- Grinning in the Goldthorn -
It may have been a while but some things never change, hence the Chairman is running fashionably late for the 12 noon rendezvous. With his cob penalty forfeit confirmed, we board the number 1 from Wolverhampton to Fighting Cocks for a ride along the Dudley Road. Phoenix Park is our cue to alight so that we can mark our hub resumption with an opening pint in the Goldthorn, a former social club where the Carling is served with a whippy head (all it needs is a flake!).
- The Sedgley Hub -
If the Goldthorn provided a gentle reintroduction, we go through the gears once we arrive in Sedgley. The Red Lion (overlooking the Bull Ring) and the Seven Stars (on Gospel End Road) keep the pub quota ticking over, the latter of those being a Marston's establishment that was saved from closure a few years ago. In between times we have the small matter of a photocall at the Sedgley Hub, an AgeUK community cafe at the top of Ettymore Road.
- Cotwall End Nature Reserve -
Secretary WME is always eager to throw a spot of ferreting into the mix so a walk along Cotwall End Road fits the bill, passing a primary school and then the Brockswood Animal Sanctuary. The leafy country lane setting is ideal for unleashing some silly songs, hence the strains of 'Don't Jump Off The Roof Dad' by Tommy Cooper echo across the nature reserve. Cotwall End Valley is an area of open space combining ancient woodland. lowland heath and a number of natural springs.
- The Fiddlers Finished? -
Emerging onto The Straits, we prepare for a glance at Gornal Wood by admiring the Baggeridge Social Club, a large workers institute building that recalls the days of Baggeridge Colliery; the pit was the last of its kind in the Black Country and sadly closed in March 1968. A much more recent loss to the community is the Fiddlers Arms, a farmstead pub that looks a sorry sight all boarded up - I sincerely hope it will reopen at some stage and not be gone for good.
- Glowing in Gornal Wood -
The Bulls Head on the corner of Himley Road and Bull Street is also currently shut but the Five Ways opposite is thankfully going strong, serving the absolute nectar that is Bathams Best Bitter accompanied by a warm sausage roll. Whilst in the vicinity, we make sure to include the Bush on Summit Place where we can sup Holden's Golden Glow amidst the teapot collection - the Secretary does love a good crockery display so this place becomes an automatic personal favourite!
- Spotted in Sedgley Hall Park -
Availing ourselves of the 27 bus, we sweep back towards Sedgley to see what the Swan has to offer (no cask ale so John Smith's has to suffice). The Northway estate is next on our hitlist so we wander down Ettymore Road and take the scenic route through Sedgley Hall Park, historically the grounds of Sedgley Hall although the house itself was demolished in the mid 1960s. It is here that the Chairman puts his bald spot back on parade, hopefully without startling any of the native wildlife.
- Darts Conqueror in the Cabin -
The Northway is a sprawling undulating residential area that is home to Alder Coppice Primary School and the Alderwood shopping precinct (with its adjacent medical centre). The local watering hole is the Cabin, bedecked in the flags of footballing nations in preparation for the football World Cup even though our choice of sport is the darts. WME Whirlwind already leads 2-1 after some earlier legs in the Seven Stars and promptly proceeds to a 5-2 victory; honourable mention must however go to D9 Destroyer for getting the only genuine double checkout of the day.
- D9 drives home -
Time has flown and all of a sudden the evening is upon us, meaning we must make haste and head home. Mr D9 rises to the challenge with his customary steering expertise as the number 1 does its duty, giving us just enough of a window to visit the 'Tram Waiting Room' (a.k.a. the Wheatsheaf) before the final curtain falls. That thereby completes this overdue outing, hopefully it won't be quite as long until the next Hub Marketing adventure - cheers!