Blog Surfer

Thursday, 23 April 2015

#164 Wharf Inn, Hinckley, Leicestershire : 1995 to 2014

Our first ever trip along the Ashby Canal wasn't originally planned. We were moving our boat from Winkwell near Berkhamsted on the Grand Union Canal to Lapworth on the Stratford Canal. Once we reached Hawkesbury Junction on the Coventry Canal we realised that we'd got a couple of days in hand, so off we went along the Ashby Canal.

We didn't stop at Hinckley on the way up, but made sure we had an evening stop on the way back down so that we could have a bit of a pub crawl!

This was taken on the evening of Sunday 3rd September 1995. Back in those days this was the nearest pub to the canal and was our first stop before we ventured into town. Beyond that I have little memory except that we did end up having a curry in the Indian restaurant next door.

As the Ashby Canal doesn't link to any other waterways, we didn't venture that way again for a number of years.
This picture of the Wharf Inn was taken on the evening of Sunday 29th August 2004. It had undergone a fairly extensive external refurbishment to bring it into line with the Marston's pub branding. Again it was our first port of call and again we ended up next door for a curry!

Our most recent visit was on Tuesday 7th October 2014, again an evening stop. The Wharf Inn is no longer the closest pub to the canal as there is now a Chef & Brewer as part of the Trinity Marina development. However, the Wharf Inn was our first port of call again.
In the intervening ten years the Wharf Inn has undergone another complete external refurbishment which has included the transformation of the front car park into a beer garden, but it is still a Marston's pub (and the curry house is still next door, although we didn't partake this time!) 

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

#163 The Railway, Ellesmere, Shropshire : 2007 to 2014 (RIP)

The Llangollen Canal is always a pleasant trip, but one we don't do very often. Ellesmere is a regular stopping point, but there are many pubs so we didn't discover them all on our first trip back in 1996.

In 2007 we stopped at Ellesmere both going to and coming back from Llangollen, so we had chance to pop into more hostelries than usual.
One of these was The Railway which we visited at lunchtime on Thursday 30th August 2007. As I remember it was a pretty basic boozer that didn't do food, so we only stayed for one pint and moved on.

We didn't return to the Llangollen Canal until Easter 2014 when we hired a boat from Chirk Marina. When we got to Ellesmere and had a wander around the town, this is the scene we saw.
The Railway was no more. Perhaps not too surprising given the devastation to pubs like The Railway throughout the country since the smoking ban came into force in July 2007, but still sad. This was at lunchtime on Monday 21st April 2014. It is interesting that the signage has been entirely removed, yet the satellite dish remains!