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Coming Soon

Saturday 14th January
RAR 255

Meet at Greyhound, Sutton Stop, 12 noon
Sunday 5th February
HW 55

Meet at The Brooklands, Kingsbury Road, 12 noon.
Saturday 18th February
RAR 256

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am (X18 takes 1 hour 35 mins!!)

The No.27 bus leaves Welford at 3:16pm and arrives Stratford 3:29pm (opposite Maypole)
5:50pm arrives 6:12pm
6:09pm arrives 6:46pm

The X18 bus leaves B439 (Binton turn) at 3:19pm arrives Stratford at 3:56pm. This stop is supposedly 20 mins walk from Welford.
3:49pm arrives 4:26pm
4:24pm arrives 5:01pm
4:54pm arrives 5:31pm

The 6:30pm No. 460 National Express arrives Coventry 7:00pm
Saturday 18th March
RAR 257

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am

The 11:54am X18 bus from Stratford arrives B439 (Binton turn) at 12:07pm
Saturday 15th April
RAR 258

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am

The 11:54am X18 bus from Stratford arrives Bidford 12:11pm
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Another January and another trawl round the Good Beer Guide pubs of Coventry. We meet at the most far flung, No.1, the GREYHOUND at Sutton Stop. I shall catch the 11:35am No.20 bus from Trinity Street, which arrives at Black Horse Road at 11:58am. We'll be hopping on and off buses and popping in and out of eleven more of Coventry's finest establishments well into the evening.
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The Greyhound Inn at Sutton Stop (above) and its bar (below)
The Greyhound Inn, Hawkesbury Junction is a Grade II listed pub in an idyllic location by this busy canal junction where the Oxford Canal meets the Coventry Canal. It has been voted best Pub in Coventry & Warwickshire 4 times and is currently the Local CAMRA branch pub of the Year.

Then we walk down Grange Road to Jackers Road in order to catch the 703 to Ringwood Highway. There is a 12:49pm, 13:19pm, and they are every half hour, taking 12 minutes for the journey. Here we arrive at No.2, the BOAT. which, although the canal has gone retains its canal associated name.
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The Boat Inn, Shilton Lane, Walsgrave
The main line of the Oxford Canal used to pass by the pub until it was straightened in 18** , when it became a branch serving local coal mines.This was the star of the day last year having been excellently renovated and which had a range of interesting beers. The only quibble is that the old brewery has been removed from the lounge to make more room for drinkers.

From the Boat we catch the 10 (every 15 mins ) at Winston Avenue, which takes us to pub No.3, WHITEFRIARS OLD ALEHOUSE at Gosford Street on the outskirts of the city centre.
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Whitefriars, Gosford Street

The Whitefriars describes itself as an old alehouse, and it certainly is old. The present building has been dated to c1350 by tree-ring dating and by its cram post roof, whatever one of those is! It originally consisted of a two-bay hall, which subsequently had a floor inserted, creating two rooms, one upstairs, one down. Apparently this happened in the sixteenth century when chimneys were inserted to enclose the fire which until then would have sat in the middle of the hall and vented through the roof. The building has not been over-restored and has a reputation for its authentic atmosphere.

From there on it is all walking. We walk through town for No.4, the ESTABLISHMENT , new to the GBG this year. It will be interesting to see if the service here has improved since our last visit in 2012!

A short walk through the precinct brings us to pub No.5, the TOWN WALL TAVERN.
The Town Wall Tavern , Bond Street is a long established public house located on or near the site of Coventry's town wall, behind Corporation Street.
The Town Wall has had a somewhat fraught existence since the last war. It had a compulsory purchase order served way back in 1957 and subsequently there were five successive redevelopment schemes. In 1964, the cottages alongside the pub were demolished to make way for the car park. However, the Town Wall had always been well supported by the journalists of the Coventry Evening Telegraph and the acting profession from the Belgrade Theatre, so it has had vociferous and influential defenders. In 1975 M&B's policy of removing handpumps and replacing them with eletric pumps reached the Town Wall. The licensee at the time, Terry Jones, and the customers refused the M&B engineers access and so they retired hurt, never to attempt the exercise again.

