Meeting up in Wolverhampton, we cordially agree that the Lady Wulfrun on Lichfield Street simply has to be the place to commence the meeting. The Chairman gets a little confused when trying to locate the toilets, so we must take his word that his attempt to wander into the ladies was not deliberate. The Secretary was too busy concentrating on getting an early discounted round, with the subsequent Sunbeam clocking in at a D9-busting £2.10.
Whilst in the City Centre, the Secretary suggested seeking out a recently-opened establishment in the form of the Lych Gate Tavern. This Black Country Ales house has quickly developed a loyal following and looks the part with old beams, particularly in the upstairs function room. The Chairman seems impressed enough, especially when he can stock up on 50p cobs.
- Chairman D9 demonstrates duster driving -
Time to re-enact former driving days, although this time we are referring to the Chairman's own experiences of working the old 512 and 513 routes down to Warstones in the 1990's - apparently he had some hair back then! The duster accoutrements are quickly on display as we take the 4 down to Spring Hill via Merry Hill and Warstones Road, alighting for a quick half in the Spring Hill before we go in search of trolleybus poles and Warstones terminus.
- Warstones Bus Terminus, East Croft Road -
With Warstones estate being safely accounted for, we were hoping to visit the Warstones pub but a planning application on the lamppost outside suggests that the building is about to become a pet vaccination clinic - another local bites the dust then, not good. The Chairman dons the dusters in frustration as we wander along Warstones Road before seeking consolation thanks to some Brakspear Oxford Gold in the Hollybush, a Marston's corporate chain type of place on the main Penn Road.
- Stags Head meets Bald Head -
The Secretary has a couple of sleeve items to share next as our stroll leads us into historic Penn village with St Bartholomew's Church a proud constant as the local primary schoolchildren excitedly head home for the weekend. Just around the corner from the church is the Old Stags Head, and then we sport hi-vis jackets to negotiate the narrow country lanes towards Penn Common - you might note that the Chairman's famed bald spot was put to excellent use along the way!
- A new way to cover up the bald spot -
The Barley Mow is a hidden gem of a pub, situated next to Penn Golf Club on the edges of Penn Common. Members are reminded to take care not to bang their heads when entering through the low front door; thankfully the Secretary avoided demonstrating the repercussions should this warning not be heeded. You do feel like you're a world away from suburban Wolverhampton out here but a short walk soon returns us to more familiar semi-detached surroundings by the Mount Tavern.
- Barley Mow, Penn Common -
The Chairman is at risk of an early summons so the race is on to get back to Wolverhampton for a closing blast. More bus memories are evoked as we take the 2 through Penn Fields, and then the Chairman can test the Gothic throne for size in the Giffard Arms. Last but not least comes the Wheatsheaf where there is a final duster display before the bald spot is carted off by the Metro. All in all the whole thing was quite an experience!
- Cheers! -