Young Simon is clearly having a good time down in Dorset, exploring the unexpectedly rough pubs of Greater Bournemouth (Lesser Bournemouth is rubbish).

I’m quite jealous of his first ever trips to Lower Parkston Ex-Servicemen’s Club and the Cricketers, particularly as I’ll only get to drive him to square micros this week. New entries to the Guide often have good beer, but rarely give you the visceral thrill of a locals’ boozer.

But there’s still hope for the veteran pub ticker in search of the Proper Pub.  Like the anonymous Salford Holt pub, and that Wilmslow Brewhouse & Kitchen, both new this year.

In this case, it’s the Green Dragon in Darlaston, technically part of Walsall CAMRA but it feels like a suburb of Wolves (or IKEA) to me.


Darlaston is an old coal-mining town with a typically low-key town centre that I know you’re desperate to see.

Good start
Vape Inn sadly not a micro for smokers
Gary Numan “Telekon” LP on vinyl
Household goods and fruit machines

There’s that giant IKEA a mile to the east, an ASDA with a decent café on the High Street, and a few pubs just off the main drag.

Very much alive

Us tickers live for places as unspoilt as the Green Dragon. There’s a backroom with some women of uncertain age who give me a suspicious look; they’ll probably eat Simon.

The front bar has that evocative combination of Hi-Vis jacket and combat trousers and cheery Landlady.

Pub life

Not my best ever pump clip shot, a bit rushed.

That or Backyard, probably

Add a few more Old Boys and you’d have the Stile.

Slightly worn stools
How inviting is that ?

More decent beer (NBS 3); the next bloke in had a pint so cask isn’t a waste of time.

But you come for the quiet or the banter.

Lopsided pictures A GOOD THING

Yam Yam” said one bloke at the bar to the other.  I have no idea of the context, but it didn’t matter.

I knew the Gents would be good, and it was.






33 thoughts on “YAM YAM

  1. Great Black Country boozer…well done on deciphering what was said in the boozer – you win a year’s supply of Batham’s! What are chitterlings and polonies? I love the meat yow cor beat – fantastic! Foster’s beermats is usually the sign of a proper boozer too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never known chitterlings but remember, as a lad, polony as a large sausage, to be sliced like salami, with a red skin.
      Shouldn’t it have been “For mate yow cor’ bate”?


  2. Must admit I’m very fond of the Green Dragon – we held my Nan’s wake there last year and they really looked after us. They had some Backyard Brewery ales on that day which the wider WME family did our best to drink dry. I get the comparisons with the Wheatsheaf and the Stile although Darlaston has always been earthy Walsall in my eyes, so any claiming by Wolverhampton could be dangerous! Darlaston proudly had it’s own Urban District Council until the 1960s and there are still some fine civic buildings to be spotted even if the main King Street precinct is struggling along these days. Never had the pleasure of sampling chitterlings myself but sounds like Beermat needs to be educated!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sadly, and probably a bit controversially, this is why pubs are closing. Look at the images which all portray a lack of investment, and indeed TLC to what could be a very good pub.I’m guessing you went in during the daytime, but you can’t make money with four punters in. Basic isn’t necessarily bad neither, so long as everything is clean and tidy; no shabby buffet tops, etc. I note you mention The Stile, a very interesting pub that with several hundred thousands of pounds of investment could be a real gem instead of faded working class grandeur. Exactly who’s at fault is probably worthy of a thesis in it’s own right, spilling into social trends and economics as much as pub management and beer.


      1. I’ll be honest. I didn’t even notice “chitterlings” when I took the photo. It just captured the character of the town. Really interesting how people see things you miss. You notice a lot of stuff on BRAPA as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I owned that Gary Numan “Telekon” LP back in the early 80s; In my teens I bought 3 or 4 of his records, used, in a single day, but it didn’t lead me to become a devoted fan, sad to say. Years afterwards had the chance to briefly meet the man backstage prior to one of his concerts. He’s one of those guys where I think, “Well, if you only get to have one big hit, you could do a lot worse than ‘Cars,’ that’s for sure.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think everyone in their mid-late teens was a Numan fan between mid-79 and mid-80, when he released that dreadful “Telekon” LP. I’d saved up £5 to buy it on holiday in the Lake District, but a few plays on BBC Radio 1 revealed it to be as big a dud as “Sergeant Pepper” joke).

      In the UK, “Are Friends Electric” with the Tubeway Army is the classic, though Cars gets more plays. Did you enjoy the concert ? Saw him in ’87 and it was a barrage of noise, good but…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I finally got curious enough to look it up, and Wikipedia supplies this: “Chitterlings were common peasant food in medieval England, and remained a staple of the diet of low-income families right up until the late 19th century and not uncommon into the mid 20th century.” and later: “Chitterlings, though much declined in popularity, are still enjoyed in the UK today.”

        I have never actually had them, but now I’m curious to give them a try if I ever have the chance.


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