Saturday, 8 December 2012
#093 Albion Inn, Tividale, West Midlands : 2005 to 2012
The canal journey between Wolverhampton and Birmingham is always interesting, but the opportunities to stop and find pubs is somewhat limited. This isn't too surprising as the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) were, until fairly recently, mostly hidden away and closed off to the general public. In their heyday, these canals were like the railways and were extremely busy transporting goods around the Midlands. They were a place of work, not leisure.
Over the years we'd exhausted most of the available stops, usually Tipton and the Black Country Museum, but one day we decided to experiment and we moored up on the BCN Old Main Line near to where it goes over the Netherton Tunnel Branch of the BCN Main Line. We only had our 20-year-old Nicholson's Guide to go on and weren't sure if any of the pubs marked would still be open.
We were in luck and we found three pubs, none of which did food...until a helpful local directed us to the Toby Carvery just up the road. It was only then that I realised where we were as none of the streets we'd walked along were familiar to me.
Today's subject is the Albion Inn which was our last port of call before the Toby Carvery.
This was lunchtime on Thursday 1st September 2005. Although it looks to be an inviting prospect from the outside, inside it is a basic local boozer and there was no food on offer.
Our next visit was on Saturday 25th August 2007, again at lunchtime, but this time it was on the outward trip at the start of our holiday and we were heading for Wolverhampton.
There were no changes of note, but one of the signs still said "Bar Snacks" and there were none!
We haven't stopped there since then, but I was in the environs a few days ago and took this picture.
It was taken on Tuesday 4th December 2012. At first glance, nothing much has changed, but on closer inspection the main signs have been replaced with ones saying "Free House" although the hanging sign is the same as previously. Two satellite dishes have also appeared - a definite sign of the times!