A second Staffs tick,

and suddenly, it’s complete !

Look very closely and you’ll see a deeper shade of pale for those two most recent ticks. These things matter.

Now, Hednesford is a surprising place. One of the string of Staffs mining towns north of Cannock that have added a gem of a micro to an uncompromising (choosing me words here) town in recent years.

Hednesford celebrates its history,

but has smartened up its town centre a lot since my last visit here (the wonderful Bridge), and not just by acquiring a Spoons.

I had to dally in the Hedgeford Lodge’s bustling bar while working out why the Heddin’s Ford wasn’t open at 16:00.

Now, this really is the nightmare for us tickers. Long trip from home, tight opening hours, pub unexpectedly shut.

Oh, what’s this ? A note saying the staff have gone to receive a CAMRA award in Stoke today ?

Not quite. That’s a Saturday event. It’s (checks phone) Wednesday.

I phone Kelly, whose name is on Facebook. No answer. It’s 16:30. I consider a pre-emptive tick at Kraftt Lounge. It’s keg, but don’t assume that will keep it out of the Guide.

But I’m desperate to complete Staffs; a county with one tick left keeps you awake at night (or is that just six pints). I phone Kerry again. She’s on her way !

Blimey, how often is the last tick great. This is wonderful. Kerry (possibly not her real name) was a gem, chatting crisps, happy hours, and the return of the regulars to a great little pub.

I have a pint of the Backyard Bitter and a cob.

Do you want to make that a meal deal ?

When you reach 57 you always say “Yes“, don’t you ?

There you go my angel” she said. She really did. That’s a first for that one, I’ll add it to “M’duck”, “m’lovely” and “you twit”.

The Backyard, a bellwether pint, was cool and crisp and foamy, a 3.5+ to end a reliable and entertaining county on a high.

I saved the cheese and onion cob, expertly matched with Corker’s cheese and onion crisps for the journey home.

But only after asking Kerry for permission.


  1. Do you really think you need to admonish your astute readership by telling them to look closely? We’re insulted. We also want to know what was uncompromisng?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Martin, had a similar experience waiting for the Heddins Ford to open when we visited last year – just about to give up hope when the barmaid breathlessly appeared although I can’t confirm whether her name was Kerry or not. She’d travelled in from Wednesbury or Willenhall or somewhere so we thought it best to forgive her the lateness. Like you I thought the pub was worth waiting around for. Cheers, Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s always reassuring when it’s not just you !

      Micropubs are often open late, you wonder why they don’t just move the opening time back an hour, us tickers always tip up early !

      It was well worth the wait.


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