With apologies to Eyemouth, Buntingford, Rye and Tonbridge (ah, Tonbridge), you’ll have to wait for your day in the retiredmartin sun.  I can’t find your photos on OneDrive.  The one from Tonbridge with Mrs RM and Paul Bailey doing karaoke in the Man of Kent is in there, somewhere.

But the evidence from Wolverhampton last Wednesday is intact.  The latest episode in the Pint and Pubs Forum Folk keep pubs afloat“, and a chance to grill Banks’s on important questions like “Are all your beers the same“.

Some took the train; “Curry Charles” and I revisited Wolves’ premier B&B, set amongst the 1930s suburbia of Goldthorn Park (or strictly Blakenhall, surely the least pubbed bit of the Black Country).

A Wolves Wander

It’s not as posh as Tettenhall, but there’s a better mix of cultures and spicier food options; Dick and Dave would love it.

Barons Court Hotel seems to be an attempt to create a B&B version of the Yew Tree in Cauldon. lacking only the jar of 1990s pickled eggs in the corner and a bit more dust.

Barons Court
Plays Slade 78s

The walk from Barons Court in Blakenhall to the brewery is a guided tour of Wolves culture. Black and white houses,

Posh Wolves

Georgian squares,

St John

pubs closed due to stabbings,


weird record shops trying to get a quid for Culture Club singles.

Fully stocked shop there

mannequins as art,

Don’t ask

and a fair bit of historic buildings reclaimed as cafes.

Lindy Lo’s

But enough of that, for now. Here’s the underpass art. Not quite Newcastle-Under-Lyme standard, yet.

As the kids say

First stop, the famous Combermere Arms.


Closest pub to our brewery tour, and a place I’d had top Banks’s Mild twice before, but now a Greene King house ?  What goes on ?

Anyway, we were ahead of the pack, apparently engaged in a pork bap eating contest at the Great Western.

So I had first dibs at the pumps. Bet you’re wondering why I didn’t go for the Salopian ?

Nectar has been poured

Because someone had said the GK Black IPA was great. And I follow advice.


We settled in the room to the left of the bar, and waited for our bap munchers.

Simple but lovely

For Newbury Tim, here’s the traditional photo of Berkshire’s top pub magazine enjoying a trip to Wolves, next to a classic pint.

Not burnt yet

Now I’ve had good times in Wolves over the years in some lively pubs, but the beer has never pulled up any trees.  This pint was sensational, cool, rich, thick, yummy (NBSS 4).

This is what NBSS 4 looks like

Finally other PubMen turned up and order pints and halves and cheap fish and chips and onions rings.  It got messy, as this photo suggests.  Worryingly, they ran out of onion rings, so I’ve no idea what was substituted.

Proper food

If other PubMen didn’t seem quite as in awe of the beer as I did, that may be because they were on halves, and beer always tastes best in pints.

There’s a great montage of Black Country faces on the wall.  If you recognise more than the one I did, you get five points.

Noddy !

Oh !  Did I mention the tree in the Gents ?


A classic.  





  1. That’s a good report, marred only by the first photograph.
    Never in my life would I have expected to read “Barons Court Hotel” and “Yew Tree in Cauldon” in the sane sentence, even if it is the Wolverhampton Barons Court Hotel rather than the proper Walsall one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The “top Banks’s Mild twice before” in the Combermere will have been when it was owned by a Pubco, after Butlers / M&B / Bass Charrington and before Greene King.
    The dark beer in the Timothy Taylors glass was Greene King Black IPA. The dark beer in the Thwaites glass was Greene King Black IPA. We weren’t going to go all day without a pint from the Westgate Brewery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Odds are that if a pub has recently become a Greene King house then it was one of the Spirit pubs they bought 2-3 years ago. Spirit were quite strong in the Midlands, since they included remnants of the Ansells and Ind Coope estates.


    1. Interestingly, I saw things I’d never seen before last week. And it’s not a big centre, most of the population is in the suburbs. Looked gorgeous in the sunny Spring morning.


  3. “Plays Slade 78s”

    They’ve obviously modernised the heating at least as it appears the fire place is strictly ornamental.

    “Lindy Lo’s”

    Tsk, tsk. Lindy Lou’s. The ‘u’ is artfully depicted by a coffee cup. 🙂


    Indeed. The entrance looks like somebody’s house.

    “but the beer has never pulled up any trees.”

    Thanks to Si, I understand that phrase now. 🙂

    “Noddy !”

    I quite like the blokes sporting those big bloody Guinness hats. 😉

    “Did I mention the tree in the Gents ?”

    There’s a joke in there somewhere. (LOL)



    1. It says a lot about the abundance of centuries-old buildings in England that one looking as historic-looking as that one could now be someone’s rather humble effort at a cafe. At least is hasn’t fallen prey to the wrecking ball!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, not quite fallen prey to the wrecking ball. I think it’s only some of the old structural timbers that survive. The front window is much shorter than I remember and looks to have been bought ‘off the shelf’ from Carvers, the local builders merchants. They won’t even have thought to keep the outside lavatories, let alone plant a lime tree in them to give the place some character, and a Linden in the loo would of course be entirely appropriate for Lindy Lou.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember Lindy Lou being a shop in the 1960s but before my time, in 1609, it was the Hand inn owned by Sir Walter Leveson and run by by a Mr Worthington.

    Liked by 1 person

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