A very quick post from the hinterlands of Walsall, because otherwise Walsall folk will think I don’t love them (no posts since 2015) and I really do.


Walsall is probably the best place in the Midlands to hide from the Brum Frankfurt Markets at the moment, though I’ll be honest and say Bloxwich wasn’t at its best during an out-of-character downpour.

Autumnal church

No time for the legendary Tinkie’s (the Turf Tavern) as I snatched a half at the new Spoons in this hardworking (euphemism) town.

Smokers cowering from the rain

Yes, my heart sinks a bit at every new Spoons in the Guide. But it’s always fascinating to test the “Spoons has given up on cask” hypothesis.


That’s a decent line-up. Four you’ve heard of, two you haven’t but one of those named after the national TV show of the Midlands.

“There you go my man” says a young barman seeming keener to serve me a half of Peaky Blinders on a wet Wednesday in Walsall than I am to drink it.

I’m warming to Spoons enthusiasm; I might yet quite the App habit.

It’s a decent half (NBSS 3) for the price of a bag of crisps in Brunning & Price, with some lovely circus theming upstairs.

And it’s packed, on a wet Wednesday in Walsall. Folks in pashminas and HiVis jackets huddle together to escape the cold (not literally).

Spoons, eh ? You’ll miss them when they’ve gone.



  1. I’m not sure I would miss Spoons Martin, but that’s a topic for another day.

    On train back to Tonbridge now after a most enjoyable tour of Shifnal. Good to see you, along with the other Real Pub Men. Must do it again sometime!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The niche that Spoons fill and nobody else does is providing OK-ish, good value pub food all day long in urban locations. In many places, Spoons is the only place you’ll get a pub meal. I’d bet there isn’t much food competition in Bloxwich.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The food offering is a definite plus point as far as Spoons are concerned, but I do wonder how much cask they shift these days.


      2. There isn’t much competition pub food wise in Blocko, but plenty of curry options.
        Just around the corner from the spoons is a fantastic addition , the panka Walla. A really superb house, it’s tied to a pub (the lamp) but that won’t be troubling guide any time soon.


      3. Ooh, Pankawalla looks good.

        “It was during that bygone Indian summer, as I was enjoying another superb dish prepared by Nani, my Grandma, in the gentle cooling breeze wafting over from her Panka…”



      1. Well I certainly didn’t miss Wetherspoons in Wolverhampton yesterday morning but, yes, they sometimes fill a niche before the proper pubs open at 11am.
        Yes, it was a grand day out yesterday in Shifnal and a shame you couldn’t join us in the Great Western. The two Mudgie’s train was delayed ten minutes waiting for the police to join it at Stafford – and my daughter had been on it from New Street but I didn’t know that till I got home.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So the job interview for Wetherspoons new press officer went badly, Paul πŸ˜‰

        I feel fine this morning but another pint in Wolves would inevitably have led to a four mile walk to do those two confounded new micropubs!


      3. I missed that drama on the train. It was no more than 15 minutes late into Stockport, so must have made up some time later in the journey.


      4. Martin,
        No, two years ago my GP told me that I would never work again so it’s probably t’other Mudgie who’s gone for Tim’s new press officer job.

        T’other Mudgie,
        Yes, it’s odd that you, me and my daughter ( in the last carriage ) saw nothing of the “drama on the train” but plentyof police were ready at Stafford station when it arrived.


  2. “on a wet Wednesday in Walsall” – but Bloxwich is no more “in Walsall” than Warwick University is “in Coventry” or Stockport is “in Manchester”.


    1. No, Bloxwich is in Walsall in the same sense that Cheadle and Hazel Grove are in Stockport, i.e. part of the metropolitan district, but not of the town itself.


      1. “Bloxwich is in Walsall” in the same sense as Stockport is in Greater Manchester but I’ve always known Bloxwich and Walsall as separate towns just as I’ve known Stockport and Manchester as separate towns.


  3. Hi Martin, the Showman is one of the more reliable West Midlands Wetherspoons in my experience, so your comments on the circus theme (and cleanliness) hit the mark for me. It’s good to see the building back in regular use again so I have to praise Tim and co for that, and it works nicely as a tribute to Pat Collins. I won’t wade into the Bloxwich v Walsall debate too much other than to say my family in Bloxwich very much see the town as proudly separate from Walsall! Cheers, Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Paul.

      For avoidance of doubt, Bloxwich is very much a proudly separate town in the same way Brownhills and Aldridge are within Walsall met Borough.

      I’m glad to see some new GBG life in town, though I’d certainly add the Turf to any trip.


  4. The Showman is a good addition to the ‘spoons portfolio. Nice and bright with a decent outside area for the summer. Which is a rarity for the chain around our part of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

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