Yesterday I couldn’t even remember to tell you the name of my GBG tick (it was the King’s Arms in Bethnal Green), so it’s back to basics today.
But there’s a thread running between these posts. The star of Thursday night was Bill Ryder-Jones, late of Wirral popsters the Coral. He’s very proud of his Cheshire heritage, anyway.
Often wrongly lumped in with the rest of Scouseland, the Wirral has a very distinct character, and some singular musical talent. Five points if you can name two indie-pop classics about the Wirral; my definition of “classic” applies.
I stayed in Wallasey, which has some cheap and cheerful accommodation, proper pubs, and plentiful Merseyrail stations. But it’s New Brighton that draws me back.
An underrated beach, some classic local boozers, Bass by the Mersey, and almost unlimited redevelopment potential if BrewDog ever get here.
I doubt the golfers of Hoylake and ladies who lunch in West Kirby make many trips to Wallasey. I hadn’t spent much time on the western tip of the Wirral, several attempts to walk to the Hilbre Islands thwarted by my shameful inability to read tidal charts, and Mrs RM’s dislike for getting her feet wet.
This has always been the most likely home of a craft “offer”, and Spitting Feathers’s West Kirby Tap seems a perfect neighbour to “Swanki“, whatever that is. The little strip of bars round here is no doubt like a Little Chester on a hot summer’s night.
Although a bit barn-like, it had plenty of proper seating, and despite the sort of beer range that terrifies me (more than two pumps) the Thirst Quencher was cool and tasty (NBSS 3).
Away from the coast and close to Prenton Park there’s a prime example of a solid suburban Greene King dining pub. The Wirral is pretty much the ultimate “mixed” area, with some shabby areas around contrasting with the golf courses and handsome properties around the Caernarvon Castle.
There was a mature clientele, no doubt attracted by this being a completely child-free zone, something I don’t think I’ve seen in a chain dining pub since Ember relented years back.
I almost warmed to the pub, but another vast Greene King range certainly contributed to a dull Dizzy Blonde, which isn’t a good beer name (NBSS 2.5). Plenty of cheap lager being drunk by daytime boozers, little cask. There’s a Greene King trend here.
11 thoughts on “WEST KIRBY”
Dizzy Blonde is a product of Stockport’s finest, of course.
The Wirral has a dramatic east/west divide – parts of Birkenhead must be some of the grimmest and most run-down in the country.
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Yes, Birkenhead itself grim, though the Stork and a few Cains pub redeemed it before the Dusanjis ruined Cains.
Indie-pop classics ? They have got to be by Half Man Half Biscuit ? Cheshire`s most famous band (I am so glad you did not mention Merseyside once in this post !), Off the top o` me yed though,I cannot recall the particular songs you allude to. They once famously snubbed an appearance on “The Tube” because their beloved Tranmere Rovers were playing at home on that same Friday night…
There must be several HMHB songs referencing the Wirral. Two other songs I have in mind are from 1980 and more recently.
But what’s the pub scene like in Trumpton these days?
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A good summary Martin, especially the bit about West Kirby becoming a Little Chester, though Heswall isn’t far behind. The West Kirby tap is my final Wirral tick too, though I’m saving it for my birthday visit later in the month. Though I did visit the newly reincarnated Lion in Birkenhead last week, which had the feel of a pre-emptive.
As for songs, other than HMHB as mentioned, I can only think of Marx and Engels from Belle and Sebastian than mentions ‘a girl from Wallasey’
Tempted to award you the points for Belle and Sabs but at least two others in mind, one from 1980.
I would have loved to have done Lacy’s Bar when doing a large crawl round Wallasey,it is next door to the Master Mariner Wetherspoons in New Brighton,i did the crawl on the 28th May 2016,but did not find much real ale while doing any pub i came across.
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The Stage Door Tap in the Queens Royal is a great pubby hotel bar, though easy to overlook. Stanley’s Cask in Wallasey also a favourite. Not posh !
Has anything happened yet to the Dee Hotel?
Spoons had it on the market and I had understood it to be sold. I vaguely remember it as a Tetley Walker managed house.
Wirral Ale (non-CAMRA) says sold for flats. If true a shame it couldn’t be a Spoons Hotel as the are needs budget rooms.