Thursday, 25 July 2013
#122 Shroppie Fly, Audlem, Cheshire : 1987 to 2012
I'm not exactly sure when I first visited the Shroppie Fly. It could have been in 1981 when we got delayed and had to turn round at Audlem, but the first photo I have is from 1987.
This was a lunchtime stop on Friday 10th July 1987, just about halfway round our trip from Lapworth to Worcester then up to Barbridge Junction and back via Stoke and Birmingham. The Shroppie Fly has a perfect location canalside about three quarters of the way down the Audlem flight of locks.
Emma Jane was moored near Wigan for a couple of years and then down south on the Grand Union Canal near Berkhamsted so it was a number of years before I returned.
This was another lunchtime stop on Monday 2nd September 1996 on our way back from Llangollen and Chester. There were very few obvious changes. (The Bass signs have gone!)
One of the charms of the Shroppie Fly is the bar made from the bow of a narrowboat.
This is what it looked like in 1996.
It was another four years before we returned, this time on the way back from a trip to Manchester.
Yet another lunchtime stop, on Tuesday 5th September 2000. The main pub sign had changed and most of the minor signs have disappeared...and just look at the growth of ivy on the end wall!
Although we did stop at Audlem in 2002, our next visit to the Shroppie Fly was on Monday 29th August 2005...again a lunchtime pit-stop on our way back from Chester.
For a change I took a photo from the other side. In the five years since our last visit the exterior had been completely refurbished and painted cream with blue and gold signage.
We returned the next year, this time heading north and on our way to the Anderton Boat Lift and Northwich.
This was taken from the stern of Emma Jane as we moored up right outside the pub at lunchtime on Wednesday 30th August 2006. This view gives a better view of the changes since 2000. Inside it was pretty much the same as before.
This is the post-lunch view from the stern of the boat going down in the lock.
In 2007 we were back again...twice! The first visit was lunchtime on Tuesday 28th August 2007 on our way to Llangollen.
This shot shows the direct comparison between then and the previous years.
On our way back from Llangollen we stopped in Audlem again for an evening stop! (Finally!!) As we had plenty of time we visited all three pubs in the village with the Shroppie Fly being our final port of call.
This was on Monday 3rd September 2007.
In 2010 we repeated our trip to Manchester that we did in 2000 and we stopped at the Shroppie Fly on Tuesday 7th September 2010 (Lunchtime).
Another complete refurb on the outside, this time with white paint and red signage. We managed to moor right outside to take on water before we moved along and went inside for lunch.
Throughout the years, the inside of the pub has remained largely unchanged and I took the opportunity to take another photo of the bar.
And so...we get to our final visit to the Shroppie Fly. This was on Thursday 12th April 2012 on our first ever hire boat trip...but it was still a lunchtime stop!
Again, little change from two years earlier.
Since our last visit, the Shroppie Fly has been closed and reopened and is now under yet another new management regime. Details can be found here. It would be a great shame if the Shroppie Fly were to close, but the news looks to be good and I'll keep my fingers crossed that it is still there next time I'm passing by.