Wednesday, 19 September 2012
#083 Wharf Tavern, Hockley Heath, Warks : 1986 to 2011
The Wharf Tavern in Hockley Heath has been a regular watering hole on our canal trips ever since the first time Emma Jane was moored in the Midlands. Our first visit was in August 1981 and we were there again in August 1984, but I don't have the photographic evidence as it wasn't until 1986 that I started to take a picture of every pub we visited on our canal trips.
I took this photo of the Wharf Tavern, from the canal, on our next visit on Friday 18th July 1986 at the start of a trip that took us to Leicester and Nottingham.
In those days it was a Chef & Brewer, so we knew that we could get food which was a relative rarity 26 years ago.
In 1987 we visited the Wharf Tavern both on the way out and on the way back from our trip that took us along the River Severn from Worcester and then up the Shropshire Union Canal and back to the mooring at Lapworth vis the Trent & Mersey Canal. This photo was taken on our last night on that trip on Friday 17th July 1987.
Still a Chef & Brewer pub and still pink!
Over the next few years Emma Jane was based near Wigan and I was living in Melbourne, but on my first trip on my return to 'Blighty' we again stopped at the Wharf Tavern.
This was on Friday 2nd August 1991 towards the end of the first leg of the trip that took Emma Jane from Wigan to her new mooring at Cowley Peachey near Uxbridge. Still no apparent change to the pub.
We didn't stop at the Wharf for another eight years...and we visited twice! The first visit was on Saturday 29th May 1999 for a lunchtime stop.
Now it had become (returned to?) a proper pub (and no longer pink!), but the good news was that they still did food. We visited again on Saturday 28th August 1999, but I don't have a photo from that visit (presumably I didn't bother as I'd already taken one earlier in the year!).
We were back again at lunchtime on Saturday 26th August 2000 at the start of a trip to Manchester.
A slightly damp start to our journey!
Our next visit was on Saturday 29th May 2004 (lunchtime) at the start of a one week trip spent pottering around the Birmingham Canal network.
This s the view from the canalside and is a repeat of the original 1986 photo.
Our next time was on Friday 24th August 2007 at the start of our trip to Llangollen and Chester.
The exterior signage had been changed and the pub completely repainted, but inside it was essentially unchanged.
Our most recent visit was on Friday 4th November 2011 at lunchtime (again!). This was before we'd even started our journey that was to become our last ever trip on Emma Jane. We'd tried both the Tom 'o' the Wood at Rowington and The Peacock at Lapworth only to find expensive 'messed up' food, so we went to the Wharf as we knew that we could get good, simple lunchtime food (Hot Pork or Beef baguettes!)
Even though it had been four years the Wharf Tavern was unchanged. They are part of the Spirit Group and their website is here.