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Sunday, 14 October 2012

#086 Craven Arms, Birmingham : 2004 to 2011

As a long term resident of Birmingham, my regular challenge, whenever we visited the city on our canal trips, was to find pubs that we'd not entered before. Over the years this has become almost impossible, but back in 2004 we found this gem. The Craven Arms has been tastefully refurbished and, when we first found it, I was surprised to find such a pub just by The Mailbox.
This photo was taken on the evening of Wednesday 1st September 2004 at the start of a pub crawl that took us into previously unvisited parts of Birmingham near the city centre. It is a small back street pub and is the only building still standing on the corner. When we visited it had only recently reopened and was still shiny and new inside.

Our next visit was on the evening of Thursday 8th June 2006 and, as I recall there were no changes.

We didn't go back for a number of years until Friday 26th August 2011 at the start of our trip that would take us along the Caldon Canal.
At first glance the pub hasn't changed very much at all, but it is no longer a Banks's establishment and the England flags have been replaced by flowers in hanging baskets. Inside it was unchanged, but I'm constantly surprised that pubs as small inside as the Craven Arms can survive in this day and age. The other major change is in the background where the 2004 crane has been replaced by Birmingham's newest architectural masterpiece, The Cube.

There's little more to say about the Craven Arms, but if you are visiting Birmingham and you are in the vicinity of The Mailbox, you'd do a lot worse than this place!


  1. The words 'tastefully refurbished' sum up this once fine pub.The original back room was knocked through and the unique atmosphere was lost. Once exclusively used by Post Office staff
    and hugely popular the last time I went in it was like a morgue. That is apart from the shouty
    barman who was desperate to impress me that'they were trying to create a new image' I had a swift half and left!

  2. Updated report! I went in today.It has been taken over by the real ale people which is ok if you dont mind paying over three quid for your beer.
    But the previous people and their dreadful updating of this excellent back street pub with the plastic wood effect on the door surround have a lot to answer for.

    But at least the outside is authentic.

    Support the Camra boys at least their intentions are to be admired.

    1. I haven't been in for a while, but I do hope the new incarnation is successful as I hate to see lovely little pubs being run into the ground. Thanks for the feedback.