Yes, I know Hollington near Uttoxeter isn’t strictly in the Potteries, but anything past the JCB factory counts as Stoke to me.  So cut your pedantry.


Attractive part of the world, underrated despite or because of Alton Towers. The weirdness of Cauldon’s Yew Tree to the north, the simple pleasures of Pedi to the east.

Hollington’s Raddle (not to be confused with the ’50s magazine) is what we in the pubbing trade called “a guaranteed tick“, along with Spoons, Embers and Labour Clubs.

That’s because the Raddle has year-round log cabin trade and a constant flow of gentlefolk dining, along with anyone asking directions to the Towers.

What Pub says it’s open from 8am, but that’s just when 54 year olds can climb on the tree house from.

Sign of a Proper Pub

The views to the hills would be good except for the Staffordshire mist, and the frontage is scarred a bit by the conservatory, but the outside pods (for dining, not smoking) add a bit of character.


In the event of a No Deal Brexit, or even worse a BRAPA visit, you’ll be able to survive in one of those pods for at least 27.5 minutes.

Once past the foursomes in the conservatory arguing about splitting the bill there’s a lovely bit of proper pub next to the fire, before the dining takes over.

Rare bit of drinking space

Compared with all those keg American craft imports in Paris, the bar here is a delight. It took a few minutes to get served, but no-one asked if I was dining, and I didn’t need to ask the barmaid which beer was going quickest.

Note pic of Tim Martin on the wall

OK, I wouldn’t actually drink Hobgoblin or Bombardier, but it’s great to see a wall of BBB.

The Pedi was a bit chilled but tasty and sulphurous, NBSS 3 going on 3.5 if it warms up before I finish it.

Chill bubbles

So I take it for a little walk into the pub’s nooks and crannies on about four levels.  Amazing what you find; table skittles, pool, darts and other deviant activities.

You got the Power (signed photo)
Lucky dip

When I get back the bubbles have indeed gone, and the Pedi settled down. With a wondrous smell from the fire, it was as cosy a pub experience as I’ve had all month.


If all the other new Staffs Guide pubs put on Pedi or Bass I won’t have anything to moan about.



  1. The Talbot at Alton always used to be the best pub thereabouts.
    I have no idea which “the other new Staffs Guide pubs” are.


    1. I remember a few quite jolly evenings in the Talbot, Paul. We were staying in a self-catering barn conversion on the road to Cheadle (the proper one) as I recall, but I can’t find that on Streetview, some eighteen years later.

      Whatever, I even enjoyed myself standing up in a pub there.


      1. Etu,
        I mainly knew the Talbot from lunchtimes during the first weekend of December throughout the 1980s while staying at Dimmingsdale YH to which I would take a firkin of Pedigree.


  2. Now, this is confusing, as there’s another village called Hollington south-east of Ashbourne, which is the one that comes up when you search on WhatPub. And it has a non-GBG pub called the Red Lion serving Pedigree.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The way all those tiny bubbles are clinging to the side of the glass, could possibly mean it hasn’t been washed properly. Not meaning to put you off your beer, hours, or perhaps days after the event, but unless it’s a trick of the light, the pint in that top photo, does not look appealing.

    I’ll make no comment about the novelty prophylactics, apart from “You’re not coming anywhere near me with one of those!”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In the fullness of time, I was going to contrast the Raddle with other notable pubs in the area, such as the Talbot at Alton, but to be fair it was rather a long time ago now.

    The Raddle still looks much as I remember it though.

    That stretch of countryside, between Ashbourne and Cheadle (yes, the proper one) is one of England’s finest in my estimation, and mercifully it isn’t over-publicised.

    There’s a notable absence of pylons. (Take note, Halifax).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Etu,
      It is indeed a lovely stretch of countryside between Ashbourne and Cheadle – but I hope you’re not suggesting that Cheshire’s Cheadle is an improper town !


