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Thursday, 22 February 2018

#242 The Bridge Inn, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire : 1997 to 2017

Stourport-on-Severn isn't a place we visit frequently on our canal trips, but it is always a joy for those of us who like a good variety of pubs.

Usually, when we've moored on the canal, The Bridge Inn is the furthest pub from us and so, we often don't make it there. So, although we'd been to Stourport on a few occasions, this was our first visit to the pub.
It was on the evening of Tuesday 27th May 1997 after a day's trip up the River Severn from Worcester. I have little recollection about the inside of the pub.

Our next visit was six years later on the evening of Tuesday 27th May 2003.
Although it looks very different, it is hard to ascertain how many changes there were because I've taken the photo from the opposite side! What is 'interesting' though, is that a new street light has appeared outside the pub.

Our next visit to The Bridge Inn was on a rare lunchtime stop in Stourport on Tuesday 27th May 2008. (Amazingly the same date as the previous visits!)
A fair amount of re-signage had taken place over the intervening period, but the pub maintained its basic character.

In 2013 we were stranded in Stourport as the River Severn was un-navigable. It wasn't in flood, but the levels were well up on normal. We didn't venture into The Bridge, but I also didn't take a photo even though we walked past it twice!

On our most recent visit to Stourport, we didn't go into The Bridge, but I did take this photo.
This was on the evening of Tuesday 8th August 2017 and it is plain to see that the exterior has undergone a complete renewal.

Having done a bit of research, The Bridge Inn is now part of Star Pubs & Bars which are the managed pubs run by Heineken which may indicate a long-term future for it...although they are looking for a new landlord/tenant!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

#068 The Ruin, Floodgate Street, Digbeth : 1998 to 2018 (Revisited)

When I first went around Digbeth and its environs in 1998 I came across many back-street boozers that I'd been completely unaware of previously. Horan's Tavern was one such boozer. This is how it looked in 1998.

When I returned in 2011 it was obvious that it had changed hands, changed name and then closed down.
Shortly after this photo I was passing by again and noticed that it had reopened and then closed down yet again...but I didn't have my camera. By this time I was convinced that it would never re-open, again.

There's one thing this blog is good at demonstrating, though...that I'm no Mystic Meg! 

I'd noticed that it had indeed re-opened a few months ago as I was passing by on other business (no camera!) and was reminded of this in an excellent write up by Ian Clarkson on his Life After Football blog. (Well worth a read!) So I finally got off my backside to bring you this...The Ruin.
The only reasons that I can think that it may well be viable are firstly, Digbeth is still a 'happening' place especially close to the Custard Factory and secondly, South & City College have opened a new campus almost next door to the pub which must be a benefit. Hopefully, it will continue to thrive.

More pictures can be seen on the Closed Pubs website.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

#241 Hopwood House, Alvechurch, Worcestershire : 1999 to 2017

The first time we stopped at Hopwood House was way back on Monday 27th August 1984 for a lunchtime visit, but back in those days I hadn't started to take a picture of every pub we visited.

Despite the fact that Hopwood House is a perfectly located pub on the bank of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, just outside Alvechurch (and on the busy A441) we didn't return for 15 years!
This photo was taken from the other side of the busy road on the bridge over the canal on the evening of Saturday 29th May 1999. These days we'd try to find a place with a few pubs in the evening, but as this was the first day of our holiday (we were a bit late setting off) and would probably not have found anywhere else if we'd pushed on.

As I recall, it was a fairly large pub with a traditional bar and a larger eating area. Always a popular stopping point for hire boaters as it is the first pub after leaving Alvechurh Boats heading to Birmingham.

It wasn't too long before we returned.
This was another evening stop on Saturday 10th August 2002. This time I went to the other side of the canal to get the shot and also to get an idea of the arduous walk from our mooring to the pub!

This journey was part of a boat painting week during which we did a bit of painting, a bit of pottering about along the canal and a bit of drinking...not necessarily in that order.

Although we've passed by quite a few times in the intervening years it took us another 15 years before we revisited Hopwood House.

This was at lunchtime on Monday 14th August 2017 and I decided to take photos from both sides of the pub. The top one is the view from the mooring like we had in 2002 and the other is from the car park.

It is now a Marston's pub and, whilst the interior has been opened out it still feels almost like a pub with two rooms.