Blog Surfer

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

#160 Three Tuns Inn, Fazeley, Stafforshire : 1987 to 2014

At the northern end of the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal is Fazeley Junction where it joins the Coventry Canal. The small town of Fazeley is a place where we've frequently stopped on our canal trips throughout the years. There are several pubs, but the one we've visited most, mainly because it is the nearest to the canal, is the Three Tuns Inn.
This first visit was on the evening of Wednesday 15th July 1987 as we were heading back home from a two week trip that had taken in Worcester, Stourport, Market Drayton, Middlewich, Stoke and Rugeley. I have no recollection of the interior, but I suspect that it was then, as now, a fairly standard boozer.

Our next visit was on the evening of Thursday 30th May 1996.
The outside of the pub had been completely refurbished with a new hanging sign and the introduction of a satellite dish. It would appear that it was no longer a Mann's pub.

Next visit was on Monday 30th August 1999, a lunchtime stop, but unfortunately the Three Tuns wasn't doing food, so we had a pint and moved on.
No real change to the exterior, but it is interesting to note how the net curtains have been removed in stages throughout the years!

We didn't return again until lunchtime on Sunday 21st August 2005.
Some changes to the outside, the hanging sign has gone as has the satellite dish...but the net curtains have returned!

Next visit was on Sunday 29th August 2010, another lunchtime stop.
The hanging sign has returned as has the satellite dish (in a different position), but the derelict building next door has finally been demolished!

And so, on to our most recent visit which was at lunchtime on Sunday 5th October 2014 when we had a large Sunday Roast lunch.
The outside had been completely redecorated with a new hanging sign, a third satellite dish with pastel green replacing the black...and the net curtains have disappeared again!

The pub has been under new management since December 2011 (see website) and, despite claims of refurbishment, the interior seemed to be pretty much as I remembered it from previous visits - namely, proper pub with no frills - just as I like it!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

#159 George & Dragon, Stoke Golding, Leicestershire : 1995 to 2014

Stoke Golding is a village on the Ashby Canal which, until 1995, was virgin territory for us. We were moving our narrowboat Emma Jane back to the Midlands from a 4-year sojourn down south on the Grand Union Canal and found that we had some time in hand - so, up the Ashby Canal we went.

This visit was at lunchtime on Saturday 2nd September 1995. I don't really remember too much about the inside apart from the fact that it was a pleasant village pub.

The Ashby Canal is not a waterway we visit very often, mainly because it is a dead end. However, we were back again nine years later.
This was an evening visit on Saturday 28th August 2004 and, at first glance, the pub doesn't look to have changed at all. On closer inspection you can see that the upstairs windows have been replaced and the signage is subtly different. Inside, I still have no recollection!

We were back along the Ashby Canal another 10 years later for another lunchtime stop at the George & Dragon.
This was on Tuesday 7th October 2014 and this time there have been definitive changes! Firstly, the pub is now run by Church End Brewery which is a small brewer from Nuneaton. As far as I can ascertain, the George & Dragon is their only pub, but they do have a Brewery Tap as well. Externally it has had a complete makeover and, inside, it was a pleasant country/village pub serving good 'pub grub'!

It's also interesting to note that the street light by the front door is still the same, but at least it has been painted regularly!

Monday, 2 February 2015

#158 The Great Stone, Northfield, Birmingham : 1953 to 2014

The Great Stone Inn has stood on this site for centuries and it is named for a huge boulder that used to stand on the corner. This boulder is a glacial erratic, and was dropped by the ice as it retreated in the last ice age! The stone is now housed in the 17th Century pound, which is adjacent to the pub – this sandstone enclosure was where stray animals were kept until their owners paid a fee to get them back.
© Phyllis Nicklin 1953
This photo (along with two others of the Great Stone) was taken in 1953 by Phyllis Nicklin. She took many pictures of Birmingham through the 1950's and 1960's which can be found as part of University of Birmingham's Chrysalis Project. This is a fascinating archive for those of us who love old pictures of places we know. My only regret is that Phyllis Nicklin wasn't as obsessed with pubs as I am!

So, from a time before I was born, how does the pub look now?
Not very different as you can see apart from the slight name change. This picture was taken in the afternoon of Friday 15th August 2014. The boulder is behind the gate by the red car.

It is many years since I visited The Great Stone for a drink, probably when I was a student. In those days it was an M&B pub, but I see now that it is part of the Stonegate Pub Company.