An early start today to see Sutton Coldfield at its best. Which is basically Sutton Park, one of Birmingham’s busiest green spaces. The ducks were queuing up to dive in their special swimming pool.

(PLEASE NOTE – These are Canadian geese which should be avoided. Thanks to Richard Coldwell for the info.)


Image result for sutton park autumn leaves

It’s a pleasant hour or so round the park, though it’s hardly in the Cannock Chase league.  Despite irritating drizzle, there were hordes of walkers.  I’d never be allowed to live here; you need to own at least one dog.

The town centre itself is quite dull, with pedestrianisation clearly achieved at the cost of knocking down much of the heritage.  This was probably the highlight in the “historic” High Street, which tells you all you need to know.


QUIZ TIME – What’s the animal on the right ? 

Sutton is one of our most prosperous towns, apparently, but you wouldn’t know that from a shopping centre that wouldn’t compete with Wigan.  Few independent shops, and few shoppers under the age of 30.

The town has long been dominated by the chain pubs, with a clutch of Spoons and Embers in the Beer Guide over the years.  The exception is the Station (yes it is), which has the only example of street art,


and only one handpump apparently in use (Holdens).

Plenty of handpumps in the Bottle of Sack, and another  example of Spoons current love affair with Otter.  Good to see the plain Bitter here, which was exceptional (NBSS 3.5)

Simon will find something interesting to say about the Bottle of Sack, I just observed folk in tracksuit bottoms staring sullenly at each other while waiting for their 1,600 calorie breakfasts. Magners with ice, rather than Otter, was the drink of choice.

Admittedly a smaller chain, but the Brewhouse & Kitchen places that have burst into the Beer Guide this year seem just as formulaic as the Spoons (which they’ve taken over from in at least one town).  Tall tables, “craft” explained, keg taps on the back wall, Greene King style décor.


I like shiny as much as anyone, but this is shiny-by-numbers.  The beer isn’t much either, very malty and dull.  Oddly, the coffee was spectacularly good.

As were the freshly baked samosas from PJ’s Express opposite the Spoons.  They’re a true national treasure.


  1. Red Squirrel (not Grey, as this species was only introduced into England in the mid 19th Century if I remember correctly). By the the looks of it the building is a lot older. Points for that ?


      1. I thought it looked like a kangaroo as well, although going by the tail one that had strayed a bit too close to a nuclear test site

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Planning to visit the Wilmslow conversion shortly, B&K have reopened the ex Spoons in Chester as well.
    I too thought it was a kangaroo,perhaps I was distracted by the stray apostrophe in the first sentence.


      1. I`ve only been in the Dorchester B & K. Wasn`t much to my taste. Reminded me of the Harvesters at Horwich Parkway, which is handy for cheap quick grub before going to the pictures. B & K wasn`t cheap though, as mentioned. Kangaroos don`t have bushy tales.


      2. That’s a good point about the Harvester styling, looks very impressive and smart but nothing new. Bottle d and keg range noting new either.

        You can be our official animal spotter Malcolm.


  3. I have looked at the animal. The position of the legs in the sitting pose is all wrong, though the head and tail are clearly squirrel. This would appear to be the unusual species that was around for a short period in the 19th century called the kangaral. The majority of these were sighted in the Warwickshire area.


      1. It is an important point Martin. Your readers need to be aware that Canada Geese are much more dangerous than smaller ducks like Mallards etc. Their droppings are exceptionally large in size, often a strange green colour, and very slippy. They are best avoided, especially when wearing light coloured footwear, canvass plimsolls, or god forbid, open toed sandals!

        Liked by 1 person

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