In Stoke with a bed for the night, a Chinese takeaway selected, and my new GBG entry already ticked.

But it’s barely evening. Let’s do the Hanley classics.

And that’s the problem when you lack discipline as a ticker. You convince yourself that the Albion with its lone Pedi pump must be a pre-emptive chance. And it looks so inviting.

This time I press on, drawn by the bright lights of Winter Wonderland,

but it was inexplicably closed, denying me the chance to compare the authentic German bar with Sheffield‘s sterling effort.

OK, it’s the Coachmakers then, the pub that survived the attempt to turn it into a car park.

I note that their Twitter account is followed by 3 of the greatest human beings on earth*; Tom Irvin, Simon Everitt and Roger Protz. And now they’re joined by me.

A third visit, confirming it as one of the great pubs, attracting what the GBG often calls “a melting pot of humanity“. The room on the right is buzzing, and packed, so I’m confined to the snug.

Which is no hardship, as the landlord gives me more attention than Mrs RM does, and is more interesting on the subject of pubs and Bass. Who knows, perhaps he knows more about IT, too ?

He could sense my mild devastation at the news that the Coachmakers had no Bass supplies. You might not believe this, but the Lymestone Ein Stein was as good a sub as Fernandinho coming on for Rodri on Tuesday at the Etihad.

The Lymestone pump had a label saying “£3.20” which I thought might be a special offer, but it was more a warning that it wasn’t the usual £3 at which Butty Bach was flying out to the room opposite.

Despite the lack of company, when I came to leave I found I couldn’t, and succumbed to the bottle.

It’s made in Lancashire you know !” said the landlord. I knew, and it tastes nothing like Draught Bass from Burton, but needs must and I needed to give you a great photo of the red triangle.

And then I needed the Gents.

Great outside loos, too.

*In at least one of those cases I use the term “human” loosely.


  1. Had a bottled Doom Bar the other day. It tasted nothing like the few cask pints that I’ve had in recent months, but then again, none of those tasted like each other either. It did taste like the other bottled Doom Bar, mind.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I bought myself a Bass glass from a junk shop in Hatton (Edgar’s Collectables: see,-1.680111,3a,75y,78.2h,86.42t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sPXaR3wwfKVUZDKAsKXQZFA!2e0!!7i16384!8i8192 ) on my recent visit to the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border. I thought I might try drinking Black Sheep Bitter from it in the next lockdown.

        If he’d had another I’d have bought one for your birthday. If, that is, I had any idea when your birthday is, as you never mention it in your blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good work, Will. I bought a Bass glass from a CAMRA festival once. That’s the only reason to have beer festivals when pubs do a better job.

        Unfortunately I don’t seem to have marked my birthday in my 2021 diary so I’ve no idea when it is either. Send me a present every day until I remember.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Martin, the Coachmakers would definitely be in my top 100 too even though it’s been a few years since I last frequented its atmospheric corridors. Even when keeping myself to myself I still got embroiled in a discussion about the merits of the Victoria Ground vs whatever Stoke’s current ground is called these days. Cheers, Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree, Paul, it’s hard to avoid conversation in the Coachmakers, even when you’re in the snug on your own ! Previous time I got talking to a young Stoke band about their gigs, and old blokes about Bass. Wonderful pub, and I was really delighted the Lymestone was good as I often have to caveat about beer quality but not here.


      1. Yes, the Coachmakers must be the best pub in the Potteries.

        I remember that Albion as a Higsons pub, and the Trumpet, and the Glebe in Stoke and Bulls Vaults in Newcastle.


  3. It truly is a gem of a pub with a charm you rarely find these days. Whether it’s a quiet pint you are after or a place to engage in random conversation, the Coachmakers is the place to go. I was very fortunate to stumble into this shrine a few years ago and within minutes I had made new friends. The pub is the hub of many communities and you will always find something going on in there. Rob and Debbie work tirelessly and have brought the pub back from certain closure.

    Liked by 1 person

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