Morning everyone. It’s been a while. Apologies for the lack of blogs of late, but here is one about a little wander around Brownhills.
On Thursday evening I was at a loose end, a bit thirsty and in dire need of some blog inspiration so at the third time of asking I jumped on the number 10 bus (I missed one by seconds and the next one just drove past the stop) and headed to Brownhills, the most northern point of the Walsall borough.
I hadn’t eaten properly and as the bus approached the Hussey Arms I remembered how good the food is in there, but I’ve been spending too much on takeaways and meals of late and I’m trying to cut this cost down. I had an R Kelly lyric pop into my head. “My mind’s telling me no, but my body, my body’s telling me yes”. But as it was now dark and I wasn’t overly convinced that I knew where my first pub to visit was, my mind won and I remained on the bus.
First point of call was The Waterside, which is very much tucked away up a side street, and I only learned of it’s existence when scrolling around maps on the pubsgalore website when trying to find places to visit on Pub 365 Challenge volume 3 back in 2017. My notes from that sole visit was “cracking bogs, very friendly staff”. I couldn’t remember what the toilets were like so I was eager to see why they had impressed me so much. I found the pub easily enough, which is good as I was worried that I would take a wrong turn and end up ambling down the A5 which is a bit of a long road, but there was a distraction opposite the pub. A fish and chip van. Now I have heard of these things but never actually seen one. I was very excited, still peckish but also still thirsty so pub won.
The barmaid was friendly but delivered the grave news that the chip van wouldn’t be outside for long. The quiz machine wouldn’t take my money so I sat down and watched a bit of tele. I don’t really have the time or inclination to watch tv, that fact that I am still half way through series 2 of True Blood probably speaks volumes for this.
The toilets were good although I can’t see why I rated them so highly on my previous visit. I did like the cubicle doors, and the floor space is probably just about big enough for a game of Twister.
A good pub visit, and I must pop back here again next time I’m in Brownhills. The chip van had done one though by the time I left.
Next up was The Jiggers Whistle, a pub celebrating it’s 4th birthday this weekend. I walked in, was greeted by Colin the gaffer, and I’d barely go my coat on the back of the chair when a man approached and asked “what do you want mate?”. I didn’t know who he was but asked for the golden ale, thinking it was very nice of him to buy me a pint. It was only when he walked behind the bar and started pulling said pint that I clocked he was staff and just doing his job, I am very easily confused.
I had time for a second pint and as this pub is the current Walsall CAMRA Cider Pub Of The Year, I had a Raspberry Ripple cider which was ace, and whilst drinking this a lad at the next table came over for a chat. He supports Aston Villa but has gone to a few Walsall games of late and recognised me. I’m always up for talking about Walsall FC so this was a pleasant development.
The Shoulder Of Mutton was next up. I’ve only been in here twice before. First time I was stared at by several people which was unnerving, next time was Friday night disco, and before I’d even got through the door I’d been greeted by two of the locals and been given the nickname of Noddy by one of them and it was a superb visit. I wondered which version of The Mutton I was getting this time.
Well, a gent outside gave me a friendly “hello”, and upon entering I was greeted by a very friendly lady and a dog. The barman was friendly and polite and it was busy with a good atmosphere. I’ve not noticed the decor on my previous visits but it is a mixture of humorous alcohol signs and lots of things about musicians. Next to the dart board is an array of blank betting slips, a takeaway menu and randomly a leaflet for a hotel in Blackpool but this sums up what a great down to earth boozer this is. Another cracking visit.
Next up was my first visit to the new Jack Jigger Taylor pub. I think it’s run by the same company that has the Tap And Tanner in Walsall Town Centre and it very much has that same feel. Service was quick and my beer was served in a proper jug style glass (it’s only that staff in the Black Country Arms that normally know I like this style) and I settled down and before I’d taken a sip of beer another person who recognised me from Walsall games joined me for a chat. He told some great stories of following The Mighty Saddlers from way back in the 60’s. Needless to say this was another enjoyable beer.
On the way to the final pub I spotted Mario’s Fish Bar. a chip shop that I’ve heard repeated good things about on the Brownhills Bob Facebook page. It had to be done. I ordered the £1.70 cone of chips. I paid the £1.70. What I got couldn’t have been further from a cone of chips. It was mossiv. A delightful mix of battered and plain chips, and despite it being a decent walk to The Anchor I still had some left upon arrival. I loitered outside trying to finish them, (while the chip van from earlier approached) but with the clock ticking to my intended 10pm bus back I had to admit defeat and leave a few. What an absolute bargain.
Final pub was The Anchor. On my last visit here with Mase and Goughy it was just us 3, the barmaid and DJ in the place. This time however it was very busy which is good to see. I had to search for the toilets and the barmaid stepped in as I was heading to the ladies. She diverted me to the other side of the pub and as I approached the gents a flustered looking lady exited them. We must have been on some kind of bizarre wrong toilet exchange visit.
It was a quick enjoyable pint, I made the 10 at 10. God that sounds like some kind of local radio feature. You can tell I still dream of being a dj even though my voice sounds like someone gargling with a couple of full ash trays.
Absolute superb night. Brownhills you were a blast. I can’t wait to go back.