Blog Surfer

Thursday, 18 September 2014

#154 The Royal Oak, Crick, Northants : 2003 to 2013

Crick is a village on the Leicester Section of the Grand Union Canal and the first time I passed through was in 1986. We were there again in 1997, but we only visited the Red Lion (#135) and The Wheatsheaf (#123). It wasn't until 2003 that we ventured further into the village and discovered The Royal Oak.

This was on the evening of Monday 18th August 2003 and, as I recall, it was a pleasant village pub.

Our next visit was on the evening of Wednesday 9th September 2009.
The pub was largely unchanged, although the hanging sign had been replaced and the hanging baskets were more verdant.

That was the last time I had a pint in The Royal Oak, but I was in the village for the Crick Boat Show and took this picture in the early afternoon of Monday 27th May 2013.
Again, largely unchanged, but the hanging baskets are no more.

One thing I hadn't noticed until I started this entry and when I looked at the pub's website is the small yellow sports car. Presumably it belongs to the landlord, but it is quite amazing what you don't notice in a picture!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

#153 The Lock, Wolverley, Worcestershire : 1987 to 2013

Our first ever visit to The Lock at Wolverley was on Tuesday 7th July 1987 as part of an epic journey that took us down to Worcester and as far north as Middlewich.

For boaters like us it has the perfect location, being adjacent to the canal lock. This photo was taken from our boat as we passed through this lock before mooring up for a lunchtime stop. As I recall it was quite small inside, but felt cosy and welcoming in the traditional pub style - and the food was good as well.

We didn't return for another ten years, again for a lunchtime stopover on Wednesday 28th May 1997.
This photo (not one of my best!) is taken from the road bridge over the canal and you can see the lock gates through the barrier. As I recall the pub was pretty much as we'd found it last time.

We were back again quite quickly with another lunchtime visit on Wednesday 2nd June 1999. The weather wasn't as pleasant as on our previous visit, but the pub was as welcoming as ever. It had also undergone the Banks's exterior re-branding that was prevalent at the time. Inside it hadn't changed much.
 This view is from a little up the hill away from the canal and shows the re-branding at its best.
This view again shows just how close the pub is to the canal!

That was our last visit to The Lock as on the occasions we've been that way subsequently the timings haven't been right for a stop. However, on our most recent trip along the Staffs & Worcs Canal I took this picture from the lock as we were passing through on the morning of Thursday 16th May 2013.
From the exterior view it would appear that it is no longer a Banks's pub and a search of the Marston's website confirms this. Judging by The Lock Inn website it would appear that it is now an independent pub. Hopefully it will still be there when we next venture down the Staffs & Worcester Canal and, if the timing is right, we'll pop in to see how it has changed in the passing 27 years.