Is there a finer sight in PubDom than a pint of Enville (OK, a half) settling in a glass (OK, it’s a Wye Valley glass) in front of a giant bag of Black Country scratchings in a pub playing ’70s soul classics ?
I think not. But you’ll have to guess the soul classic from the following;
” W*** ***l * **e *o* *g*i* ”
Willenhall is the place for unpretentious pubs, proper midweek street markets, Apostolic churches and an unusually brutalist home for the Heron Foods outlet. If you’ve never seen a Heron Foods, you need to get out more.
As for highlights, the Spoons is one of the most boisterous in the UK, almost convincing me it was Friday night rather than Wednesday lunchtime, and there’s a locksmith’s house (somewhere) run by Dudley’s Black Country Museum that sounds really fun.
The Jolly Collier was so far out of Willenhall it was practically in Short Heath, which has had a few pubs listed under it separately in the Guide over the decade. Professional pub tickers can get very confused by places moving seamlessly between Willenhall, Short Heath and, yes, even New Invention on the western edges of Walsall.
The closer I got to it, weaving past suspicious looking school children, the more convinced I was that I’d been before.
I hadn’t, but frankly the JC comes from a fairly large family of roadside Black Country locals with the word “Darts” on a blackboard outside and your ’90s best bitters on the bar.
With a cask line up like that you can assume a pub is in the Beer Guide on quality rather than novelty value, and the cool, tasty, Enville was worth at least NBSS 3.
The main items of banter among the 3 lads at the bar were;
- The arrival of Mr Scratchings with his big bag of scratchings
- Slimming World meals – what the flip !
Look to the left of the photo and you’ll just see a bunch of flowers being delivered for the Landlady, a rare occurrence in your average Ember Inn I’d guess.
A Landlady who said “Cheers Darling” as you leave, which may explain a lot.
Back in town, I stopped to admire the Falcon, looking majestic in the shadow of the Gomer Street tower blocks.
BRAPA will love Willenhall as much as I do.