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Saturday 14th January
RAR 255
COVENTRY'S GBG

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

Meet at The Brooklands, Kingsbury Road, 12 noon.
Saturday 18th February
RAR 256
STATFORD TO WELFORD ON AVON

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
WELFORD ON AVON TO BIDFORD ON AVON

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
BIDFORD ON AVON TO HARVINGTON

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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For the December walk we are staying local as usual with a stroll round central Birmingham. This walk comes from ' Good Honest Beer ', a book about Mitchells & Butlers, written by Mark Young, great grandson of Sir William Waters Butler. Mitchells & Butlers is currently the biggest pubco chain in the UK by the way, and they also own Sizzlers, Harvesters, Ember Inns, Toby Carveries, Nicholsons and O’Neills among others.

William Waters Butler, Bart 1866-1939 was a member of the Butler brewing family and subsequently a significant part of Mitchells & Butlers brewing history. He contributed to the City of Birmingham and its citizens in many ways and to this day his legacy remains, notably via a Mitchells & Butlers charity, 'The William Waters Butler Welfare Fund' for the benefit of employees and local communities, and the Sir William Waters Butler Award for the best students in Brewing. In every way he strove to improve conditions in the licensed trade. He regarded it as a duty of brewers to offer to customers a sound beverage and at the same time provide opportunities for its consumption in surroundings that were themselves refreshing and edifying. Great stuff...

In his book he describes a walk around the following M&B pubs in the central area of Birmingham;

  • 1 SHAKESPEARE, 4 Lower Temple Street
  • 2 TROCADERO, 18 Temple Street
  • 3 GUNMAKERS, 92 Bath Street
  • 4 OLD CONTEMPLIBLES, 17 Edmund St
  • 5 OLD ROYAL (formerly Red Lion), 53 Church Street
  • 6 SHAKESPEARE, 31 Summer Row
  • 7 O'NEILS (formerly Westward Ho), 232-5 Broad Street
  • 8 CROWN, Hill Street
  • 9 VICTORIA, 48 John Bright Street
  • 10 ROEBUCK, 152-154 Hurst Street
  • 11 MORIARTY'S (formerly White Tower), 126 Lawley Street

I have cut this down. I considered that Broad Street and Lawley Street were too far out, so O'Neils and Moriarty's went. The Gunmakers was closed the last time I went past and Bath Street is a little way out, so that was out too. When we passed the Crown it wasn't open and it didn't look too inviting, so we cut that as well. We couldn't see the Roebuck, I suspect it has been renamed ' The Village ', presumably where the Village People meet in that area, so that was out too, leaving 6 pubs. We added two obvious candidates in the Post Office Vaults and the Wellington bringing the total back up to 8 pubs. The walk goes as follows.

From New Street Station it is a very short walk to the SHAKESPEARE in Lower Temple Street, a lovely little Nicholsons pub with good tilework. A range of 8 beers and mulled cider.

Then it is almost as far to walk to the TROCADERO which shows excellent exterior work but a somewhat disappointing interior. 5 beers on offer.

From here we walk through St Phillips churchyard and pass Snow Hill station to reach the OLD CONTEMPTIBLES, which is as good as ever. A Nicholsons pub with 6 beers and 2 ciders.

Then round the corner to the OLD ROYAL. Happily they have got rid of the intrusive TVs and it is a lovely, cosy, little pub now with 5 beers.

A slightly longer walk now across Great Charles Street and along Lionel Street to the SHAKESPEARE in Summer Row. This is a tiny Nicholsons pub which was one of the stars of our survey, with 5 beers including 3 black ones - Hilden Stout, St Austell Porter and Itchen Valley Dark Solstice. Yummy !

Next we walk past the Town Wall and down Hill Street to John Bright Street for the VICTORIA. Although there were only 3 beers on offer it is still a pub I very much like.

After this we come to the last two pubs. The POST OFFICE VAULTS is painted bright red in Post Office livery. Impossible to miss ! Well, I managed to walk past it on our survey - I can't have been concentrating ! This is a stunning cellar bar which has been open for three years now and stocks 8 beers, 13 ciders and has a beer menu of 348 bottled beers in stock as well.

The Vaults is then topped by the WELLINGTON with its 16 beers. It also now has an upstairs bar to releive some of the pressure on the original bar and a roof top garden. A great place to end the day.

Since Birmingham is so convenient for us, I haven't included any timings. Just go at your own pace and when you want to go home, catch the next train.

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