In 1976 the city council unveiled their plans to have a hotel built where the Town Wall stands. In order to appease the regulars, the hotel was actually going to incorporate the pub! Fat chance of that happening! Again the customers organised a petition and sought publicity, reaching the national press with the Guardian on 19th September 1980. As may be imagined from the time between these two dates, the hotel project was not exactly speeding ahead. In fact, by the time the Guardian article appeared, the council had already declared that, due to the recession, the developers had pulled out and the hotel scheme was abandoned. The compulsory purchase order remained though. It was not until 1982 that it was rescinded, 25 years after originally being imposed. And so the Town Wall sails imperturbably on.

Another short walk brings us to pub No.6, THE GATE HOUSE TAVERN on Hill Street, billed as "The country pub, in the town"
The Gate House Tavern. This pub was originally the gatehouse to Leigh Mills who specialised in silk, worsted and cotton . It opened as a pub in 1994, and has a lovely beer garden.
Making our way from Hill Street to Spon Street we find pub No.7, THE OLD WINDMILL which usually has a great range of beers including Theakstons Old Peculiar.
The Old Windmill, Spon Street

This 16th century pub was one of the few buildings to survive the blitz in central Coventry; it is a gem both internally and externally. It stands in its original location on Spon Street, described on tourist signs as 'medieval Spon Street'

Spon Street was once a major thoroughfare leading westward to Birmingham until the turnpike Holyhead Road was created. However it continued to take heavy traffic until the ring road cut it in half in the 1960's. Many of its timber framed buildings had survived 1930's redevelopment clearances, wartime bombing and post-war redevelopment, unlike those in other areas of the city centre. In 1969 it was decided to create a conservation area and preserve other surviving timber framed buildings by moving them here and restore the existing buildings.

We can take the pedestrian tunnel at the end of Spon Strett which brings us to Spon End and a short walk to pub No.8, THE BROOMFIELD TAVERN

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photoThe Broomfield Tavern, a "hidden gem" on Broomfield Place
Hidden away behind the Old Dyers and some housing and adjacent to Coventry rugby ground and Broomfield Park is this little gem which was recently voted "Cider Pub of the Year". Then we walk over to Chapelfields for another concentration of pubs. On Craven Street, pub No.9 awaits us, the HEARSALL INN where the blog on their website reads “Great crowd, friendly atmosphere and the best pint of Guinness around” They also serve a home brew ale which is quite palatable.
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The Hearsall Inn, Chapelfields

This pub takes its name from a local place name. It was once an Atkinsons pub and stands next door to the Coombe Abbey pub. Then we make our way to Lord Street and our next pub, number 10 of the day, The NURSERY TAVERN.

The Nursery Tavern, Chapelfields
The first real building on the land around the Chapelfields area was Chapelfields House and a nursery garden at the beginning of the 19th century. The nursery garden was called Weare's Nursery and lay on Thomas Whites Charity Land. Thomas Weare, a nurseryman and seedsman, had a shop in Broadgate and it is because of him that the Nursery Tavern got its name. In 1845 as Act of parliament empowered the trustees of the charity to lay out roads and sell plots by public auction for developement. The Nursery tavern is thought to have opened in 1852.This pub takes its name from a local place name. It was once an Atkinsons pub and stands next door to the Coombe Abbey pub. Then we make our way to our last pub of the day, No.11, THE CITY ARMS in Earlsdon
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The City Arms
, Earlsdon

The current City Arms only dates from 1930, but the pubs history goes back much further, to 1852 when two corner building plots were bought from the Freehold Land Society by a Thomas Dylke, a Coventry watchmaker for £55 5s 0d each. In the 1990's the City Arms was taken over by Weatherspoons and underwent a major refurbishment to knock the smaller bars into the single large drinking area we see today.

That’s all 11 pubs. I haven’t included many times after the start as things tend to get a little looser as the day progresses. I wonder who will be in at the finish this year?


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