I’d best finish this Digbeth crawl report quickly now, lest my memory fails me completely and I start claiming we saw Pub Curmudgeon drinking craft or something else libellous.  Good job I also have Peter Allen’s report to corroborate the detail.

We left the Anchor on time, a rarity on these highly choreographed events.


From E we headed for F.


But not before a quick nip into the Old Crown, oddly left off the original itinerary as it’s not Victorian enough but then restored after consulting the Beer & Pubs Forum Rulebook.

A good example here of the jaywalking skills of Paul from Stafford, where cars and crossings are yet to be invented.

Go Paul, Go !
Two seconds later

By this time the pubs were starting to get the early traffic from youngsters aiming for pre-Semi Final lubrication and the best seats to watch history being made. Paul beat the hordes of England fans to the bar. Here they are, marching on together.

Nice haircuts lads

It’s fairly common in CAMRA circles to send a junior member ahead into a pub to check if cask is available, before committing the whole group to a sinful half of smoothflow or Carling.

We already faced ex-communication after the Big Bull’s Head incident, but frankly the prospect of Hobgoblin in a plastic glass in the Old Crown was more off-putting than any keg.  I can’t think of a worse combination, except perhaps Prosecco in a pewter tankard.

Spirits were raised on the meander through Deritend to the Wagon & Horses, a pub named specifically to annoy Russ’s spell-checker.  Some great faded signs and faded factories.

Weird cars and Ansells
Devonshire Buildings

I passed the Wagon on my Deritend dawdle at Christmas, when even chicken Balti for £2.75 couldn’t tempt me in.  It’s a gem, with as good a welcome as anywhere in Brumdom from the barmaid.


A classic traditional pub” says What Pub, and they’re spot on, with a perfect match of quiet bar and noisy back room, rather like the Vine in West Brom.

Banks’s glass used to maximise lacings

A really good small selection of beer includes the Cornish classic, and another Hobsons Old Prickly that tickles the 3.5 mark. Sadly, no craft for Mudgie.

Beers you’ve heard of

We spent a good while here, so lively was the atmosphere and the Blues memorabilia. My notes recall a heated argument about hop pellets, and an enquiry about the shrine to the Birmingham cup winning side of 1991.

Any excuse to show this Pathe news footage (colourised) showing the Number 2’s Hoddlesque long passing contributions.

Wonder what happened to him ?



      1. Thirty to forty years ago who in Birmingham could have imagined that by now Ansells would have disappeared and M&B, other than as a PubCo name, all but gone ?
        Early this year I was surprised and delighted to find cask M&B Brew XI on as a guest beer in Stafford’s Bird in Hand though from Bass Charrington’s Cardiff rather than Birmingham brewery. The licensee isn’t on the best of terms with CAMRA so I’m NOT going to suggest that he gets it on again ready for Tuesday 7th.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. A fantastic piece Martin and glad you share my view on a cracking pub…it possibly survives on blues home games so long may that continue and it is raucous! Apparently he was last seen trying to keep up with Paul Mudge in a mission to get in the old crown!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Indulgent thoughts… 1 Simon Sturridge was a very good player but got a lot of injuries aka Daniel…2 Big Ron really likes Blues despite managing Villa in the past…3 terraces are much better for celebrating goals than seats 4 not only did John Gayle score two unbelievable goals he also gave Nigel Gleghorn a piggy back arguably a greater achievement…5 shorts were proper shorts in 1991

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “We left the Anchor on time, a rarity on these highly choreographed events.”

    That’s a bit of an ambiguity. Or do you just mean that when you leave you’re all in step? 😉

    “where cars and crossings are yet to be invented.”

    That would have been better if he was walking into the Wagon and Horses. 🙂

    “Nice haircuts lads”

    Now THAT’S choreography! (LOL)

    “a pub named specifically to annoy Russ’s spell-checker. ”

    For the record, it’s Russ’. 🙂

    “Beers you’ve heard of”

    After reading you lot for over a year… yes. 🙂

    “showing the Number 2’s Hoddlesque long passing contributions.”

    Blimey. (raises glass)



    1. I’m not sure about “illogically routed” as we were working round one pub being shut between 2pm and 4pm and another not opening until 6pm.
      I would be much easier if ALL pubs were “open all day” or before 1988 when we would in advance of the day organise a “lock in” from 3pm to 6pm.

      Liked by 2 people

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