Thursday, 30 August 2012
#080 Red Lion, Hopwas, Staffs : 1986 to 2011
There are two pubs by the Coventry Canal in Hopwas, the Tame Otter (formerly The Chequers - #037 in this series) and the Red Lion. We've rarely stopped in Hopwas even though we pass through it very frequently. This is usually because we're there at the wrong time of day or there are no mooring spaces.
Our first visit was on the evening of Tuesday 29th July 1986 on the way back to our moorings towards the end of a two week trip that had taken us to Leicester and Nottingham.
As I recall it was a fairly basic Ind Coope village pub. (Before I zoomed in on the photo I'd have guessed it was an Ansell's pub, but they were part of the same company - Allied Breweries.)
We didn't stop in Hopwas again for many years until the lunchtime of Wednesday 18th September 2002. Again near the end of a journey that had taken us along the Caldon Canal. After 16 years you would hope to see some changes.
And so it proved. Now it had been re-badged as an Ansell's pub and had been completely refurbished inside as well. It had become (or had tried) a more upmarket food and drinking establishment, no doubt to compete with the now revamped Tame Otter across the canal.
Our most recent visit to Hopwas came on the lunchtime of Sunday 28th August 2011, this time at the early stages of our journey to the Caldon Canal. We didn't actually go into the Red Lion this time, but I took a photo just so that I'd have a record of any changes that had taken place in the intervening 9 years.
The only discernible change I can make out is the disappearance of Ansell's from the signage (and the temporary banner sign), but apart from that it is almost the same as 9 years earlier. Judging from the Red Lion website, this isn't too surprising as it would appear that 2002 was the current owners first year!