Blog Surfer

Monday, 21 August 2017

#230 Three Horseshoes, Fazeley, Staffordshire : 2006 to 2017

We first visited Fazeley from the canal in 1987, but it wasn't until 2006 that we discovered the Three Horseshoes - a whole 19 years where we didn't look beyond the A5 that passes through the town!

We discovered this gem, lurking behind the Tesco Express on the evening of Wednesday 7th June 2006.
It was, then, a proper boozer and we were amazed that it is only about 50 yards away from where we'd been drinking on previous visits! As I recall, we had one pint and got a taxi into Tamworth as it didn't do food.

We didn't leave it too long before we returned in an attempt to redress the years of neglect. We popped in at lunchtime on Wednesday 6th September 2006.
Amazingly, it hadn't changed!

We returned again at lunchtime on Sunday 30th August 2009.
Still no change...apart from the small barrier to stop the skip from rolling into the road!

It didn't take us long to get back for another visit. It was the evening of Wednesday 2nd June 2010.
I was shocked to see that the sign by the skip had disappeared. The eagle-eyed amongst you will also have noticed the mobility scooter by the front door.

We were back again on the lunchtime of Sunday 29th August 2010.
Remarkably, still unchanged and the mobility scooter is still just visible.

It was a while before we returned, this time on the lunchtime of Monday 15th June 2015.
It is amazing how much can change in five short years - a brand new Bass sign, a new skip and the mobility scooter now has a cover!

We were back on the lunchtime of Monday 13th June 2016.
For some reason, I took the picture from the other side, but it is still enough to know that it hadn't changed.

And now onto our most recent visit, just a few short days ago at lunchtime on Wednesday 16th August 2017.
Still unchanged and inside it is still the same welcoming bar that it has always been and, despite all of the adverse conditions for the pub trade since we first visited in 2006, the place was doing a very brisk trade for a Wednesday a pub that doesn't serve food!

It still has a proper local pub atmosphere and when I took this picture for Retired Martin, there was a bit of good natured banter, which finished with one of the locals saying, "...and it's the best pint in Fazeley!"
I hope it continues unchanged into the foreseeable future, but who knows what may happen as it would appear that it is up for sale by Fleurets

Monday, 14 August 2017

#229 The Vaults, Rugeley, Staffs : 1987 to 2016

This will be a short entry for a pub we've only ever been in once, on the rainy evening of Tuesday 14th July 1987...we haven't been back; nor are we likely to!
Back then it was, as I recall, a fairly typical town centre pub called the Cabin Inn. It was a wet, dreary evening that put us off returning to Rugeley for many years!

Over recent years, we've stopped at Rugeley quite a few times, but never returned to the Cabin Inn which is now called The Vaults.
This was taken on the evening of Monday 28th March 2016 as we were passing by and heading for Wetherspoons. Something of a complete change in the intervening 29 years - it is interesting to note that out-of-town pubs have mostly gone down the food/gastro route to survival whereas a good number of town/city pubs have taken the live music route to maintain trade. I'm sure that the people who do go there have a good time and I'm always happy to see pubs surviving...but it isn't my sort of place.

Friday, 4 August 2017

#228 The Broughton Arms, Rode Heath, Cheshire : 1999 to 2016

Rode Heath is a small village by the section of the Trent & Mersey Canal colloquially known as 'Heartbreak Hill'. This is the long rise from Wheelock up to the summit level at Kidsgrove and Stoke, more properly known as the Cheshire Locks - just the 22 to work through.

Needless to say, it isn't a route we often take and, wjth the demise of the Romping Donkey at Hassall Green, The Broughton Arms offers welcome respite from the arduous passage and the first time we stopped there was at lunchtime on Saturday 4th September 1999.
We were heading down the locks and it provided a very pleasant lunch with some cooling Carling (or maybe a Foster's), perfect for a hot day. Inside it is quite a large pub with a large garden; a very popular spot on a summer's day.

Our next stop there was again at lunchtime on Friday 13th September 2002, this time heading up the locks.
The pub was largely unchanged, but several tables had appeared in the car park.

It wasn't long before we returned for another lunchtime session on Sunday 3rd September 2006.
Again largely unchanged and another very pleasant lunchtime stop. (The seating in the car park appeared to have disappeared again!)

We didn't travel this way again until the evening of Tuesday 16th August 2016, this time there were some changes.
Although the exterior had been given a complete makeover, inside it still felt the same as before as it successfully treads the fine line between being a pub and a restaurant. Although we didn't eat there, we did return for a few pints and a win in the quiz (on a tie break!) We did stay on for lunch the next day when the pub was packed again as it was a lovely sunny day.

We will very probably stop by next time we're passing...and the next time...and here's the link if you fancy a stop as well!