Thursday, 27 June 2013
This is a strange one! Back in the late 70's when I was a student in Birmingham, The Junction in Moseley didn't exist! I'm not sure exactly when it became a pub, but back in 1998 it was called The Hogshead.
This was taken some time over the Easter Weekend of 1998 and, as I recall, we only had one pint and left quickly. It was typical of the Hogshead chain; busy, noisy and unattractively designed.
I've never been back, but now it has been reborn as The Junction.
This photo was taken on Sunday 11th November 2012 and it seems that The Junction is thriving.
Tuesday, 18 June 2013
When I came to review the logs of our canal trips through the years, I was very surprised to find that the first time we ever stopped at Nantwich was in 1996, sixteen years since my first canal trip! Our usual itinerary was to stop at Audlem on the way up on the Shropshire Union Canal followed by a visit to Ye Olde Barbridge Inn (or reverse on the way down). Nantwich is between these two.
My first visit was on Saturday 24th August 1996 when we picked up Emma Jane there from Andrew who'd had a two week trip from Lapworth.
As it was a lunchtime, we retired to the nearest pub, the Oddfellows Arms (as it was named then), for a few pints before we set off for our first journey to Llangollen.
We didn't return to Nantwich again until Sunday 28th August 2005 on our way back from a trip to Chester.
This was an evening stop and it allowed us to explore Nantwich further after our first port of call, The Oddfellows. From the outside, the pub was very different, but inside it was still the same welcoming, proper pub that it was before.
We were back again the next year on a trip that should have taken us to Manchester. We never made it that far as we'd fallen half a day behind schedule within the first two days! Still, this tardiness on our part meant that we could visit the Anderton Boat Lift and take the trip down to the River Weaver.
This was on the evening of Wednesday 30th August 2006 and again we took the opportunity to sample the delights of Nantwich. For those of us who like pubs, Nantwich provides a fine selection, many of which we've now sampled! The Oddfellows was largely unchanged.
We were back in Nantwich again in 2007 (twice), but didn't pay a visit to The Oddfellows on either visit!
Our most recent visit was on Thursday 12th April 2012 on our first trip on a hire boat.
At first glance, the pub is almost unchanged, but the small Burtonwood sign has gone, the windows have been replaced and a new sign has appeared on the right hand end wall. Inside was largely the same as before...small, cosy and welcoming.
It is now a Marston's pub and despite the subtle name change, most websites still refer to it as the Oddfellows Arms!
Tuesday, 11 June 2013
The Knightley Arms is a pub we've only visited once, for a lunchtime stop, on Tuesday 22nd July 1986.
This was an unscheduled stop and it looks like we got there before the pub was open. We'd been cruising along the Leicester Section of the Grand Union Canal after having spent the previous evening in Crick. However, our propeller had become 'weeded up' and needed clearing. Unfortunately, the access to Emma Jane's weed hatch wasn't easy and we needed to let the exhaust pipe cool down before it was possible to de-weed. (Any excuse for a drinks stop, I hear you say!!)
I don't really remember too much about the pub, but it did have a skittles table and during our game, one of our party managed to nearly break the ankle of a local with a misdirected skittles cheese! We've not been back since that incident, but the main reason is that Yelvertoft falls between the 'natural' stops along this stretch of canal.
I was in the area recently and took the opportunity to revisit Yelvertoft to see whether the pub had survived.
The Knightley Arms was alive and well on Sunday 16th December 2012, but I didn't venture inside. Considering it had been 26 years, the changes were minimal compared to what might have happened. New signs and new windows, but the external layout looks to be pretty much the same as before. Note: the George & Dragon is still above the hanging sign!