What a joy to be able to explore new places in the UK, even without the bonus of a GBG tick.

I’d been to Berlin, Bulawayo and Boscombe, but never Bordesley.

OK, apart from a few trips to St Andrews, home to legends such as Bellingham, Francis and Clarkson (not shown).

Bordesley itself is hard to define, but it has more takeaways than anyone strictly need, and balloons. I’d seen worse.

Life After Football, who it’s rumoured never nipped out for a half-time pint while at the Blues, recommended the Cricketers Arms.

Notably, he’d never featured it on his own blog, but then it doesn’t look like local CAMRA are regulars either.

The presence of the montage of questionable photos confirms this is a locals’ pub.

No, that’s not a red Bass triangle in the top row. And the less you ask about the photo below that the better.

There’s an M & B Mild keg tap, but the estimable landlady tells me they haven’t had Mild for ages. I make a mental note to pop back in 2026, pick the Guinness, and take the last space on the benches next to the guy in a Wales shirt (or is it Walsall ?).

£3 your Guinness, cheaper than Spoons, and a very decent pint (it took nearly 6 minutes to pour) but I immediately wished I’d gone for Carling.

No-one pays me any attention, which is how it should be, and it’s just a joy to be back in a pub that’s definitely back to post 19 July normal. Whatever that is.

The tinny Hi-Fi switches effortlessly from ’50s crooners to 2021 pop to Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You“, at which the pub falls silent.

NO-ONE can sing that like that Whitney Oooston” is the verdict. I beg to disagree, but I know when to stay silent.

Suddenly I remember I haven’t eaten for 9 hours, and rejoice in the semi-permanent structure across the road.

Face it, everyone needs something called “Hut” at 10pm at night.

I choose the Mississipi burger, which I suspect I’ve spelt worse than the BBQ Hut, but you’ll correct me.


    1. Have you been to Digbeth ?. When “the gang” visited 3 years ago I expected the worst (only one Beer Guide pub and not great) but there were six corkers. Met Cooking Lager in a Banks pub.


  1. You’ll be asking Beermat for more recommendations at this rate Martin! Backstreet Bordesley at its finest; despite some closures there are still a good bunch of pubs within reasonable distance of the Tilton End and the Cricketers is possibly the pick of the bunch, usually lively whether there’s a match on or not. Cheers, Paul

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We’d often pop out to the George for a pre and post match pint as part to counterbalance Lou Macs running regime!
    A glaring omission on my blog that I need to rectify as a proper pub

    Liked by 1 person

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