Blog Surfer

Monday, 30 January 2012

#048 Adam & Eve, Digbeth : 1930 to 1998 to 2011

This is another of the Digbeth pubs that I've never been in! In 1998 when I first took this photo of the Adam & Eve I was aware of its existence, but as it was known as more of an entertainment venue I'd not had the urge to visit.

Moving forward to 2011 the pub looked like this.
Despite the change in the colour scheme, the signs on the corner are exactly the same as in 1998! The windows have been replaced and skylights have appeared in the roof.

This is one of the pubs that I've acquired an early picture of from This picture is from about 1930.
Structurally, the pub is largely unchanged in the past 80 years apart from the colour scheme (I assume!). A chimney has appeared over the corner and the corner windows have been covered over. Interestingly it was run by Allsopps Burton Ales which became part of Ind Coope in 1935, thus dating the picture.

This is the twenty-second in my 'Birmingham Eastside' series.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

#047 The Duck on the Pond, Long Itchington, Warks : 1997 to 2011

This is a follow-on from #031 from our most recent visit to Long Itchington in November.

Back in 1997 the pub was called the Jolly Fisherman and I don't really remember much about it!
This was taken on 24th August 1997 and was the first pub we came across on our first venture into the village of Long Itchington. We only had a couple of pints before we moved on to the Harvester to eat.

When we got there on 5th November 2011 the name had changed to The Duck on the Pond.
 We probably didn't see it at its best as it was our first port of call on the evening and it was very quiet. Inside it is a bit more like a restaurant than a pub and, with it being fairly empty, there was no real atmosphere. (It was about 6pm and the village firework display was on!)

The exterior of the pub is little changed, but there has been some development of the front patio, presumably to accommodate the smoking fraternity.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

#046 Queens Arms, Highgate : 1998 to 2011 (RIP?)

In 1998 the Queen's Arms on Barford Street was a pub I'd never been in, but had passed many times to and from work.

A few years after this picture was taken I did actually venture in to the Queen's Arms one evening. Inside it was a simple, basic pub with a handful of drinkers in the bar. The room on the right was the only bar that was open and I was concerned at the time about the prospects for its survival as this was a Saturday night.

However, it was the site of a curious meeting. Sitting at the bar was a bloke who said to me, "Don't you do the quiz at the Colebrook?" I didn't recognise him (one of the 'curses' of being a quiz master - they all know your name, but there are too many of them to possibly remember their's!) but he'd been a regular quizgoer until he moved to this side of the city. It is less than 10 miles between the two pubs, but in a city the size of Birmingham what are the chances of such a meeting?

Moving on to 2011 and it looks like the demise of the Queen's Arms is almost complete.
Still attractively painted on the outside, it is currently closed and has been this way for quite some time.

This is the twenty-first in my 'Birmingham Eastside' series.

Monday, 16 January 2012

#045 Lamplighter, Stratford-upon-Avon : 1999 to 2011

The Lamplighter is a pub we've visited on many occasions on our annual Easter canal trip to Stratford. If we moor just on the edge of town it is usually our first port of call on our 'crawl' around the town.
Over the years I've struggled to get a decent photo as there are trees at the front and the corner shot (above) is probably the most attractive, but difficult to get it all in. This was the fisrt time we'd ventured in to the Lamplighter on the evening of Friday 2nd April 1999. The pub has changed little over the years. It is a fairly basic pub that serves beer and food; a straightforward place that will never win any awards, but "does exactly what it says on the tin"!

Two years later and we were back. Of all the visits we've made this was the most memorable.
It was Saturday 14th April 2001 and this was our last port of call on our way back to the boat. Our intention was to have one last pint, but we'd made a slight miscalculation. All our previous visits to Stratford had been on Fridays, Good Fridays to be precise, and in those days the pubs closed at 10:30 pm on Good Friday. Of course we'd forgotten it was Saturday and so the pub stayed open till midnight's impolite to leave a pub before it is closed!

Our next visits were largely unmemorable, but here are the photos anyway!
Saturday 15th April 2006

Saturday 22nd March 2008

Sunday 12th April 2009

Saturday 30th April 2011

Its quite surprising to see that over the 12 years we've been visiting the Lamplighter it has hardly changed apart from the minor alterations made to the outside. Inside it is still the same, basic pub that it has always been.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

#044 Sir Charles Napier, Highgate : 1955 to 1998 to 2011

This is another of those pubs that I first discovered on my initial 1998 trip around the area. The Sir Charles Napier looks like a typical back street, corner pub of which there were many more then than there are now.
I've still not set foot inside, but I was pleased to see that the Sir Charles Napier was still in business when I returned in 2011.
Apart from a lick of paint it doesn't appear to have changed in the intervening years, aside from it not being an M&B pub any more. The shamrock leaves indicate that it is another Irish pub. It's unlikely that I'll ever visit the Sir Charles Napier for a drink as it is a bit off the beaten track from my usual pub crawls around the 'Eastside' of Birmingham! But, here is a review.
This is the twentieth in my 'Birmingham Eastside' series.

As I was researching the Sir Charles Napier I came across this website - Digital Photographic Images - which has many old photos of Birmingham pubs. One of the images was of the Sir Charles Napier from 1955. So I've acquired the postcard and scanned it so that you can see how the pub has changed over a longer period.
The main difference, and I can't quite work out how it was achieved, is that in 1955 the junction was a right angle as was the corner of the pub. However in 1998 the junction is an obtuse angle and the pub looks to have been similarly altered, but with no change to the overall appearance of the building! 

When I started this blog my intention was to use only photos that I'd taken, but I think in a few cases these old photos add to the detail and interest. 

Thursday, 5 January 2012

#043 Wheatsheaf Hotel, Stoke-on-Trent : 2002 to 2011

When we set off on our Summer canal trip in 2002 we had no plans to visit Stoke. Chester was our original destination, but a 'blown' lock gate meant that we had to quickly make other plans half way there along the Shropshire Union Canal. We decided to revisit Leek on the Caldon Canal and so on Friday 13th September 2002 we moored up at Etruria Junction ready for a night out in Stoke!

The Wheatsheaf Hotel was our last pub of the night and we discovered it completely by accident as we were heading back to the boat.
This photo was taken close to closing time following several pints and a Chinese meal. I remember it being packed and vibrant when we arrived, just in time to get a final pint for the night. It was a very friendly place and the bar we were in was full of Laurel & Hardy memorabilia. We weren't there long enough to discover why, but I'd guess that the owner was a member of the Sons of the Desert, the official Laurel & Hardy fan club, which I ran into once in Birmingham at a convention.

On our latest canal trip we moored at Etruria Junction on our way back from Leek on Friday 2nd September 2011. Over the past few years, Stoke seems to have been largely demolished and the bits that have been rebuilt are retail parks interspersed with vast areas of nothing. 

We set off for Hanley with no clear idea of which way to go to find some pubs along the way and after several detours (and the false dawn of a couple of boarded up pubs) we redicsovered the Wheatsheaf Hotel.
From the outside little appears to have changed, but it is difficult to tell as it was dark last time we were there. Inside it was very quiet with a handful of people watching England playing in a Euro 2012 qualifier. At first we weren't sure it was the same place, but then we saw a couple of pieces of Laurel & Hardy memorabilia. The locals were just as friendly as last time we visited, but it seemed as though the pub was in decline along with the surrounding area. Sadly, Stoke has a higher rate of unemployment than much of the rest of the UK and this showed in the surroundings of general decay.