20th March 2023.

I’d given myself two hours to walk the 5 miles to outer Stourbridge and back, visit the two new GBG pubs, squeeze in lunch and perhaps a Bathams.

It was JUST enough time.

I’d forgot how many pubs there were along the A458 as Stourbridge becomes Wollaston, and the Black Country becomes Bridgnorthshire. The A458 is the equivalent of Chatsworth Road out of Chesterfield, without the craft.

I had a mild panic as I reached the Royal Exchange, as I genuinely had no idea which of the three Guide pubs was the newbie.

Frankly, ALL the pubs looked familiar, except this one with a chap repainting the tree (look closely).

Hang on; does the Unicorn look exactly like the Royal Exchange.

In the end, I worked out I needed to do the Plough only because it was on the right hand side of the A458, despite the GBG guide being convinced otherwise.

What a robust looking place.

Of course, the presence of this sign is a cast iron guarantee there won’t be Bass.

But there was plenty of your Worcestershire/Shropshire/Staffs borders faves;

Oddly, Black Sheep seemed to be the house beer, but I bet the Enville is delivered by a flotilla of bees from the brewery 3 miles away so that was an easy choice.

A pub packed with laughing gentlefolk eating from a special menu, a cheery landlord, one table left next to the bar. An easy choice.

The first thing I see is “Homemade Liver and onions” so I have that so as not to dither. £10.70 with a cool, crisp, honeyed pint (NBSS 3+).

Like your daffs” I offer.

First day of spring !” says the guvnor, who is full of the joys of Spring himself.

The chat is of orchestras and “The Ombudsman” and a lady who is “acerbic and intelligent; my sort of woman“.

In and out, fed and watered in 30 minutes, which according to my calculations meant I had a spare 23 minutes if I was to catch the train back towards Snow Hill.

How could I possibly use 23 minutes..


  1. “with a chap repainting the tree” and a very healthy ivy tree it looks too.
    “First day of spring !” says the guvnor – but meteorological or astrological ?


    1. I’m glad someone else raised the issue of the definition of the seasons. The astronomical seasons really don’t correspond to the weather, or the state of plant growth.


  2. Hi Martin – keeping us waiting for the Bathams payoff I see, but the Plough definitely merits closer inspection. Even allowing for a few closures, there are still several pubs along that stretch from Stourbridge to the edges of Wollaston – I’ve heard it referred to as the Enville (Street) Run and have attempted it myself on a few memorable occasions (once with a Keith Lemon mask but we won’t go into that!) Cheers, Paul


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