Tuesday, 17 December 2013
#134 Old Swan (Ma Pardoe's), Netherton, West Midlands : 2004 to 2013
I'm fairly sure that I'd been to Ma Pardoe's before our first canal visit, but I can't remember when! The centre of Netherton is built on a bit of a hill and so it is a bit of a walk from the canal. Our first visit was on Sunday 30th May 2004 on a short trip around the West Midlands.
We'd moored up at Windmill End Junction expecting to spend the evening in the Dry Dock (#125), but as it was a Bank Holiday Sunday it was closed! So we set off in search of sustenance and after three basic boozers we finally found the Old Swan (but we failed to find any food!). As any real beer drinker will know, this is one of the famous real ale pubs that brews on the premises and inside is unspoilt by progress. It has been known as Ma Pardoe's since the interwar years after the long term landlady Doris Pardoe who owned and ran the Old Swan until her death in 1984.
We were back again in 2013 when again the Dry Dock let us down...now it is closed for good. This time we weren't distracted by any pubs on the way (both of them were closed...one just for lunch and one more permanently!)
This was a lunchtime stop on Tuesday 14th May 2013 and this time we were able to get food as well as drink. Unsurprisingly it was completely unchanged outside and in! As I've got older it has been a choice not to drink at lunchtimes (I just can't cope any more!), but I was faced with a serious dilemma. My lunchtime drink of choice is a pint of Blackcurrant & Soda, but being a traditional place there was no soda water on tap. The only logical choice left to me was to have a pint of Old Swan Ale instead...and then another...and another! As a 'confirmed' lager drinker, I can confirm that it was very good and there were no ill effects!
The Old Swan is well worth a visit and here is the CAMRA write up of it outlining its status as a Real Heritage Pub.