Apart from opening times (or lack of them), my biggest gripe with the Beer Guide is geographical inconsistency.  A bit rich coming from a man who gets east (window) and west (door) mixed up, perhaps.

But pubs shoot around between headings in the Beer Guide, making life hard for the completist.

Oh, I’ve done the Printer’s Arms in Birch Vale when it was in Thornsett” a typical plaintive cry. The Big 6 in Halifax has had at least three different addresses so far.

Just look at the OS Map and tell me that Bromsgrove’s Park Gate isn’t in Park Gate.


Bromsgrove WhatPub.PNG

A mere 54 minute walk from Bromsgrove Station, I’ll lay odds it appears under either Park Gate or Dodford in future editions.

Anyway, griping aside, it’s open all day, every day, which is something.  And I had time to do one of those themed walks from the pub, in weather too warm for a coat but too windy for shirtsleeves. I chose the Chartist’s walk.


It’s great that the Countryside Agency go the extra mile to try to make our wonderful land seem appealing to folk who will never leave their front room.  On walks this year I have seen a mere seven people, and a group of ramblers in a pub in Milton Keynes.

This bit of bucolic Bromsgrove isn’t going to compete with the Malverns, but to a lad from the Fens it’s mountainous.




And a pleasant wooded valley brought me to the smell of real fires in Dodford, seemingly competing with Clun for quietness.

Back to the Park Gate at exactly 12 noon. A rather plain roadside countenance, a less showy Marston’s perhaps, but at least it isn’t a micropub.



And, of course, at 12.01 there were already a couple of Old Boys in there with pints.  Do some pubs open early for regulars but not pub tickers ?


To be honest, the bar looked a bit meh.  Modernised in a quasi Sports Bar way, with limited proper seating, and a sense that I shouldn’t expect hordes of elderly diners any time soon. I longed for the classic Bathams pub just up the road in Chaddesley Corbett.

A combined piano/dart board corner at least offered some comic potential.


The beer range was a slice of Notts and Derbyshire, and a bit scary in size (I hardly need to say that anymore, do I ?).



I suspected a GBG vote for “effort” and an “improved beer range”, but I was wrong.  That Aurora Constellation was superbly kept ale, another NBSS 3.5 in a good month so far.  And still the Old Boys kept coming in, drinking pints.  All served in what I assume was a job lot of Doom Bar glasses the pub had recently “acquired“.

Me Dad will pay”  said the only chap under 50.  I half expected to turn round and see BRAPA but then realised that Si speaks posh. His Dad may or may not have turned up.

The chat reflected the issues of a tiny community either side of the pub; an Italian hurricane about to sweep the county, and the imperative to go and buy a kite.

I was about to go before Mary Poppins appeared, but decided to be nosey and explore the back rooms.



Well, they’re much more interesting than the main bar, slightly spooky. But no tables set with laminated place mats, sauce sachets and napkins.

And then it clicked. No food here.  Just beer, cobs and Bring-Your-Own. Brilliant.  You might even win a Pokémon from the machine.

Hoorah ! for the destination non-dining pub.



  1. In all my reading of the beer guide I have never noticed the movement of pubs between areas. I never would have expected that. The second really amazing thing is the limited number of walkers you have seen. I can’t believe this is typical. I realize when I walk in the UK I am in more well traveled places, but the number seems really low. I think of the English as fairly serious walkers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The pubs will still appear on the map, but be classified under the nearest town instead of their own suburb/village. Or vice versa. As an example, the Silver Tally in Standish near Wigan was shown in.Shevington originally, which is where it sits on The Spreadsheet.


    2. I find that walkers are often like pub tickers, in so far as they tend to go around in loose, semi organised small groups, carry rucksacks (with God knows what in) even on a flat field stroll and are always back home in time for Countdown!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “and tell me that Bromsgrove’s Park Gate isn’t in Park Gate.”

    Just be thankful it wasn’t in Lickey End!

    “On walks this year I have seen a mere seven people, ”

    We are fortunate enough to live within walking distance of the Beaver Lodge Lands in town:

    Click to access blfl%20map.pdf

    Last week during our hour long walk we saw 23 people; some riding bikes, some walking dogs and others just merely walking, like us.

    “Do some pubs open early for regulars but not pub tickers ?”

    I would say yes; just like some stay “open” after the doors are locked. 🙂

    The back bar looks a treat. And just beer, cobs and brings your own. Perfect!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know you like your posts to be obtuse.And I have partaken of a few tonight.
    But I didn’t understand a word of what I’ve just read.
    It reminds me of the time an old chum of mine was sub-editing Peter Jay’s column in the Times one night and he rang up Jay with a similar observation.
    ” Don’t worry.old boy ” he said ” the column is only intended to be understood by me and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
    Don’t get me wrong – I like a bit of left-field writing.
    But sheesh,throw me the occasional bone.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with your verdict on that “meh” bar– in fact I’d say you’re being kind; don’t they know that blinding shades of white are disorienting to drinkers? ; )

    Loved the photo of the trail by the fence. Looks like a lovely walk indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I was just thinking that – “too white”. And no, that isn’t a comment on the Cambridge University English syllabus 😉

        Liked by 2 people

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