Blog Surfer

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

#182 Red Bull, Church Lawton, Staffs : 1991 to 2015

The Red Bull pub is a well-known canalside pub, but not one we've stopped at very often. It is a couple of locks down from the summit of "Heartbreak Hill" and so is not in the best position for stopping at when boating.

Our first stop there was on the lunchtime of Thursday 25th July 1991.
 This was during the journey south for Emma Jane, from Adlington to, ultimately, Cowley Peachey on the Grand Union Canal.

Our next stop there was another lunchtime stop on Wednesday 24th August 2005. This was a pit stop on our journey to Chester and back.
In 14 years, the only discernible changes were the 'new' hanging baskets and the addition of a burglar alarm.

Our most recent visit to the Red Bull was at lunchtime (again!) on Tuesday 20th January 2015. This was part of the 'Shakedown' cruise for Peggy Ellen, which is why we were boating in January!
At least in the subsequent ten years since our last visit the exterior had been completely redecorated, even if the hanging sign looks to be the same as in 1991!

Regular readers will know that I can rarely remember what the pubs I feature are like on the inside. So far I've resisted all mention of the interior because, quite frankly, I don't really remember it much. However, I suspect that it hasn't changed much over the years and this is what it looked like on this visit.
As you can see, still a proper pub! Well worth a visit if you're passing and, hopefully, we'll be back in less than ten years this time!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

#108 UPDATE The Bell Inn, Husbands Bosworth, Leicestershire : 1986 to 2015

Prior to 2015, we'd 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 2012, 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.

Last year we were again on the Leicester Section of the Grand Union Canal and, because we'd taken a detour to the previously unexplored Market Harborough, we found ourselves having to moor up near Husbands Bosworth Tunnel for the first time in almost 30 years. It is a bit of a stroll into the village and we were pleased to see that The Bell Inn was still there.
This was on the evening of Saturday 29th August 2015. Outside it has been repainted since my last picture and inside, it was a pleasant pub with good food. Just what we needed after a good day's boating which had included the Foxton Locks. 

Monday, 11 April 2016

#181 Littleton Arms, Penkridge, Staffs : 1991 to 2015

The village of Penkridge sits on the Staffs & Worcs Canal and, although we haven't passed through too often down the years, it is always a worthwhile stopping place as there are quite a few pubs to choose from.

The first time we visited the Littleton Arms was on the evening of Sunday 28th July 1991.
I really don't recall what it was like inside, but from the outside, it is an imposing building. In those days, it was an M&B establishment.

We didn't return for five years, this time, it was a lunchtime stop on Wednesday 29th May 1996.
The pub had undergone a complete transformation as a Vintage Inn restaurant/pub (still part of the M&B estate).

We didn't return until the evening of Tuesday 29th May 2001 to find no real change in the exterior.

Two years later, on the evening of Monday 25th August 2003, it was still a Vintage Inn, but the wooden window shutters had been removed.

It was quite a while before our next visit to Penkridge and this is what we found on the evening of Sunday 4th September 2011.
Another complete transformation, this time into an independent restaurant/pub.

Our most recent visit was on the evening of Wednesday 10th June 2015.
Little had changed over the four years. Inside it is now in the currently popular 'rustic' style and the food was very good (as was the free bottle of wine which, on hindight, I should probably taken away for later consumption, rather than drinking it all with my meal!).

If you are passing it is worth a stop to have some refreshment in the Littleton Arms - here's their website.