LET’S WALLOW IN…… WALSALL

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Neil asked for a post on wonderful Walsall, and I’ve done my best using the archives.

But I haven’t been to the town itself since 2015, and my last new Beer Guide pub (the Fountain) was before that.

Some top pubs, Pleck kebab house, the posh curry house that Curry Charles took me too, and that giant football stand overlooking the M6. That’s Walsall.

These pubs in the GBG are pretty much immovable fixtures by now.

So some poetic license is needed as I raid the rest of the Borough for material, just as Walsall raided Staffordshire for those towns back when Paul Mudge was in short trousers.

See the source image

wlsll

An interesting borough, with the mining towns to the north providing the art to match the central Art Gallery.

Brownhills
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Art

Heading west, Bloxwich has that Proper Pub (the Turf) that’s a bit camera shy, and a flashy Spoons where the Greatest Showman was filmed. Or was it Peaky Blinders?

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Flashy

To the east, Aldridge looks a bit more 60s with its workmanlike shopping centre, but delivers the three “B”s in spades.

Baps cobs, butchers and brutalism.

TURTLES AT THE GATES OF ALDRIDGE
Turtle’s Head

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I’m no micropub fan, but I loved the Turtle, writing:

But pubs are about more than good beer and cobs. They’re about a non-ironic soundtrack that included the following;

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”

“Never Gonna Give You Up”

“Eye Of The Tiger”

and “The Final Countdown”

As you head south into what I call the Black Country, just to annoy folk, we see more traditional pubs.

Willenhall has the marvellous Falcon next to the giant housing estates, but the Jolly Collier had the visit from The Scratchings Man.

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Scratchings Man delivers

But it was Darlaston, long saddled (no pun intended) with the title of “scruffy town next to the IKEA” that wowed me most with chitterlings, vinyl and bench seating at the Green Dragon (top).

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Faggots
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Elvis

The classiest Guide pub since the Stile.

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Bench seating porn

There ya go. Five new Guide entries in 4 years in the Borough. All good, though they won’t match the faggots and pint of Pig at the Black Country Arms.

Add a repeat visit to the list marked “Things to do the day the lockdown ends”.

25 thoughts on “LET’S WALLOW IN…… WALSALL

      1. Fact of the day: I shared a house with Lord Nargis in Darlaston for several years. But never mind that: how can you not be a fan of micropubs? Have you never been to the toilet in Little Chester Ale House and been greeted with a random photograph of a robin staring down at you?

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      2. Claustrophobia, Jane. It’s why i couldn’t bear to be confined to the house for any length of time. Oh.

        Seriously (though I am claustrophobic) there’s no one micro. I loved Albert’s in Blackpool where folk say hello and it feels like a pub. But there’s been a fair few which are just high tables round the wall and middle aged men silently comparing beer tasting notes. Worthing has both the best and worst of the genre.

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      3. Ah yes I understand that. I hope you’re ok. I don’t like crowds and expect this enforced ‘aversion to people’ will make that worse going forward. Yes I know what you mean about the soulless micros. I don’t like high tables and chairs. It’s a long way up for me. What’s your take on sofas in pubs? I’m a big fan. Found one with a rocking chair once, possibly Burton or Tamworth?

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      4. Anywhere I and Christine (Mrs RM) feel comfortable, Jane. Never high tables where your feet don’t touch the floor!

        I reckon that Tamworth Tap thing is the sort of place with a sofa.

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      5. I have a vague claustrophobia about landscapes. I prefer the bright, open views, of say, the Kent or Leicestershire countryside, to the dank confinement of the Pennine or Welsh valleys. I do have some reservations about the snooker table of the Fens, or of the Somerset Levels though.

        My feet have it acutely though. Can’t bear tight shoes.

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      6. Martin,
        You’re claustrophobic but spend half your life in poky micropubs !

        Etu,
        Yes, “open views” is best and I think Martin lives where he does because there’s more sky there than anywhere else, no unsightly hills or mountains to get in the way.

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      7. Martin,
        Apologies if I’ve annoyed you. That would never be my intention.
        I do though think one of the best things about Britain is the great variety of its countryside.
        I actually like East Anglia being as flat as a witch’s tit and miss not having been on the train across to Cambridge or Norwich for many years.

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      8. You could never annoy me, Paul !

        But there was no need to remind me that my quest to visit all the Good Beer Guide pubs means a visit to at least 879 poky micros 😉

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  1. Your reference to “chitterlings” brought back memories of when that became a topic of discussion in the comments section. Good times, good times. 🙂

    Interesting to look at that map showing all the various districts and their shapes. We Yanks are used to everything being divided mostly into perfect squares– a result of vast areas of land being sold by the government, I’d imagine, in the 18th and 19th century. Outside of the New World, I’m guessing parcels of land would have been based on rivers and other naturally occurring landmarks, resulting in districts with more interesting shapes to them.

    Do you reckon the average person today knows when they’ve passed from, say, Bloxwich West into Bloxwich East?

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    1. That’s what makes the US great. You have perfect lines. I’m guessing our boundaries reflect 14th century CAMRA branches and the extent of Bathams deliveries, but I’ll let the Mudgies explain.

      Yes, I remember the debate those Chitterlings cause two and a half years ago!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Chitterlings…bitterlings…a species of freshwater fish…Mitterling…a glacier in the Antarctic, named after Philip I. Mitterling, the author of America In The Antarctic. However, not everyone is aware, that the late French president, François Mitterand started his political life on the Catholic nationalist right, and that he served under the Vichy Regime during its earlier years. Subsequently though, he joined the Resistance, moved to the left, and held ministerial office several times under the Fourth Republic.

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  2. A good pub quiz question is “Which is the only US state not to have at least part of its boundaries made up of a straight line?”

    My sole experience of drinking in Walsall itself is of Highgate Mild in an M&B pub opposite the station when I was a student in Birmingham.

    I’m surprised you haven’t mentioned the marvellous Manor Arms at Rushall, which is in fact in the 2020 GBG:

    https://pubheritage.camra.org.uk/pubs/181

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    1. Surely Hawaii ?

      Yes, what a wonderful pub the Manor Arms is. Banks’s Mild was the only draught beer when I first knew it.

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