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Saturday, 30 July 2011

#003 Goose at the OVT, Selly Oak : 1996 to 2011

This is a strange one! When I first visited this pub as a student in the late 70's it was called The Bournbrook Hotel. It was usually full of students (no surprise) and was made up of several different rooms. It was a long time ago and I don't remember it too clearly!

Some years later it was refurbished (keeping many of the interior features) and renamed the Old Varsity Tavern. It was still popular with students and usually quite busy. Then (and I don't know when) it became the Farce & Firkin at the same time as quite a few other Birmingham pubs were rebranded as Firkin pubs. This picture is from 1996 as we did a pub crawl of Selly Oak on one of our canal trips!
At some stage it became the Farce & Firkin at the OVT, but this isn't shown on the pub in this picture.

As I live not too far away, I occasionally enter this establishment, but I can't say it is one of my favourite venues. Sometime later (again, I don't know when) it was refurbished and rebranded as the Goose at the OVT which is Mitchells & Butlers attempt to match Wetherspoon's. The pub is now a 'beer barn' selling cheap beer to any and all who can't afford to pay the inflated prices in other pubs!
This is how it looks now. Like many, it looks pretty much the same as ever on the outside, but inside its very different from 'the good old days'! I don't think they make use of the two upper floors (which is a waste) and notice the buddleia growing in the upstairs window. Still, I shouldn't complain too much at least it has survived the 'cull' of Selly Oak pubs which has taken away The Brook, Dog & Partridge, Great Oak and others that I never really knew!


  1. When I was a student in the late 70s I remember attending a birthday bash in the upstairs function room. Nasty Ansells keg beer in those days, though.

  2. I just visited this pub and got a vodka