Ten minutes on the train to Rugeley Town,

then a less than exciting 20 minutes through the western suburbs to what looks like a slice of Cwmbran with more unintelligible accents.

Thinking about it, trips into genuinely residential areas for Guide ticks used to be a rarity.

Not scared. Not at all

But micropubs have changed all that. Rugeley’s Rusty Barrel is a mirror image of Werrington’s Frothblowers.


Same 60s housing, same functional shopping arcade, same curry house next door, same terror that it’ll be shut for a trip to the barbers or something.

The football pitch seemed to be short of a crossbar.

It wasn’t due to open till 13:00, but looked very, very shut.

Nervy times

I completed the walk around the shopping arcade, wondering if a can of Strongbow sank outside a pub could count as a tick.


Back at the Barrel, still no action as the clock ticked past 1.

I sought advice from Duncan and Simon, who are used to this scenario.

Their advice shall remain confidential pending the judicial inquiry.

I gave the door a nudge. It flew open.


Actually, they were all lovely, if a bit shy given how dark it was.

“What should I have”

“What do you normally drink”

You should never ask me that.

The nice man recommended the Slaters. It was decent.

Writing on the wall

He brought me out a beermat, too (not BeerMat).

A schoolboy stood on the seat at the bar. I liked that, too.

“D’ya want a dirty beer?”

Said Dad to lad. He didn’t.

He’ll learn to love the lacings.

Within 10 minutes I was the only customer, oddly, and the guvnor chatted to me about stuff. Not all microlords are that chatty.

A cheery place.

Republica were singing “Ready to go”. And I was.

13 thoughts on “RUGELEY POWERS UP

  1. “Ten minutes on the train to Rugeley Town” – I remember Beeching shutting the stations on that line but its retention for coal trains enabled it to be easily reopened and it is now very busy for commuting to and from Birmingham.
    I rarely get beyond the Red Lion and Albion so have not been to the Rusty Barrel.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Obviously I fully understand your quest, but in a sense *having* to go in certain pubs makes for a much more entertaining write-up than just going in those that others have recommended as good. Also see BRAPA 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s what I really liked about Stockport CAMRAs approach to Staggers. Other branches would just have done Crown/Vic/Magnet/Railway on rotation.

        The last pub I could find nothing to write about was the Pub of the Year (in Lincs).

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It may surprise you to learn that I actually own that album, but I don’t think it will be featuring as Mudgie’s Album of the Week any day soon.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Re-beermat, I like the idea of a customer in an empty pub being able to have a pub blogger brought out from the back to ramble on. They could have a menu of various pub types available as well. Happy hour ‘2 for 1’ could be really irritating if you’d just gone in for a quiet pint.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You could choose between different bloggers depending on your mood – me, Martin, Simon, Duncan, Richard, Beermat, Boak & Bailey etc. Well, maybe not Boak & Bailey…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. If you had an argument about the authenticity of a Bass or Guinness mirror to settle than Ray and Jessica would be my first port of call.

        If you just wanted an argument you’d choose Richard.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Never knowingly undersold, you get a full hour from Richard that will include the terms “Not what it was”, “Stick of rhubarb”, “Don’t talk rubbish” etc.
        Oh, sorry, that’s Boycott.


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