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Sunday, 2 October 2016

Willington, Derbyshire : 1986 to 2015

This post is going to be slightly different in structure as a one-off. We've only ever stopped at Willington twice on our canal journeys with a gap of almost 30 years between visits.

Our first stop was a damp lunchtime on Monday 28th July 1986 and we discovered three pubs in the village, all extremely close to each other!
Green Dragon, Rising Sun, Green Man

It's not very often that you can get three pubs in one picture, but that's the case in the first shot - the Green Dragon, the Rising Sun and the Green Man on the right. Each pub representing the three main brewers in Burton at that time - Ind Coope, Marston's and Bass respectively.

The second picture shows the other view from the Green Man and you can just make out the intrepid crew heading back to the boat after a 45 minute stop with no lunch! We moved on to Burton-upon-Trent to find food!

So, the question is now, how many of the three pubs survived to 2015? After not stopping there for 29 years, we made two stops in 2015! Both lunchtime stops, first on Saturday 4th April 2015 and the second on Saturday 28th August 2015.

#195 Green Dragon (now The Dragon)

formerly The Green Gragon

The Dragon, as it is now called, is very much still there and can be accessed from the canal and from the road, but not the same entrance as 1986! It is now a more food led establishment that does very good trade when the sun is out! A brief history of the pub can be found on their website.

#196 The Rising Sun

Quite an impressive sight, but we didn't venture inside on either visit! Nonetheless, it is good to see it still there.

And so, we move on to pub number three - open or closed?

#197 Green Man

Still there as well!!
Almost unbelievably, all three pubs have survived and appear to be thriving! Back in 1986 the Green Man was a Bass pub, but now it is run by Punch Taverns. Although it provides an extensive menu, the Green Man still feels like a proper pub. More information is on their website.

So there you have it; Willington is an oasis of pub survivability in an age of decimation!


  1. I took the wife to Willington on the Villager bus which links Derby to Burton,we did all three pubs on 28th January 2006,The Green Man had Highgate Mild which we had and Bass/Pedigree.
    The Green Dragon had Pedigree and GK IPA,we went for the Pedigree.
    The Rising Sun was still a proper Marstons tied house.
    I love the first photo of the three pubs and an old Derby blue bus in the distance,not into buses but it did bring back memories.

    1. Thanks for the info. I'm a lager drinker, but I do appreciate the fascination for the different beers available - haven't noticed Highgate Mild for a few years!