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Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Witton Street, Northwich, Cheshire : 2006 to 2016

Today you're getting a special 'Two-for-one' deal (before minimum pricing comes in!).

Northwich isn't a place we visit very often on our boating trips as it requires passage down on the Anderton Boat Lift from the Trent & Mersey Canal onto the River Weaver.

Anderton Boat Lift
We've done this trip twice and on each occasion spent an evening in Northwich.

#236 The Roebuck

I'm not entirely sure if we ever ventured into either of the pubs, but I did take pictures for posterity. The first visit was on the evening of Friday 1st September 2006 and this is what The Roebuck looked like. (You can just see the Green Dragon three doors away)
Our next visit was on the evening of Saturday 13th August 2016 and this is how much change had taken place in 10 years.
It had been completely redecorated, but was now up for sale...and according to WhatPub it is now permanently closed.

#237 Green Dragon

You've already had a glimpse of this pub in the photos above, but here are the close-ups. 

As far as I can tell, the Green Dragon is entirely unchanged in the 10 years between these pictures...and it is seemingly still thriving!

Whilst it is sad to see a pub close permanently it is worth noting that Witton Street also is home to the Witton Chimes, The Quayside and Penny Blacks which is a Wetherspoons, so it is hardly surprising that something had to give and it looks like The Roebuck was the unlucky loser.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

#235 Newton Brewery Inn, Middlewich, Cheshire : 1991 to 2016

This entry for the Newton Brewery Inn perfectly demonstrates the reason I started taking pictures of every pub we visit on our canal journeys. Namely, to have proof of which pubs we'd visited as it gets difficult after a few pints and a few years to remember where the heck we've been.

Back in 1991 we were bringing our boat Emma Jane from her northern mooring to a southern spot on the Grand Union. We stopped in Middlewich on the evening of Tuesday 23rd July 1991. Our mooring was by the Big Lock and one of the pubs we visited was the Newton Brewery Inn.
I vaguely recall that it was, like most Marston's pubs of that era, a fairly basic boozer. Other than that I don't remember anything about it.

Fast forward to the evening of Monday 15th August 2016; we were in Middlewich with the new boat Peggy Ellen and we'd moored above the Big Lock. Our easiest access point to leave the canal took us straight to the Newton Brewery Inn, so we popped in for a pint.
We found it to be a fairly basic boozer and departed for the Big Lock for food as there were only snacks on offer here. At this stage I was pretty sure that it was a new pub for us, only to find on my return home that we had, indeed, visited the Newton Brewery Inn twenty-five years previously! (It isn't the first time this has happened - see #166 Tilted Wig in Warwick - nor will it be the last I suspect!)

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

#234 Crown & Anchor, Stone, Staffs : 1991 to 2016

The town of Stone (between Stoke and Stafford) is a notable location on the Trent and Mersey Canal. Approximately at the mid-point of the waterway it was once home to the company that owned the canal and was the place where many of the original plans were formulated. 

However, more importantly, it is a town with a good number of pubs, so it is always a poipular stopping place for us. The Crown & Anchor isn't canalside, but it is only a short walk from the cut. Our first visit was on the evening of Friday 26th July 1991 during the journey that took Emma Jane from Adlington (on the Leeds & Liverpol Canal) to, ultimately, Cowley Peachey (on the Grand Union Canal).
I don't remember much about it and with plenty of other pubs to choose from, we didn't return until the evening of Tuesday 29th August 2000.
This was a completely unscheduled visit as we'd passed through Stone that afternoon and were moored at Barlaston. Unbeknownst to us the Plume of Feathers at Barlaston was closed and we needed an alternative! One of the good things about canal trips is that, although it may have taken 3+ hours to get somewhere, it's only a 10 - 15 minute taxi ride we chose Stone as a safe bet. As I recall the pub was largely unchanged.

Our next visit was on the evening of Monday 22nd August 2005.
Subtle changes from 1991 are visible (if you look carefully enough) but to all intents and purposes it is stil the same as before.

It was quite a number of years before we ventured back to the Crown & Anchor, this time there were many changes.
This visit was on the evening of Sunday 27th March 2016 as part of our Easter trip to Stoke. The pub had been completely refurbished inside (as a more dining led pub) and some minor changes outside. The one main external change is the removal of the distictive  hanging sign from the gable end of the pub.