Wednesday, 29 July 2015
Llangollen is a place we don't visit very often and on our first trip there in 1996 we didn't venture much beyond the town centre. On our next visit we decided to explore a bit more and one of the pubs we found was the Prince of Wales.
This was on the evening of Friday 31st August 2007. As I recall it was a fairly standard back street boozer.
The next time we returned was in a boat hired from nearby Chirk Marina, just a day's trip away from Llangollen. Again, we strode out looking for the pubs we'd seen on our last visit.
This was on the evening of Saturday 19th April 2014. Seemingly very little had changed, apart from the For Sale sign and the fact that it was closed! Another victim of the Smoking Ban?
Apparently it reopened in May 2014 and is run by the Llangollen Brewery, which, if true, is excellent news.
Tuesday, 14 July 2015
Although Knowle is only a few miles from Lapworth where our boat was moored for many years, we very rarely visit the village by boat. This is mainly because it is on a different canal (Grand Union) and the journey from there into Birmingham is far less attractive than the North Stratford Canal route.
In the days before I took a picture of every pub we visited we'd been to the Red Lion, but the first occasion I have a picture was from the evening of Sunday 7th April 1996.
Back then it had been renamed Felons & Firkin, but you can just make out that the red lion hanging sign is still there. This visit to Knowle came at the end of our first Easter trip to Stratford-upon-Avon as we had some time to kill on the way back to our moorings.
Our next visit was on the evening of Friday 31st May 2002 as the last stop on our one week trip to Banbury and back.
By this time it had reverted back to its original name and was now part of the Ember Inns chain of M&B.
It was quite a long while before we returned, this time on the evening of Sunday 28th September 2014.
This time it was at the start of a journey that started at Napton Junction and we visited Knowle before heading off to Stratford-upon-Avon. It is still part of the Ember Inns chain, but with an added 'The' to its name.
From the outside, very little has changed and I'm pleased to say that it has retained the quite magnificent hanging sign which I took a picture of a few days ago.
Inside, well that's a different matter. Back in 1996 it was a typical Firkin pub, then in 2002 it was a typical Ember Inn of that era - a cross between a pub and a wine bar - and in 2014 it was still typically an Ember Inn, but now a hybrid of a pub and a restaurant.