Monday, 13 March 2017
#215 The Junction, Norbury, Staffordshire : 2002 to 2016
The Shropshire Union is one of my favourite canals, but it does have one serious drawback; there are many long stretches without any pubs! This has been exacerbated in recent years, so a trip along this canal takes some 'serious planning' to avoid dry lunchtimes or evenings.
Norbury Junction is where the now defunct Shrewsbury Canal joined the main line of what is now the Shropshire Union. It is an attractive location with boat hire, all boating facilities and a pub - The Junction.
Having given it the big build up, I was surprised that our first ever visit to The Junction was at lunchtime on Tuesday 19th September 2002 - just the 22 years since my first narrowboat excursion!
The Junction has all the services that we require - food and drink - but it isn't ever going to make my list of favourite pubs. It is set up to sell lots of good, basic pub food, but has never felt like a cosy local.
Our next visit was on the evening of Thursday 4th September 2007.
At first glance the pub looks to be unchanged, but the wooden gazebo has gone and flower trays have appeared on the balcony railing. Despite it being a midweek evening, the pub was pretty full as evidenced by the full car park.
Our most recent stop off at The Junction was on the evening of Sunday 7th August 2016. (Picture taken next morning.)
Again, it looks to be mostly unchanged, but exterior woodwork has appeared with the low fence bordering the outdoor seating and a sort of gazebo for the smokers (I assume). The railings (and flowers) have gone from the roof over the extension. Inside, the pub has hardly changed. We had a good meal and a few pints, so we were happy!