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Thursday, 25 April 2013

#111 Bridge Inn, Napton, Warwickshire : 1994 to 2012

If I'd been on the ball I'd've made the Admiral Nelson entry #111, but I wasn't so you get this pub instead! (A little 'joke' for the cricket fans amongst you!)

However, it has worked out quite well because the Bridge Inn is right by Bridge 111 on the Oxford Canal.

I'm fairly sure that my first ever visit to the Bridge was on my first ever canal trip in 1980 - we certainly moored at Napton on the evening of Monday 23rd April 1980 according to the Emma Jane log book. In those days it was called the Napton Bridge Inn.

The first photographic evidence is from Thursday 1st September 1994.
This was an evening stop and I'm fairly sure that we only had one pint here at the end of a pub crawl around the village of Napton.

Our next visit was three years later on Bank Holiday Monday 25th August 1997 at lunchtime. We arrived just in time to get food as they stopped serving at 2 pm! And, in the next hour, they turned away quite a large number of people who wanted to eat there. (Aaah! The good old days!!)
Although it is from a completely different angle it is still possible to see that the signage has completely changed and it is now a Greenall's pub.

Our next visit was on our way back from Oxford and what a change!
This was on the evening of Wednesday 25th August 2004 and it was now called The Bridge at Napton. It was completely transformed into a restaurant with a bar attached! But the food was good, so we didn't venture any further afield!

We were back again on Wednesday 30th May 2007 and again we spent the whole evening there.
Although not clear from this picture, the pub was largely unchanged.

We were back again two years later - the reason for such regular revisiting is because of the pub's relative proximity to the junction of the Oxford and Grand Union Canals.
This was on the evening of Thursday 10th September 2009 and the pub was still almost completely unchanged and we spent a pleasant evening there...again!

Our last canal visit was on Sunday 29th May 2011 and there had been some changes to the outside.
It was now renamed the Napton Bridge Inn, but only Bridge was in large letters. However, we only had one pint there and caught a taxi into Southam for the evening!

My final picture is from Sunday 26th August 2012 taken as I was passing by in the car.
Some slight changes visible, but as I've found out subsequently, this picture was taken at the time it was changing hands!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

#110 Ye Olde Custom House Inn, Chester : 2005 to 2012

This entry is going to be a short one - as I only (re) discovered that I'd been to Ye Olde Custom House Inn when I was looking through my old photos!
This was on Saturday 27th August 2005 on our second canal trip to Chester. I don't recall going in and have no idea what it was like! In my defence (meagre though it is!), there are a lot of pubs in Chester and I can't possibly remember them all!

We were back in Chester just after Easter in 2012 and stumbled across Ye Olde Custom House Inn by accident and only went in because the steak restaurant across the street was busy at the time.
This was on Tuesday 10th April 2012 on our way back from a lovely day trip to Ellesmere Port! In the seven years since our previous visit there has been little change to the outside apart from a new collection of signs.

Ye Olde Custom House Inn is on Watergate Street and their website is here. The restaurant across the street is Upstairs at the Grill and the steaks were fantastic, albeit a bit pricey!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

#109 Rodley Barge, Rodley, Leeds : 1981 to 2012

Although I've only ever been to the Rodley Barge once, I've included it here because of this picture taken in 1981 by John Dockray that was hanging in the pub.
Back in those days it was a Bass pub and looks as though it was probably a friendly local.

This is how it looked on Wednesday 17th October 2012.
In the intervening 30+ years the pub has been extended to the right, but other than that it is remarkably unchanged (especially the windows!). It is now a Free House and has much more signage than back in 1981.

With a name like the Rodley Barge, there seems to be no evidence of any waterway nearby, until you look at the pub from this side, looking across the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
We spent a pleasant evening in here, winning part of the quiz on one of their regular Quiz Nights. It is a lovely, proper pub and I'd recommend a visit if you are in the area.

Their website can be found here and, if you belong to the 'Twittering' Classes, you can follow them here

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

#108 The Bell Inn, Husbands Bosworth, Leicestershire : 1986 to 2012

We've only ever stopped at Husbands Bosworth once in all of our canal trips.
This was on the evening of Tuesday 22nd July 1986 on a journey that would take us to Leicester. As I recall, it was a pleasant pub that served food, but back then we probably ate on the boat anyway (Aaah! Those were the days!). In 1986 it was just called The Bell and was an Ind Coope pub. 

On this visit we popped into both pubs in Husbands Bosworth, but the Cherry Tree is no longer there as recounted in #093 on this blog.

I was passing by towards the end of last year, so I took the opportunity to get a photo of how it looks now.
This picture was taken on Sunday 16th December 2012 and in the intervening 26 years there has been a relatively small amount of change on the outside! It is now called The Bell Inn and they stress the history of it as an 18th Century coaching inn. Having looked at the menu on their website, it looks like they serve proper pub food at a reasonable price.