmosphere and food, and even good live music if you check out dates carefully.
fionamusicinthelakes - 15 Apr 2009 14:56
I ate in here every night when i stayed in the area for 3 days last year and found the food excellent and reasonably priced, we'd fully intended going to a few other places so i could sample the local ales, but with such a wide choice we came back every night, my wifes a non drinker so if the food wasn't up to scratch we would have found somthing else, i think the previous review must have been unlucky but it gets a 10/10 every time from me
vinnnie - 5 Feb 2009 13:02
Good range of beers but food over priced. My friends lamb dish was largely gristle.
manstein - 31 Jan 2009 00:00
just an 8 ape, this gets a 10 all day long in my book, I just wish there were places like this nearer to home
vinnnie - 9 Jan 2009 12:15
Excellent pub. Good beer. Had a pint of W'ruff night which reminded me rather of Ossett's Excaliber.
The brewery can be viewed through a porthole in the lounge.
Food good also. I had the chicken curry, whilst my girlfriend had Jacket potato with prawns came to around £15 as I recall.
Very good indeed but the bayleaf was a bit bland and chewy.
Worth an 8.
anonymous - 7 Jan 2009 19:39
Canít fault it. Excellent ale and good food. A top pub!!!%2
sootythebeerbear - 5 Jan 2009 09:15
Haven't been in for quite some time but paid a visit here yesterday with some mates - and I'm pleased to say that nothing has changed. Top notch ale and good food in decent, comfy and welcoming surroundings. The sort of place you could quite easily spend several hours in! Best pub in the area by far.
MINTYBOOM - 20 Dec 2008 11:44
Simply can't pass the place without having to call in. Excellent alround friendly place
08thomas - 1 Dec 2008 22:13
Called here by bus in August as I had heard they were now brewing, and what an experience. The two of us had 10 excellent different ales while there, along with a superb meal. Loved the photos of the dogs on the wall.
gillhalfpint - 8 Oct 2008 11:10
in my opinion one of the best pubs in the country
vinnnie - 18 Aug 2008 12:47
Great Pub. Lovely food and a fine range of home brewed ales. Recommended!
MykeyP - 13 Aug 2008 11:50
Excellent pub. Superb home brewed ales and guest ales. Good quality food. Friendly and helpful staff. Well worth a visit.
wainnock - 9 Aug 2008 10:24
well worth seeking out if your in the area,the food was ace,none of your micro wave rubbish,and the ales are outstanding,a full range of beers brewed on the premesis and about five guests, all in tip top condition
vinnnie - 18 Jul 2008 09:15
I'm a regular visitor to this superb pub. Can't imagine how anyone could think it over-rated - what exactly do you want? The range of beers is fantastic, I have very rarely (though not never, I admit) had a bad pint here. The food is straightforward (a sauce is called a sauce and not a 'jus') and well cooked. Friendly staff and a cheerful atmosphere add to the experience. And there is no telly and no piped music - both big pluses in my book. Excellent. RIP Alan.
baggy212 - 15 Jul 2008 02:29
I always considered this pub slightly over rated until my last visit which was nearly perfect. Between us we tried 8 different beers which were all spot on and the food was excellent too, particularly the Polish dish, I think it was called Bigos.
Definitely a pub that deserves national recognition and would be enjoyed by all who like good beer and good food.
GeorgeXXIII - 3 Jul 2008 22:26
I'll vouch for it Matty,as I've said before real ale heaven....tops
vinnnie - 3 Jul 2008 12:32
somehow i'd forgotten what this pub was called (don't know how) but it's ace! I'm glad i noticed it on the list as i can now reccomend it to a mate who's going to be in the area soon. Hopefully it's still as good as it was last summer!
mattyboy - 3 Jul 2008 11:20
a shame to hear about alan..he was a nice bloke and met him on several occasions wen i worked up there...does that handpump still squeak on the moonraker???rip alan.
graybagsinburyonceagain - 1 Jul 2008 16:03
vinnnie - 30 Jun 2008 13:44
not sure what slurpslurp's gripe could have been,couldn't be the beer,perhaps he had a burnt chip,or the chef was ill,still gets a 9 1/2 from me
vinnnie - 25 Jun 2008 12:32
Not sure will re visit 5/10
slurpslurp - 25 Jun 2008 00:54
ale lovers paradise, food was very nice too,undoubtedly one of the best pubs in England
vinnnie - 17 Jun 2008 12:40
A fantastic selection of beers (inc their own micro brewery)which are really well kept. Food isn't anything too exotic but is really tasty & at a very reasonable price. The mill itself is set in a quiet village location has bags of character & the staff a very friendly, a regular stop off for us and well worth a visit.
giblett123 - 28 May 2008 18:40
Haven't been here for quite some time, but the place has always held an excellent reputation, both for the beer (especially with the addition of the microbrewery) and the food. Must renew my acquaintance soon!
MINTYBOOM - 14 May 2008 20:16
spent last week in the lakes and fully intended touring a few of the pubs and sampling some of the local ales,but after eating and drinking here on the first night I just kept going back,the food and the beer where tops,and with about ten ales on the go,many of which are brewed on the premesis,it's real ale heaven,will defenately be back when i'm next in the area,......check out the specials board if your goimg to eat
vinnnie - 14 Apr 2008 13:52
lovely stuff!
matt_wilkins - 14 Mar 2008 13:31
An excellent pub, with several real ales available including their own brewed Collie Wobbles, which is a nice session beer.

