This website aims to record and preserve the histories of the pubs, inns, taverns and breweries of the Midlands' region. There is an emphasis on Birmingham and the Black Country, however other towns and places are featured. Consequently, you will find sections on other counties of the Midlands region, though maybe not in such great detail. The website is a great resource for those interested in public houses and breweries but also offers a wealth of information for those researching social history and genealogy. There are thousands of images and hundreds of maps and plans for you to browse and enjoy. Considerable effort and expense has been employed in order for web browsers to have the benefit of all the resources available to me. For example, this interior photograph of the Royal Oak at Amblecote, along with an exterior view of the Anchor Hotel in Cradley Heath, are two of the many ultra-rare images featured on the site.
The website is currently undergoing a transitional phase during which pages are being converted to enable browsing on mobile devices. Navigation on the 'new' pages is simplified by the use of five buttons at the top left-hand corner of every page. You can click on these to return to the homepage, access the site menu or browse the site's social media pages. Older versions of the site are generally fixed-width pages of 1090 pixels. On these pages the site map link is in the top right-hand corner of pages. Alternatively, use the search box. To further help easy navigation, drop-down menus are also provided at the top of these pages and there are also menus in the right-hand column to help you move around quickly.
Yes, the site's pages feature advertising but any revenue gets ploughed back into updating pages and acquiring photographs and material. You may wish to advertise yourself. All adverts convey a simple but effective message, can combine photographs of your business and is linked directly to your website. The adverts help to drive traffic, improve visitor numbers and generate publicity and/or sales for your business. If you have a pub, brewery or offer any services to the licensed trade this site is a great place to be seen. Click here for more information.
Although some effects have been deployed to make the site a visually enjoyable experience, great effort has been made to ensure that the pages will download relatively quick and can be viewed on most browsers. All pages have been validated at W3C so hopefully you will be able to enjoy the site no matter what machine you are using, no matter what browser you have and will fit on most screen resolution settings. I am a little behind on tablets and apps. but I hope the site can be viewed on most mobile devices.
A look back at the Manor Arms at Abberley, a pub in a quiet backwater that had a fierce reputation in the Victorian days, where bar fights and heavy drinkng was the order of the day. Here also are some lovely reminisences of Samantha Heath, daughter of popular publican Anthony Heath and his wife Margaret, a couple who kept the pub in the 1970's.
Does anyone remember the days when men used to get dressed to go to the pub? When they'd have a laugh but remain within decent guidelines? When men would show deference to the licensee? When they would offer their seat to a woman or an elderly guy? When they wouldn't swear every other word? When they didn't stop the conversation because they had a tweet to read or a mobile call to take? When they didn't wear hoodies and nip in the toilets to score? When they knew they'd had enough? When they knew how to put the young one's in line for playing up in a public house? This website goes some way to remember those days.
The website is not all about blokes and flat claps and every effort is made to discuss the provision of drinking spaces for different sexes. And here's where the women's audience come in - it would be great to hear about your experiences of drinking in a boozer. Or maybe you have a viewpoint on the role of pubs and the sexual divide? Whatever your opinion, it would be great to here of your stories and experiences. By the way, here's one for the whippersnappers ... those aren't i-phones in their protective covers, they're spectacle cases!
It's 1949 and people are still on rationing. But they put a brave face on things for Saturday night in the pub's lounge. Time to put on the best bib and tucker and enjoy a bottle of stout amid the local community.
Talking of drinking in the pub lounge ... the place for 'respectable' couples to be seen and where the ambience was a little more genteel. Being working-class, I have always enjoyed the atmosphere amid fellow riff-raff in the bar but, for many, a night in the lounge represented the upright side of boozing. Have you ever hung out in the posh room of the pub? Please share your memories of social climbing here or by posting on the website's Facebook page.
Were you part of a family that kept a pub? Or have you patronised a tavern where the same family had the place for decades? In a world of revolving-door publicans, this is just the sort of thing I want to hear about. Back in the day there were some boozers that were run by the same family for generations which helped boost the pub's mythical status. Nowadays it is rare for a licensee to make it beyond the classic nine year itch of three years to get the place running as planned, three years to enjoy the place, and three years for the love affair to end or it all going pear-shaped. But if you remember a long-serving family of publicans please share your memories here or by posting on the website's Facebook page.
Cliff Richard begging in a pub! That would make a great red-top tabloid headline. And yet here is Indian-born Harry Webb getting drinkers to fill up his collection tin. Check out the poster-placard - a slogan that's as true today as it was here in the early 60's : "Oxfam can do a lot with the price of a pint." Something to think about next time you see a Sooty or whatever on the counter. This image got me thinking about the Salvation Army who used to come into one of my locals every Friday night. They'd do a sweep of the pub and on to the next. And if I was on a pub crawl I would bump into them a few times during the evening, looking no doubt the worse for wear than they did. Still, better than that bloke who used to drift around flogging dodgy seafood. But getting back to Cliff - imagine being confronted by the Top-of-the-Popster when you were sipping your pint. Maybe it would have been irresistible to offer a tenner for the collection box if he did a Karaoke number for the boozer. Then again, maybe not.
Do you enjoy cycling to a pub for a beer? Well, if so, you have come to the right place because the website has a section especially for the beery cyclist. There will be rides for all ages and abilities. Click here for a selection of the current list of rides, complete with travel notes and route mapping downloads.
"At each Inn on the road I a welcome could find; At the Fleece I'd my skin full of ale; The Two Jolly Brewers were just to my mind; At the
Dolphin I drink like a wheale. Tom Tun at the Hogshead sold pretty good stuff; They'd capital flip at the Boar; And when at the Angel I'd tippled enough, I went to the
Devil for more."
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