Blog Surfer

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

#040 Eagle & Ball, Eastside, Birmingham : 1998 to 2018 (Revisited)

Back in 2011 when I started this blog I had two sets of pictures that I wanted to show to a wider world. Firstly was my collection of canal-related pubs that we'd visited on our various waterways holidays throughout the years from 1986 onwards.

Secondly, in 1998, I'd gone around Digbeth/Deritend/Highgate taking pictures of as many pubs as I could find with a view to going back in five years to see how things had changed with the forthcoming 'Eastside' developments proposed at that time.

Well, five years stretched into thirteen and I finally revisited them all in 2011 and recorded the changes here on this blog. Now we've moved another 6/7 years into the future to find that some developments are almost complete and others are in the pipeline, so now seemed an appropriate time to revisit this part of Birmingham.

But, where to start.....?

I decided to begin with a pub that I didn't know existed until I took the picture in 1998 and one of Retired Martin's favourite Birmingham boozers! Although, back then, it was called Moby Dick's and these were my observations back in 2011.

Back in 1998 Moby Dick's was a completely new discovery for me down a side street I'd never been on before.
Moby Dick's
A typical street corner pub, similar to several others in the area. Needless to say, I never made it back there for a drink.

Onwards to 2011 and it is closed, boarded up and, by all accounts, ready for demolition to make way for the Eastside Locks Development. This is a new concept to me, it looks very good on paper, but whether there will ever be the money to complete the project is doubtful in this economic climate.
Moby Dick's 2011 (RIP?)
Oh well, what do I know about the 'economic climate'? Very little as it turns out! What I'd failed to realise was that a major part of this redevelopment was to build a brand new campus for Birmingham City University and that Moby Dick's would become the Eagle & Ball which is, essentially, the student union bar, although it is still a pub open to all (when it is actually open!)
So, now it nestles amongst the ultra modern buildings of BCU and it has reverted back to its original name.
(...and I've still not been inside!)  

Friday, 12 January 2018

#240 The Anchor Inn, Cross Green, Staffordshire : 1991 to 2017

For our first visit this pub was known as The Anchor, Inn then it became the Fox & Anchor (when it became a Vintage Inn) but, as I recently discovered, it has now reverted back to being The Anchor Inn.

There also seems to be some controversy over its location - our canal books have always placed the Fox & Anchor in the village of Coven, but a couple of years ago we were 'put right' by a local who said that it is actually in Cross Green. (Search on Google and it appears to be an even split between the two!)

Our first visit was at lunchtime on Monday 29th September 1991 as we were moving our boat Emma Jane from the North to down South.

I have absolutely no recollection of the inside.

We didn't revisit until lunchtime on Tuesday 26th August 2003, by which time it had been converted into a Vintage Inn and renamed as the Fox & Anchor.

Obviously it had undergone a thorough redevelopment in the intervening years and inside it was a typical Vintage Inn.

Quite a number of years passed before we stopped there again on the evening of Monday 31st May 2010.
Although it was still a Vintage Inn, it had undergone a redecoration and refurbishment inside, but it was still recognisably a Vintage Inn.

We were back again the next year at lunchtime on Monday 5th September 2011. No real change.
It was a few more years bfore we returned in the new boat Peggy Ellen, another lunchtime stop on Thursday 11th June 2015.
With Peggy Ellen being moored at Kings Bromley, the Fox & Anchor has become a more frequent stopping place especially as it is one of the few food based pubs along that stretch of the Staffs & Worcester Canal.

We made two visits in 2016 - first at lunchtime on Thursday 9th June 2016.
Our second visit was an evening stop on Saturday 6th August 2016.

This second picture was taken the next morning.

Our final visit (so far) was on the evening of Sunday 6th August 2017...and again we got a mooring right outside!
I've also given this photo the Photo Digial Art treatment!
I look forward to revisiting and seeing whether there has been much of a refurbishment inside to go along with the name change.