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Monday, 28 November 2016

#203 The Old Windmill, Coventry, West Midlands : 2000 to 2015

We are occasional visitors to the centre of Coventry by canal as it is a 5 mile stretch of canal from Hawkesbury Junction to Coventry Canal Basin which is the terminus of the Coventry Canal. So, if we have time in the schedule we sometimes make the trip into the city to see how it has changed.

The Old Windmill is situated in Medieval Spon Street which is one of the few parts of the old city to have survived the blitz. It is quite a walk from the canal which is probably why we'd not been there before the evening of Tuesday 30th May 2000.
As I recall it was a proper pub and quite a pleasant experience. From the signage, it was still a Mann's pub back then.

Although we'd been back to Coventry a couple of times after this, we didn't venture to The Old Windmill again until the evening of Monday 6th October 2014.
On this occasion we'd moored at Hawkesbury Junction, but we'd been unable to get any food at The Greyhound (#167) as it was full. This necessitated a taxi ride into Coventry and our driver dropped us off by The Old Windmill so that we could eat at Turmeric Gold on the opposite side of the road (his recommendation!).

The signage had completely changed and it was no longer a Mann's pub, but little else had changed - apart from the tables and chairs outside the front of the pub! (Café society comes to Coventry!) Inside it was still a proper pub.

We returned almost a year later; this time we'd moored at Coventry Canal Basin to re-explore the city on the evening of Tuesday 1st September 2015. Unfortunately, as we were having a pint in the Wetherspoons the heavens opened, thus curtailing any further exploration, but we still got a bit damp on the walk over to Medieval Spon Street!
It was still chucking it down when we left The Old Windmill after a pint before venturing across the road to Turmeric Gold for our evening meal. There were few discernible changes to the pub (new hanging baskets), but what price 'café society' now?! To see more about the 2015 CAMRA Coventry Pub of the Year have a look at their Facebook page
Whilst The Old Windmill dates from the 16th Century and claims to be one of the oldest pubs in Coventry, somehow I don't think that Turmeric Gold has quite such a long history. The food was good on both occasions we visited. 

Monday, 21 November 2016

#202 The Navigation, Alrewas, Staffordshire : 1986 to 2015 (RIP)

Our first ever visit to Alrewas saw us go to three of the four pubs that were in the village back then. It was an evening visit on Monday 28th July 1986.
The Navigation was a big Ind Coope pub on the edge of the village and I can recall nothing remarkable about it!

Although we'd visited Alrewas on several occasions, we didn't revisit The Navigation for 17 years on the evening of Saturday 23rd August 2003.
Needless to say, there had been a few changes including the name as it was now called The Old Boat. The only reason we were back here was because our visit to Alrewas coincided with the Wychnor Boat Rally meaning that all of the pubs in the centre of the village were packed and we couldn't get any food! By the time we'd got to The Old Boat, they had stopped serving food. So, it was "Call a Cab" time and we disappeared into Lichfield for the rest of the evening!

As we were approaching Alrewas on our most recent visit there I took this shot of Delhi Divan, the restaurant that now occupies what was The Navigation.
This was taken from the Trent & Mersey Canal in the late morning of Friday 3rd April 2015. From what I can gather, it opened in 2014 and gets very good reviews on TripAdvisor. At least it is still being used for 'entertainment' purposes!  

Friday, 11 November 2016

#201 Angel Ale House, Atherstone, Warwickshire : 1995 to 2015

The Angel Inn, as it was called when we first visited it on the evening of Monday 4th September 1995, is a pub that has hardly changed externally, but has been transformed internally over the years.
I really don't remember too much about the inside, I think it was a fairly standard town centre boozer. (We visited quite a few pubs that evening as Atherstone was something of a revelation for the quantity of drinking options!)

We were next in Atherstone on for a lunchtime stop on Saturday 20th August 2005, but we didn't go into the Angel on that occasion. I do, however, have a shot of the pub from down the street that I've blown up for this entry!
There doesn't look to be too much change, but difficult to tell from this distance!

We didn't return until the evening of Sunday 5th October 2014 and, again, we didn't venture inside.
It had obviously been refurbished and, peering through the window I could see that it was done out in the more modern, open, rustic style that so many places seem to go for.

We were back in Atherstone about a year later on the evening of Wednesday 2nd September 2015.
Yet again, we didn't go inside, but obviously they've managed to make a success of the place judging by the banner hanging over the front of the pub. At least the hanging sign is back outside the pub denoting the change of name to the Angel Ale House. Also, there is the large shelter added onto the side (just visible in the 2014 picture) that no doubt is there to accommodate extra drinkers and smokers.