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Thursday, 22 September 2016

#194 The Crown Inn, Alrewas, Staffordshire : 1997 to 2015

Alrewas is a lovely village on the Trent & Mersey Canal that we've only visited infrequently because of its position relative to our canal cruising round trips. There are at least three pubs in the village (at time of writing!) so it is always a welcome stop when we are passing through.

The first time we visited The Crown Inn was on the evening of Monday 1st September 1997 on our way back from Nottingham.

I don't remember much about the interior other than it being a comfortable village pub that served food.

We returned to Alrewas on the evening of Saturday 23rd August 2003.
This coincided with the Wychnor Boat Rally that is held each August Bank Holiday so the pubs in the village were packed. We couldn't get any food so we decamped to Lichfield for the rest of the evening.

Our next foray into Alrewas was at lunchtime on Monday 31st August 2009, this time heading towards Nottingham.
Again, there is little discernible change to the exterior, the only minor changes being the removal of the parasols and the disappearance of the crown sign that had appeared in 2003.

Our most recent visit to Alrewas was at lunchtime on Good Friday 3rd April 2015.
Now that's what I call a transformation! Twelve years and virtually no changes...and then this! Inside it is now done out in the modern pub and dining style, but fortunately it hasn't gone all the way to being a restaurant. To see pictures, The Crown website is here.

Friday, 16 September 2016

UPDATE : #106 Jolly Tar, Wardle, Cheshire : 2005 to 2016 (RIP)

The text below in italics is what I wrote in my original post in 2013.
Whenever we pass through Barbridge Junction on the Shropshire Union Canal, there is only one place where we regularly stop...and it isn't The Jolly Tar! We'd normally visit Ye Olde Barbridge Inn which is right by the canal. However, many's the occasion when I've thought that we should pay The Jolly Tar a visit. So in 2005 we finally decided to pop in for a pint.
This photo was taken on Friday 26th August 2005. As I recall, the pub was fairly quiet and a bit of a throwback to the 70's and 80's in style.
We haven't been back inside since then, but I took this photo as we were passing by at Easter on Thursday 12th April 2012.
It has obviously been repainted in the intervening years and the colour scheme has changed from blue to red. This place always reminds me of a seaside pub.
Each year, in recent times, when we've passed by I've been surprised to see that it has still been open. Although it is advertised as a canalside pub, there is the slight problem of the A51 which runs between the pub and the canal, which must make it difficult to 'sell' to the visiting public. Sadly my fears have been confirmed and, as of writing, The Jolly Tar is closed. It would appear, from this statement, that the lease ran out on 10th March 2013 and new tenants have not yet been found. Sad, but in this current economic climate, not too surprising. 
It would appear that tenants were found and the pub was running into late 2014, but we passed by during our recent summer boating trip and found the following sad sight! 
I've tried to recreate the view from previous visits - not entirely successfully! These shots taken on the afternoon of Tuesday 9th August 2016. The whole pub has disappeared, almost as though it had been abducted by aliens who'd forgotten to take the pub sign! Grass grows where the pub once stood, but the car park continues to resist nature.  

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

#193 Boot Inn, Nuneaton, Warwickshire : 1995 to 2015 (RIP)

It is quite likely that we visited the Boot Inn in 1980 and again in 1982, but that was before I started taking a photo of every pub we visited on our canal trips.

Our first recorded visit was at lunchtime on Monday 4th September 1995.
It was quite a large place, but a proper drinkers pub that did an extensive range of basic food at a ridiculously low price. I remember being taken aback at being charged a whole 65p for a freshly prepared Bacon Roll!

We stopped at Nuneaton on several more occasions without revisiting the Boot even though we did take our narrowboat Emma Jane to Boot Wharf for a roof replacement in 2005!

Our next attempted venture into the pub was at lunchtime on Tuesday 26th May 2009, but it was closed over lunch!
Not surprisingly it had been externally refurbished over the passing fourteen years, but its demise was quite obvious from the signs asking for people to run the pub for £1,000!

When we returned at lunchtime on Wednesday 2nd September 2015 its demise was complete.
I'm not quite sure how many properties it has been converted into, but one thing is for certain - the Boot Inn is no more and never will be!