Tuesday, 1 November 2011
#029 The Star, Stone, Staffs : 1987 to 2011
When I first visited The Star Inn at Stone it was a proper canalside pub that had the perfect location, right beside the bottom lock at Stone. Unfortunately because the road bridge is so close it is difficult to get a good photo, but here they are anyway!
This first visit was an evening stop on Monday 13th July 1987 and, judging from my photo album it was the only pub we visited that night! I don't remember anything about the night, but I do remember that it was a good pub.
Our next stop was in 1999 when, miraculously the Star Inn had become, simply, The Star and was now a Banks's pub (previously a Bass establishment).
This was a lunchtime stop on Wednesday 1st September on the way to our first trip along the Caldon Canal. I do remember that the upper part of the pub had been opened out somewhat and turned into an eating area, but the traditional 'end' was largely 'unspoilt by progress'!
This year we were recreating our 1999 journey and we stopped on the way up to navigate the Caldon canal once more. The Star is now a Marston's pub and is supposedly in the Guinness Book of Records for having the most levels of any pub!
We visited on the evening of Monday 28th August, but only stayed for one pint. The oldest part of the pub was still the same (but nowhere to sit) and the newer part just a soulless eating area. It has an ideal location and is obviously doing well, but we were looking for a bit of a pub crawl and so we spent the rest of the evening exploring the further delights of Stone!
One final fact, which I was unaware of until very recently - although The Star is so close to the bottom lock of the Stone flight on the Trent & Mersey Canal, it wasn't built for the canal. In fact it predates the canal by about 100 years! The Trent & Mersey Canal was James Brindley's final triumph and, although he didn't live to see it completed one thing is fairly certain, he would have had an occasional drink in The Star Inn during planning of the waterway.
Here's another view of The Star taken as we came back on the return journey.