The food is also excellent as well. Worth a visit.
alexw - 22 Sep 2007 14:09
Called in one day I'd never noticed the sign before until the speed camera next to it made me slow down!
My wife spotted bar meals on the sign, I noticed 16 real ales and I was not disapointed. I passed the keys to my good lady and sampled 7 half pints all of which were in perfect condition at the right temperature I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. 3 beers were brewed on the premises " Collie Wobbles" was brilliant and I can't wait to go back again. Thank you Mr speed camera! ho ho
tomtomonebeer - 16 Apr 2007 22:03
Rather expensive beer - for those of below 4%abv
GertieGrumbles - 12 Apr 2007 15:32
On 10-14-06 I was at this wonderful Pub. Had the Collie Wobbles what a nice beer. Food & service was great also. Will go back.
edgreer - 27 Oct 2006 09:37
This is a great pub for real ale. Have always had plenty to choose from and hawkshead bitter is consistently excellent.
nickhughes - 17 Oct 2006 20:04
the watermill at ings, i've always liked the place. good food. lively(ish) banter. good entertainment. but still its strangely perplexing however, for all emphasis on real ale i've rarely if ever had a decent pint there. something just is'nt quite right. having mentioned this to a close friend of mine, nick whittaker, a camra member of some distinction, he too agrees that this establishment, altho held in esteem, is still vastly over-rated, and as a previous poster has mentioned - a short trip down into my home village of staveley and you will find by the river the much improved, and criminally underated eagle and child.
anonymous - 3 Oct 2006 11:18
Given that everyone else has said very positive things about this pub Iíd like to point out the slight disadvantages since, given the very favourable reviews here and the CAMRA commendation, Iíd have had very high expectations and then been a bit disappointed. Perhaps these are just tiny quibbles but:
1) though there are 16 beers most, except for OP, are below 4% so one canít work slowly up through flavour and strength. I am not convinced they are always in completely perfect condition (but I should add Iíve never had to return a beer). Visiting with a friend last week we both decided weíd actually had fresher tasting beer at the Eagle and Child earlier.
2) whilst the main bar area is attractive, it is windowless and the other rooms can be dominated by eating (though, thankfully, it has not become a restaurant like, say, the Drunken Duck). Somehow the atmosphere /lighting just isnít great: thereís no perfect table, for example.
3) on one recent visit there was folk music in the main bar and story telling in the other. I know this is great for some people but itís worth knowing the risk if neither appeal.
All that said, it is clearly a very good, beer focussed, pub. Itís just not perfect.

drtimthornton - 28 Aug 2006 19:07
Simply the best pub I found in the Lake District. Plenty of choice, comfortable and Good Food. Superb.
imdownthepub - 12 Aug 2006 17:40
This is truly real ale Nirvana. 16 guest beers? How good does it get? Well, the staff are polite and humourous, the food is really good, they're great with families; it's difficult to think of a problem. Surely this is one of the greatest pubs in the UK.
Terry_W - 3 Jun 2006 01:28
We stayed overnight as it was not far off the M6 and a break in the journey. And an excellent stop too, and luckily my wife drove the next morning!
Sid98 - 21 May 2006 00:25
The most wonderful selection of cask beers, whiskies and bottled beer. Pints of beer from £2.10 upto £4. Food good. Large selection and reasonable portions. Service very good. Parking can be a problem.
JDD - 22 Jan 2006 19:11
Totally agree with banski,lovely place where you could eat and drink for a week without repeating your order. Popular to stay, as on edge of good walking country and handy for Windermere. If you can't get in there's an excellent B and B 200 metres away off the main road.
ChrissG - 14 Aug 2005 20:39
Forgot to add there is a late bus back to Kendal at 11.30pm from Ings which I have to say is very useful.
banksk1 - 8 Jul 2005 16:14
Without doubt one of the best pubs in the lake district and has been as long as I can remember. 16 real ales at any one time and a few fancy ciders if thats your poison. Food is excellent changed regularly but always of a hi standard. Has won every award for beer going as is evident from the wall full of awards in the main bar area. Has a none smoking bar for those that want it as well. Loved by locals and tourists alike I can't recommend this place highly enough. I know that its under going some fairly major building works at the moment to extend the bar area but hopefully it won't change to much. Dog are allowed as well as they should be in a country pub. Go there!
banksk1 - 8 Jul 2005 16:12

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