Blog Surfer

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

#227 The Talbot, Market Drayton, Shropshire : 2002 to 2016 (RIP?)

Market Drayton, on the Shropshire Union Canal, is a fantastic stop for pub lovers with many in the town itself. The Talbot stands close to the canal which is a ten minute walk from the town centre. This goes some way to explaining why our first two visits were our last pub stops in each instance.

Our first encounter with The Talbot was on the evening of Tuesday 10th September 2002.
We'd had a session in Market Drayton and popped in to the pub for a 'night cap' (hence the dodgy photo!). As I recall it was a pleasant, friendly place.

We were back again on the evening of Monday 29th August 2005 - again the last stop for the evening!
Difficult to spot any changes, but some attempt to trim the ivy appears to have been made.

Our next stop there was at lunchtime on Tuesday 4th September 2007 on our way back from Llangollen. It was our second visit to Market Drayton on that trip, but on this occasion we only visited The Talbot.
Little, if no change apart from the growth/recession of the ivy over parts of the pub

Our most recent visit was at lunchtime on Monday 8th August 2016 and this is the scene we encountered.
The Talbot was closed and up for sale. But at least much of the ivy had been cut back!

As of writing it is still closed, but there is a petition to get it reopened. It will be a shame if The Talbot disappears, but unless there is a sudden upsurge in pub drinking, I don't think it will survive as a pub.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

#226 Hare & Hounds, Minworth, West Midlands : 1986 to 2016

Our first visit to the Hare & Hounds at Minworth was on the evening of Wednesday 30th July 1986...the first year that I took a picture of every pub we visited.
As I recall it was a fairly large Ansell's pub split into a Lounge and a Bar - a common enough arrangement in those days.

With our boat, Emma Jane, being moored 'Up North' and the 'Darn Sarf' for a few years, we didn't return to the Hare & Hounds until the evening of Tuesday 5th September 1995 as part of her return journey to the Midlands.
And what a change it had undergone in the passing 9 years - it was now a Mr Q's Pool Lounge! Inside there were a large number of pool tables of varying sizes and shapes! It was still an Ansell's pub.

This experience put us off returning until the evening of Sunday 14th June 2015 - a gap of almost 20 years!
In all honesty, if The Boat (#180) had done food on a Sunday evening, we wouldn't have needed to leave and visit the Hare & Hounds at all. I'm glad we did because the Hare & Hounds was now a pub restaurant which caters for both drinkers and diners and, most importantly, they were still serving food for us!

It was no longer an Ansell's pub and the Wacky Warehouse is now Fuzzy Ed's Fun House (not that we went to either!)

We returned just 12 months later on the evening of Sunday 12th June 2016.
This time we were even later getting there, but the staff were great and we got food even though they had, technically finished serving. Excellent service, which is all too infrequent as we travel the canals.

As I was doing a bit of research to see who owns the pub, I discovered that it has changed again into a Sizzling Pub & Grill which is one of the brands of Mitchell's & Butler's. Hopefully they will maintain the excellent service levels.