Sunday, 29 July 2012
Wolverhampton was never on the list of 'must stop' places on our canal trips, but since our first visit in 1991 it has become a regular place to visit. The main reasons for this are the good moorings at the top of the (21) locks and the fact that it is a long way in any direction to get to somewhere decent!
This was at lunchtime on Thursday 1st August 1991 on our trip that took our boat Emma Jane from Adlington (near Wigan) to Cowley Peachey (near Uxbridge). I don't remember too much about it except that it was a proper, old style, town centre boozer.
We didn't get back to Wolverhampton until Wednesday 4th September 1996 on our way back from Llangollen and Chester.
Very little had changed, but some metal seats had appeared outside!
It was another six years before we ventured into The Posada again. This time on Tuesday 26th August 2003 near the end of a journey that took us to Leicester and Burton-upon-Trent.
Although seemingly unchanged, all of the Holt, Plant & Deakin signage has disappeared.
Then, in 2005, we went on a sequence that saw us visit The Posada every year for the next three years!
Wednesday 31st August 2005.
Sunday 27th August 2006.
Saturday 25th August 2007.
Then we did the unthinkable...we went back to Wolverhampton - and The Posada - later on the same trip!!
Wednesday 5th September 2007.
Our most recent visit was near the end of last summer's trip along the Caldon Canal.
This was on Monday 5th September 2011, a few days earlier than intended, but we'd been forced to curtail our holiday as my back had gone and it was sometimes difficult to just steer the boat. Working locks was out of the question for me!
In all our years visiting The Posada it hasn't really changed much. It's a pub I really like, but it does seem from some of the more recent reviews, that it may be on a downward slide.
Hopefully it will continue to be a beacon for proper pubs!
Thursday, 19 July 2012
I have good news; the Navigation Inn is open again! It reopened about 4 weeks ago and the kitchen will be open for food on Saturday.
I popped in for a look and was very impressed with what I saw. The décor is light and the pub felt bigger. The uneven flagstones on the floor of the bar are still there, but everything else has a 'modern' feel to it whilst still retaining the ambience of a proper country pub.
There was one thing that really surprised me, though and the evidence is to be seen in this photo.
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you - that really is Guinness on a HAND PUMP! I was informed that this is the only Guinness hand pump in England (and possibly Great Britain)! I'm sure that if this is wrong, one of the beer geeks, sorry, I mean aficionados, out there will put me straight, but as a confirmed Carling drinker even I know that this is a rarity!
I'm glad to see that the refurbished Navigation Inn is open and looking good. Hopefully the good people of Warwickshire will appreciate what they have and make it a success.
Saturday, 14 July 2012
On our first trip along the Caldon Canal we stopped at Foxley on the way back from Leek only to find that the pub there was shut! So it was a short walk back along the towpath to Milton where we discovered the Millrace.
This was on Friday 3rd September 1999 and, as I recall, it was a friendly local, but there wasn't any food available apart from crisps and nuts.
The next time we were cruising along the Caldon Canal we stopped at Milton on the way to Leek at lunchtime on Saturday 14th September 2002.
Not much change, apart from the extra satellite dish on the side. Still no food on offer so we ended up at the Miners Arms (see #055).
It was quite a few more years before we returned to Milton, this time an evening stop.
This photo was taken on Tuesday 30th August 2011 and I'm pleased to report that the Millrace is still a friendly local. No food available, but they did direct us to a very good curry house just up the road. The outside hasn't changed that much, but they are back to just the one satellite dish. The large sign on the end wall (previously a Burtonwood Beers sign) indicates that the Millrace is now home to the Outer Circle Scooter Club.
The Millrace is now a Marstons pub. If you're looking for a friendly local that is still a proper pub, then the Millrace is worth a visit if you're in the area.
Wednesday, 4 July 2012
Henley-in-Arden is a village I visit occasionally from the canal, usually at Easter on our trips to Stratford. The White Swan is usually last on our list of places to visit as it isn't the best pub in Henley, but we keep returning in the hope that it will have improved.
This first visit was on Thursday 20th April 2000 when we'd moored up at Preston Bagot and popped into The Crabmill for a pint before ordering a taxi to take us into Henley. We're not great fans of The Crabmill as it is now a country restaurant and not a place to go for a drinking session any more!
On this occasion it looks like we'd asked the taxi driver to drop us here first as I don't think we'd been into The White Swan before. As I recall, it wasn't very appealing to us and felt more like a hotel than a pub. We had just the one pint and left.
Five years later and its Friday 25th March 2005. It looks as though it was our last stop before heading off for a curry.
Not one of my best photos, but from the outside The White Swan was largely the same as before, still Ansells and still not exactly welcoming (and probably a bit rougher inside!). I don't remember too much more as this picture was probably taken after 4 or 5 pints!
Our next visit was on the evening of Friday 6th April 2007; and what a transformation!
Completely refurbished on the inside and re-signed outside. Now it had become a pub in a rustic style with food on offer. Again, this was probably our last stop of the evening before the inevitable curry!
Our most recent visit was on Friday 29th April 2011 and we decided to start our pub crawl through Henley at The White Swan for a change.
From the outside there were more new signs and inside it was still a pub and restaurant in a 'rustic' style. Still not the best pub in Henley, but a vast improvement over our first venture in 2000! It still is a hotel, but doesn't feel as much like one as it did back then!