After finishing Derbyshire, thoughts turn naturally to Staffs, where frankly there’s an even better chance of Bass/Pedi and of being called “M’duck“. That’s pretty much all I really need from pubs these days.

Barton under Needwood.PNG

Barton-u-L, as the kids call it, is handily placed between the National Arboretum and that place where they brew Bass.


Since Lord Buckethead was edged out in Maidenhead on the 8th, Barton is in just about the safest Tory seat in the country, and it looks it.



Well groomed, polite, without a railway station, but with a lovely church and seven real ale pubs.


All seven serve Pedigree.

They’re all solid looking locals, bar the modernised Waterfront.  A few yards east and three decades south, the Barton Turns is one of those classic basic waterways pubs the Midlands excels in.

In a GBG year with no new entries in Burton (and hence no trip to Coopers/Balti Towers yet), the Turns is the next best thing.


From a range of Pedigree and Wainwright (top), there was only one choice.


I won’t oversell it; the fast-selling Pedigree was very decent (NBSS 3) rather than stellar, but more importantly this was a real boozer with no obvious food trade (at 3.30 pm on a Sunday).


Velcro shoes, pub dogs that say sorry when you bump into them, nothing more recent than 1988 on the jukebox, and a book club that suggests folk come here for a long, reflective session;


The banter surrounded lads out spending £100 on their Friday night (“They could have had a deposit on a hut by now if they’d cut out the Pedi“) and the pains of being a “Bank of Grandad“.  Alternative entertainment surrounded a critique of roast potatoes.

I left as the jukebox whirred into action, taking us from Steve Harley to the Travelling Wilburys, and had a slight panic that “Handle with Care” was actually released in 1989.  Once WiFi was restored I was able to confirm that the 1988 cut-off was, in fact, being strictly applied.





  1. Seven pubs in Barton-under-Needwood? I’ve only managed to find six so far! The Barton Turns, The Waterfront,
    The 3 Horseshoes, Shoulder of Mutton, The Middle Bell and Red Lion – where is the seventh?

    i agree about the Barton Turns – a proper pub serving proper food and proper Carling!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I did Barton under Needwood on the 29th September 2012 and i thought there was 7 pubs there,
    Barton Turns a great pub
    The Waterfront a good choice of real ales
    Three Horseshoes Marstons Pedigree
    Shoulder of Mutton A decent drink of Bass
    Middle Bell a decent choice of real ales
    Red Lion Marstons
    Royal Oak Marstons

    There is far too much Pedigree in that part of the country for my liking,too strong so limits the amount of pubs i can do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guessed you would have, Alan. It’s a good set of pubs. I guess the Enterprise and Punch pubs could do a different beer (probably Doom Bar) but I’ve no problem with pubs a couple of miles from the Marstons brewery serving Pedigree.
      I agree with your views on the pubs.


  3. I do not have a problem with Pedigree being in pubs in the Burton area,
    It is a shame that it seems to be in most of the ex Bass tied houses in Burton.
    My Brother told me that scum Camra were moaning that all pubs in Shardlow had Pedigree on the bar with not much more choice.
    It has rarely got over the M1 to the East and it would be hard to find it in the Nottingham conurbation.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. On a point of order – M’/Me/My duck is an East Midlands thing, in Staffs it’s simply “duck”. It’s fascinating how something like that still corresponds to the old borders of Mercia – it has its origins in “dux”, the Latin for leader (or more loosely, in this context, “Sir”) – as such it is equivalent to the modern usage in the Potteries of “boss”. Still, it’s given us Dancing Duck, which is an entirely Good Thing.

    One could argue that neck of the woods is as much Freedom’s back yard as Marstons – in fact with Moravka, Thornbridge and others there’s an argument that the Peak District is the English Bohemia.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As a son of the “duck” area, I think it’s neat that one can trace such a distinctively local thing back to the days of presumably the Cornovii in Roman Britain.

    I thought you’d enjoy the lager reference…. I seldom drink it, but I still recognise that it’s a Proper Beer style just as much as stout or best bitter or tripel – if anything it’s harder to get right. Which is why most people think of Carling rather than Weihenstephaner or Urquell. But something like Moravka is to Carling what well-kept-Harveys/Landlord/Bathams is to week-old-Greene-King-IPA, there’s no comparison. Shame you don’t often see it outside its home territory – it’s the house lager in the Bollington brewery pubs, and apparently it’s at the Maltings in York, but it’s pretty rare.

    Liked by 1 person

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