These pub crawl posts are always tough to begin, as you never know how long you’re going to need to do it justice , and when you’re going to get bored and just press “PUBLISH“.

I used to write 700 word posts you know. With paragraphs.

Incidentally, my wish for shorter blog posts was granted this week by Pubmeister, whose report on cask outlets in Carluke is the best thing I’ve read all year.

One word is plenty, sometimes too many

The dispensing machine had been removed from unmanned Shifnall and Codsall stations so I hadn’t got a ticket for the trip, and was worried about ending up in HMP Featherstone. Greenock will still come after me for that 10p when I cross the Scottish border again.

Luckily there was a man to flog me a ticket for the price of a pint in the Winking Frog, which thankfully hasn’t lost its second letter like that Pig in Muck. It had reputedly lost real ale (actually not) so the “cask or death” contingent gave it a wide berth.

Cruelly ignored by the Codgers

I’d pre-emptively ticked the tourist sights in Shifnall that morning so the others didn’t have to, the nice lady in Katrina’s Gift Shop (“Katrina ?”) giving me a little map that was the envy of the group.

Well done Katrina. I never did pop back to buy a postcard

The pubs were mainly in the northern half of town, so our group missed out on some lovely Ludlow-esque timber,


and one of the great fonts in England.


But I guess 1.2 miles is enough for a group of old codgers to walk on a pub crawl, eh ?

Back to the map.

Shifnal route

I confess I like a little more crawl and a little less pub.

Pub No.1 was an exhausting 2 minutes from the station.


I’m sure the Anvil was a GBG debutant a couple of years back, but closed suddenly a week before I got there. Black Country Ales have restored it to the Guide and I thought it was really well done.

I can even see a smile on Old Mudgie’s face, always a good sign. The young barman was about to chip in to our conversation on Simpkiss, much to Paul’s delight.

“It was him”

A pashmina mum and dad and daughter beat us off the train into the pub, and they clearly weren’t there for gourmet dining, though they might have succumbed to the pies.


I’m always a bit torn on Black Country’s pubs. Too many beers, the guests always suppressing turnover of their own beers, but welcoming and beer focussed.

The Pig on the Wall was NBSS 3+, which made it better than average.

A corking start.

12 thoughts on “SHIFNAL – IT BEGINS

  1. That Gallery font is a complete mess. Where’s Matthew when you need him? Sounds like a good day out having read PC’s posts too. X is turning into one of my most successful blogs- the lack of text and photos seem to be positively welcomed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Matthew is normally on the case before I’ve even pressed PUBLISH.

      X is your equivalent of John Cage’s 4’33

      Shifnal was a bit dull as a place but most towns would love 7 pubs with the beer quality we found.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah yes, Shifnal And I:
        “We want the finest ales available to humanity. We want them here, and we want them now!”


  2. That photo of the Winking Frog building exterior looks as if it could only have been taken by way of you climbing precariously over the wall and holding on with one arm while snapping the picture with the other. And I refuse to accept any other explanation offered!


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