A great night came to an unexpectedly brilliant end at the Chapel House in Lower Gornal. I’ve marked the Beacon Hotel for you below as well, to help you get your bostin’ bearings.

Chapel House

When I started GBG pubbing, the Gornals were one of the “must visits” areas in the UK.  Eight Guide pubs, including the famed Jolly Crispin and Britannia at the top of the hill and a straggle of free houses on the way down.

I’d sometimes come on Bonfire Night, when you could see the fireworks for miles from the Crispin.

Don’t remember the Chapel House though.

Shadowy figure

Excitingly, I arrive on music night.

Alex Ohm, Black Country’s finest

It’s a Proper Local, live music at the weekend but nothing fancy, and a good cross-section of Gornads (or whatever you call the locals).

You wouldn’t find this many folk, particularly over-50s, out for a drink in many pubs in Cambridge; they’ll all be tucked up watching Netflix with the new Tesco craft cans.

All Gornal life is here

I’m always pleased to see a Holden’s house.  No fancy guest beer nonsense here either,

Proper head being poured

With all seats taken at 20:55, I had to hog a seat at the bar.

That Golden Glow, a temperamental beer, just looks wonderful.

Weird colours there

Alex Ohm kicked off his solo guitar covers with “California Dreaming” and suddenly Holden’s made perfect sense.  NBSS 3,5, perhaps 4.  It barely touched the sides.


Straight into the Weller canon.

“Two lovers kissing amongst the scream of midnight,
Two lovers missing the tranquility of solitude,
Getting a cab and traveling on buses,
Reading the graffiti about slashed seat affairs”

What a song that was.  I was quite emotional, but made it back to Dudley to pink in my GBG.


“Lights going out and a kick in the gornals”  as Weller might have said.

Scary Dudley

17 thoughts on “THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT

  1. An emotional finish to crush the cynics who say you’re merely a ticking machine. A tough set to do this year too (so far beyond me) so sending you a virtual pint of Batham’s by way of congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Today’s our wedding anniversary and she’s just suggested lunch at the Bhurtpore.
        I can’t argue with that !
        Last week, on my birthday, they had got a lovely Coffee Stout from Castle Rock on.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you.
        In the Bhurtpore five minutes after opening, a lovely curry and 2½ pints of Elgoods 4½% Hen In Black stout made for a great lunchtime.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. And reassuringly under-50s going out for an evening drink in the Beacon Hotel might suggest that the ‘speciality’ continues.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Martin, just catching up with your flurry of Black Country postings and have to admit I’m very jealous – Bull & Bladder, canal locks and Gornal definitely sounds like my kind of outing. I wonder if you might have encountered the Chapel House when it was known as the Miner’s Arms – Holden’s did it out a few years ago, stripping the frontage back to the old stone and possibly reverting back to an earlier name. All the best, Paul


    1. Hi Paul, always grateful for your informed comments.

      Actually l hadn’t been to the Miner’s Arms before, possibly the only Gornal pub I hadn’t been in 😉

      And I know Duncan, who’s been doing this ticking a lot longer than me, also has it to do.


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