There. Got your attention now. An official “Classic Pub” that no-one will argue with.


The walk there from Dudley town centre won’t feature on many “classic walks” though.

1 hr 9 min ?  Pah !  Took me 52 mins

It’s easy to romanticise the Black Country, but the A4036 is not a road for the romantic.  A succession of industrial estates and power tool outlets, it’s very much what Industral Britain was built on though.

It’s more attractive than Merry Hill, mind, and you do at least get the canal, so it’s not as bad as industrial Brent.


Halfway to Brierley Hill from Dudley I did a search of GBG pubs in the area;

GBG desert

Yes, nothing.  Even Ma Pardoes over in Netherton is out of the Guide these days, believe it or not.

Obviously, I didn’t need the Vine; my new tick is next door. Must be 20 years since my last visit, though, and I succumb to repeat visits to classics easier these days.

Could you pass it ?

Frankly, you get your Batham‘s fix where you can.

Straight to the Public on the right.

Hi Vis jacket a great sign

A lovely mix of folk, more the crowd you’d get in a slightly upmarket Sam Smiths than the Great Western, if I’m being over precise.

Pleasantly buzzing, though I’m not sure I’d have secured this prime seat 20 years ago.

Best seat in the house

What shall I have then ?

Hoorah !  A choice of one

The Bitter it is then.  Actually, the Mild may have been on in the other bar.

The harder decision is whether to have a cob here, or find that Balti later.

The chap in a suit has a pint and cheese and onion cob, and I instinctively repeat his order. It’s a loaf rather than a cob, if i’m honest.

Plastic haters look away

A little bit of heaven, for sure.  I go on Twitter to boast about it immediately.

This is three giant bites in

A bargain tea, a calorific tea, a tea accompanied by the best banter of the week.

Pub chat centred on 2 up 2 down in the National League, second hand power tools, the best gambling sites and other important issues.

“I’m so sick of Brexit discussions, whenever it comes on I switch over to Classic FM”

said one Old Boy who then proceeded to discuss Brexit for the next 20 minutes.



And anyone who quotes the Shakespeare at me is barred.

42 thoughts on “BULL & BLADDERED

  1. I’ve not been in since I think the tenants of many years retired last autumn but it doesn’t look to have changed much.
    We try to go weekday lunchtimes up to 2pm when the back left room offers individually made clingfilm-free loaf-baps and limited hot food such as faggots and it never much more that a fiver for TWO proper more-than-we-can-eat-really meals.
    The best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The weekday lunchtime hot food usually consists of faggots, cottage pie and steak & mushroom pie, all served with chips and paes, for a bargain 60 shillings, there’s a sign as you enter saying ‘best value lunch in town” 😋

      Liked by 2 people

      1. A bit dearer than last time I was there then but good quality and substantial portions so still very good value.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It takes a very suspicious mind to interpret “Pub chat centred on ……. second hand power tools” as the illegal possession or sale of them, and knowing what decent folk they are thereabouts I’m sure its all as proper as the pub is.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. But I’ve always known the definition of “second-hand – (of goods)” as “having had a previous owner; not new”.
        Whenever my wife’s car packs up she buys another second hand one. Surely they’re not all stolen.


  2. Just a piece of useless trivia to brighten up a dull day – that canal picture (and thanks for pandering to my fetish!) shows the deepest lock on the whole Birmingham Canal Navigations system – Blowers Green Lock – and believe me, when you’re in it at the bottom you know you’re in a lock!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shakespeare was quite the toper.
    I wonder if he was ever refused service ?
    ” Verily,you’re barred ”
    ” No,I’m THE Bard.”
    ” Ye piss off forsooth – you’re still barred ”
    I thang you.

    Delightful report marred only by the Walker’s Crisps.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, why Walkers crisps in the only pub I know with THREE varieties of KVE scratchings, none of them flavoured ?


    1. But I wouldn’t expect too much of even the best of pubs after many years of ownership by Punch.
      Coincidently only a few days ago I was looking at three lovely handwritten letters of December 1974 to February 1975 from D C Pardoe, the original Doris.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Many people reading this will think “What! Never been to the Vine?”. But of course to 99% of the population a voluntary trip to the scruffy bit of Dudley would seem very odd.


      1. The Vine is nowhere near either a main-line railway station or a major town centre and thus is somewhere you would have to make a special trip to visit.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “The Vine is nowhere near either a main-line railway station or a major town centre” but I don’t mind how long my wife spends in the nearby Merry Hell shopping centre if she drops me off there first.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Dudley Metropolitan Borough vs Dudley Town. Next thing people will be claiming Bramhall is part of Stockport!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Absolutely love the Bull & Bladder, and I see you made it into the inner sanctum front bar, about as Black Country as it is possible to get. I wouldn’t mind that cob photo as a screensaver, and I too can vouch for the bargain lunchtime prices on the faggots and chips (food to put many gastropubs to shame).
    I think Ma Pardoes is usually in the mix for GBG inclusion but tends to get eclipsed in terms of beer consistency – I’ve had some wonderful pints there (particularly Bumblehole) and the occasional duff one. Happily it remains a very special institution, even after a car crashed into it around this time last year. Cheers, Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, early May it was and I hear it’s still not right as the insurers don’t want to pay out for the proper bricks.

      Liked by 1 person

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