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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

#018 Subside (aka The Dubliner), Digbeth : 1998 to 2018 (Revisited)

I'll begin with what I wrote back in 2011 and then add the latest image.

When I first came to Brum as a student in the late 70's this was the Barrel Organ, but I never visited it. There are some reminiscences of the old Barrel Organ from the 1980's here when it was a popular music venue as well. I'm not entirely sure when it changed its name to The Dubliner, but when I took this photo in 1998 it had been that for a few years.
I still had never set foot inside the place until Thursday 19th September 2002. We were returning from our second trip up the Caldon Canal. We'd planned to go to Chester, but a lock gate had 'blown out' ahead of us on the Shropshire Union Canal and we were forced to make an alternative plan. 

Often, the penultimate night of our canal trips are spent in Birmingham and, in those days, I tried to visit pubs that we'd never been to before. The Dubliner was one of the pubs we visited that night. My only two observations that survive are that it was cavernous inside and the lager was the most expensive of the night! One pint was enough!
In 2006 it was the victim of an arson attack and didn't reopen until February 2008 as reported here. I have been back since the reopening, but again only stayed for one pint. It was about 9:30 on a Saturday night and the place was virtually empty. A disco was being set up, there was a bouncer on the door and, in the Gents, a bloke was setting up his range of perfumes and emollients for later in the evening! We discovered that they had a licence until 4 am! I'd like to say that I've become too old for that sort of scene...but I think I've always been too old for it!!
In 2011 it is still there and still thriving. It looks pretty much like it did in 1998, but closer inspection shows that the windows are new (not surprisingly) and the Ansells sign has gone (praise be!). Next door is the completely rebuilt Digbeth Birmingham Coach Station.
And so, we arrive in 2018 and The Dubliner is no more it is now called Subside (Birmingham's Rock & Alternative Bar). Apparently, the name changed in 2015 when Subside was closed in Fletcher's Walk (to make way for the Paradise development) and needed a new venue - details here.
The Dubliner
 I have no plans to revisit the place as it probably isn't my sort of place anymore (if it ever was!). However it is open from noon every day if you just want a drink, so that can't be a bad thing.  

Friday, 16 March 2018

#243 Toby Carvery Festival Park (aka China Garden), Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire : 1991 to 2017

Wherever possible, we try to avoid chain establishments on our canal trips, but sometimes they are the only option when we need food. Wetherspoons, Vintage Inn, Hungry Horse, Crown Carvery and Toby Carvery have all come to our rescue on our travels.

When passing through Stoke, on the Trent & Mersey Canal, there are few easily accessible places for a lunchtime stop. (In the evenings, we have more time to wander and there are plenty of options.)
Our first encounter was on the evening of Thursday 25th July 1991 as we moved Emma Jane from her northern mooring. I have little recollection of the evening (or the pub), but my photographic records indicate that we didn't venture any further into Stoke on that evening.

Since that time, we've travelled through Stoke on many occasions, sometimes mooring up outside, but we didn't go back inside until lunchtime on Sunday 15th March 2015 (Mother's Day).
China Garden
This was, again, on a boat moving trip; we were moving the new boat Peggy Ellen from the boat builders (Braidbar) down to her mooring at Kings Bromley. We stopped quite early (for us) just after midday expecting it to be fairly quiet having forgotten that it was Mother's Day! Nevertheless, after a bit of a wait, we were seated and had a reasonable carvery lunch. 

We'd noticed that the name 'China Garden' had long since disappeared (as with the previous names of all other Toby Carveries), but were unaware of the name change until now (when I looked it up on Google; although I suspect many people still know it as China Garden rather than Festival Park!)

Our most recent visit was at lunchtime on Friday 9th June 2017 on the morning after THAT General Election!
China Garden
We had another pleasant lunch (as befits a Toby Carvery) and went on our way heading up the Caldon Canal.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

#048 Adam & Eve, Deritend : 1998 to 2018 (Revisited + RIP)

This is another of the Digbeth pubs that I've never been in! In 1998 when I first took this photo of the Adam & Eve I was aware of its existence, but as it was known as more of an entertainment venue I'd not had the urge to visit.
 Moving forward to 2011 the pub looked like this.
Despite the change in the colour scheme, the signs on the corner are exactly the same as in 1998! The windows have been replaced and skylights have appeared in the roof.

It is a pub that I've still not been in and now it is a pub no longer. Apparently it closed in 2015 after a triple stabbing (I bring you to all the nice places!) but was resurrected last year as Evolve - a café and event space designed to provide young people with training. (The upper floor had already been restored as flats for homeless people looking to get back on their feet.)
Evolve Coffee Bar
More information about the pub and its 200+ year history can be found here