      1. Etu,
        But to many people Robinsons pubs are more important than a Grade I listed Gothic Revival church designed by Augustus Pugin.
        And a few miles south of that “stretch of countryside” is the railway between Stoke and Derby which, although not quite one to rival Settle – Carlisle, is a line I always enjoy travelling along – all the more now with a Titanic bar on Stoke station.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We were in Cheadle last month but with no time for the pubs.
        A friend there had swelling behind her knees, phoned my wife and we took her to hospital as DVT can be quite serious.
        I remember the Queens as an Allied Breweries pub in the 1980s.


  5. I lived in Stoke for three years in the early 90s as a student at the poly there and the cask choice in local pubs was Pedigree, Bass or Banks’s, all of them obviously better than the alternative, plastic pint pots of keg Worthington in the students’ union bar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wasn’t there also a fair bit of Ansells Bitter and Ind Coope Burton Ale – there certainly was in the 80s real ale guide I mentioned in the earlier comment?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, indeed, quite a lot from Allied in the former Parkers of Burslem pubs.
        And a most welcome scattering of Buronwood and Wem pubs – and Davenports had the Sheet Anchor at Baldwins Gate.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I have to admit I’d never heard of this pub, but it appears in the mid-80s Real Ale in and around the Potteries serving Five Towns Bursley Bitter, Ind Coope Burton Ale (H) and Marston’s Pedigree (G), and was described as:

    “Formerly a Buntings pub known as the Masons Arms, having four small rooms and upstairs pool room. Superb grandfather clock and Victorian fireplace. Closed weekday lunchtimes November-Easter.”

    The nearby Star, which only opens 34 hours a week, and never at lunchtimes, is a permanent Bass outlet.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Speaking from your position as a BBB purist and staunch supporter of traditional biters made in huge factories – what do you think the bubbles in your pint were? Excessive carbonation? Mucky glass? Or both? Could we deduce from this that Marston’s may be giving an extra squirt of CO2 somewhere along the line, to what is virtually bright racked beer that can be served within 24 hrs of being dropped into the cellar?


  8. Surely the most important thing about the bubbly Pedigree is that it tasted just fine whatever happened to it up to the point it was supped ?


    1. P P-T,
      Yes, indeed, too many people, including those whingeing about a slightly hazy pint, ‘drink with their eyes’.
      It looks to me like the result of an inefficient glass washing machine. Bring back a sink and tea towels.
      Draught beer now falls into four categories
      (a) Timothy Taylors
      (b) Cask beer from brewers large or small, old or new that has spent several days in a brewery conditioning tank so that it drops clear within a few hours in the cellar of pubs, the majority of them, with a licensee that has little interest in beer
      (c) Murk from “craft breweries” that is “intentionally hazy”
      (d) the sort of keg beers none of us on here would drink – unless in the Rifle Drum.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, far too often nowadays my hands are clasped around a pint to bring it up to the perfect temperature.
        Never have I drunk in a beer garden during the winter to cool my pint down.


  9. “So cut your pedantry.”

    I’m definitely not your man for geographical precision. Funny map names on the other hand… 🙂

    “Sign of a Proper Pub”

    For some reason I’m reminded of the Flintstones. This would be their Stone Age version of the airplane, complete with escape slide in emergencies.

    “but the outside pods (for dining, not smoking) add a bit of character.”

    A place known for its log cabins puts something this futuristic on its dining patio?

    “In the event of a No Deal Brexit”

    As mentioned on Pubmeister’s post (which is how I came to this post before many others) those pods look more like the Cone of Silence from the show Get Smart. And deal or no deal, come March 29th many folk over there would love to have some place to vent without being heard. 🙂

    “I didn’t need to ask the barmaid which beer was going quickest.”

    They were all going well?

    “”You got the Power (signed photo)”

    Dammit. Now all I can think about is the movie Bruce Almighty and a yoghurt commercial from Dannon. 😉

    “Lucky dip”

    Are those what I think they are?

    “If all the other new Staffs Guide pubs put on Pedi or Bass I won’t have anything to moan about.”

    Chauffeuring Si for a day will fix that. 🙂



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