Phew.  Five glasses. No-one lost yet on our Shifnal Day Out.  Not much sign of Kentish Paul in the photos though; he must have paid the blackmail money.

Two to go, starting with one for traditional pub name fans.

Shifnal route

What ?

Jaspers is upmarket (by Shifnal standards) but not unpleasantly so.  They can use that strapline if they want.

Stolen from gastropub in Burnham Thorpe
Young people
Daft seating

We’d reached 5pm by now, the witching hour, and Jaspers had clearly cornered the youth market.

Until we arrived.


I believe there was a major international incident at the bar as “Bitter means Golden Glow” had become the new “Bitter means John Smiths Smooth“.

I was fading by now. They could have been playing the Scotland 1974 World Cup song and I’d have missed it.

But I did notice just how gorgeous Holden’s Bitter looks;

Another 3.5

And tastes.  Holden’s was the star of the day, along with Kentish Paul’s singing.

I went ahead to the Od, my room for the night and our last Shifnal pub.

Five minutes later I had vital news for Mudgie.


By the time they arrived it was “Come On Eileen“.

The Od(fellows) was more cocktail lounge than pub. but still had that standard Staffs/Salop/Black Country (don’t fuss) line-up.

NBSS 3 for the Gold

Stirchley Pete finished on a pint, and was presented with his official Casketeer cap in front of an adoring audience.

Nice black & white building outside

And that was it.

My hotel door

I booked in to my luxurious room (no breakfast, no toiletries, 8 sheets of toilet paper), the rest walked the hill to Shifnal station and more Holden’s at the Great Western.

Three coffees later, I hit the town and peered in the three other cask outlets.  Purely in the interests of research, you understand.  Doom Bar in the Bell, Doom Bar in the ivy coloured Park House,

actually scary

and Wye Valley HPA in the Frog, where I finished with a half while the Wishing Star made my tea (an excellent Sweet and Sour Pork and Singapore rice).


It looks like the Young People’s venue (the ones scared off by Pink at 120db) with its unique Black Country tapas menu “Sparkle”.


£3 a pint, NBSS 3 pale beer, Toni Basil “Micky” and Tight Fit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, giant dancefloor, Christmas decorations.

That should bring the kids in.






  1. Your line about “no breakfast, no toiletries, 8 sheets of toilet paper” reminded me of a time I tried to save money staying in a cheap motel here in Michigan, and found that the room didn’t even have a clock in it. This was in the days before smart phones; I had to use my wrist watch to keep track of what time it was.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Odd thing, Mark (no pun on my room in Shifnal), but I find Americans much nicer than expected but you put up with some utter rubbish.

      The Travelodge in Hollywood 2 years ago had bloodstained sheets in the draw, horrific breakfast and nothing worked. And then there’s the cheese.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Mark,
      When I were a lad guest houses meant taking your own plug for the bath as the landlady didn’t want ‘guests’ using her hot water.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A couple of corrections, Martin. I hadn’t drank enough to be singing, so you were spared that “horror.” As for photos, my agent handles all publicity matters, says he of the “posh” business cards!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Singing ?
        That was only to pass the time for ten minutes as the train was awaiting police before entering Stafford station.
        Photo ?
        I thought you had a rare one of me wearing a jacket, my new jacket.


  3. I thought Jaspers Arms was surprisingly nice, the absolute opposite of the Crown.
    Later I thought of the very similar contrast between Codsall Station and the short-lived Platform Ale House in the next Albrighton railway station building along the line.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I was a kid we once stayed in a guest house in Seahouses in Northumberland where the rooms were equipped with what seemed like 10 watt bulbs and you had to ask permission to have a bath 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “No-one lost yet on our Shifnal Day Out. ”
    Reminds me of my trip to Oktoberfest in Munich back in ’79. Ten of us from the hostel went down together. Beer in one tent, then move on (and, as you know, the beers are litre steins). After the third tent we lost one. By the sixth (or seventh?) tent it was my turn to become separated from the group. Only got to Munich that day. Luckily had the name of my hostel on a map I had with me. Convinced the police to get me a cab to take me back to the hostel. 🙂

    The next day, a group of us went back and watched a bunch of Italians, fresh from their train ride for Italy, get hopelessly drunk. 🙂

    “What ?”

    Totally agree. Shouldn’t the Jaspers on the sign have an apostrophe? 😉

    “Stolen from gastropub in Burnham Thorpe”

    Blimey. He’s got a biggun. Most guys put their hands down their pants to do that.

    “Daft seating”

    Handicap seating obvs. The wheelchair folk go on the outside.

    “Until we arrived.”

    (slow golf clap)

    “had become the new “Bitter means John Smiths Smooth“.”

    Yikes! Even Alan (rest his soul) would not stoop that low!

    “They could have been playing the Scotland 1974 World Cup song and I’d have missed it.”

    I’d miss that before my first beer… or my first coffee even. 🙂

    “But I did notice just how gorgeous Holden’s Bitter looks;”

    It’s the lacings innit?

    “By the time they arrived it was “Come On Eileen“.”

    After five (or six) pints, I’d be singing along to that. 🙂

    “Nice black & white building outside”

    And here’s me thinking ‘she’ was Stirchley Pete’s ‘prize’ to ‘cap’ off the night. 😉

    “8 sheets of toilet paper”

    Seven more than Sheryl Crow thinks we need.

    “the rest walked the hill to Shifnal station and more Holden’s at the Great Western.”

    Pfft. I’ll have to read Mudgie’s blog for the rest. 🙂

    “giant dancefloor, Christmas decorations”

    That should be giant dancefloor AND Christmas decorations. 🙂



    1. “wasn’t a film made about that ?”

      Indeed. I believe it was called “Behind the Green Door”.

      But I meant we went down there, to Oktoberfest; not down ‘there’, if you know what I mean. 😉



  6. I went on a group trip round parts of Mexico years ago and in one ‘hotel’ the beds were basically mattresses laid on slabs of concrete, But the beer in Mexico was surprisingly quite reaasonable, EXCEPT for anything they export. Sorry for the deviation from Shifnal – sounds like my next trip that way should get out of Wolverhampton a bit more.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Said wall is, of course, intended at stopping illegal immigrants, not legal imports. But, heigh-ho!


  7. Still catching up with the flurry of posts so very impressed with your Shifnal stamina Martin, and that drop of Holdens in the Jaspers does look lovely. Never quite taken to the Odfellows myself but I can vouch for the quality of the cobs in the Winking Frog. Cheers, Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Paul, it’s not so much the lacing as the swirling effect of that Holdens in the glass. Quite a sight.

      Odfellows was the weakest of the day, and those cobs looked great if out of place in a club type venue.

      I think we had mostly halves, except for Stirchley Pete (you can take Stafford Paul as read).

      What’s your local, Paul?


      1. Hi Martin, my main local is the Swan in Compton (usually drinking Banks’s Mild) but I also call in at the Chindit, the Great Western, the Clarendon and the Trumpet fairly regularly, when I’m not out and about elsewhere in the West Midlands. Despite this I don’t ever remember making the acquaintance of Paul Mudge as yet!

        Sounds as though everybody enjoyed their Shifnal experience and pleased to see the White hart was rated highly. My dad swears by the beer in there, whereas most other pubs just cause him to curse!
        Cheers, Paul


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