Saturday, August 1

Hub Marketing: Pick of the Pubs (The Alternative Chart continued...)

Oh yes, where were we again? Mr D9 was in the process of regaling us with his alternative Pick of the Pubs chart, recounting those establishments we can never forget no matter how hard we might try...

Positions twenty to eleven were revealed in a previous post but for the uninitiated the minor places were filled with the kind of no nonsense stuff our Chairman does cartwheels about - precinct pubs from Kingstanding and Frankley interwoven with back to basics boozers in Brierley Hill as a mere indication. We left you dangling expectantly in Aldridge where the Crown found itself marooned fractionally outside the top ten, so let's see what made the higher reaches of D9's listing.

- The Trident, Shard End -

#10 >>> the guilty party responsible for edging out the aforementioned Crown is none other than the Trident at Shard End, a Brummie box boozer if ever there was one. Patriotic England flags were a precursor to our January 2014 call when M&B Mild was the tipple of choice; later that day, our Domestos-wielding Chairman would disconsolately discover that the Mountfort in Kingshurst had been demolished. 

#9 >>> occupying the number nine berth is a 'splash and dash' (D9's patented terminology) contender from Bloxwich where the Spotted Cow received the briefest of visits in July 2015. Convenient for the Wolverhampton Street bus stops and just a few doors down from the legendary Turf Tavern, our attendance was necessitated by the bald one's misbehaving bladder although a cheeky Worthington's gave us chance to be deafened by the jukebox!

- The British Queen, Oldbury -

#8 >>> to Oldbury we go in order to find our eighth-placed pub, namely the British Queen which judging by the picture above looks about as drab as the nearby M5 motorway. A Desi-style curry and Carling establishment on the corner of Birmingham Road and Popes Lane, we sheltered here during the infamous January 2013 Blizzard outing - the Secretary's hair had frozen solid so we appreciated the chance to thaw out slightly. 

#7 >>> many different criteria have been considered when compiling this chart (Mr D9 takes his duties extremely seriously don't you know) and beer quality or lack of is definitely a key factor. The Devonshire Arms in Hockley probably secures seventh spot on its Guinness alone, such was the indescribable taste that etched itself into hub folklore and left our tastebuds truly traumatised. On the plus side, the pub's Lodge Road location is rather handy for Winson Green Prison...

- The Woodbine, Wolverhampton -

#6 >>> something from the Secretary's former Bushbury doorstep lands itself at number 6 whereby the Woodbine was never a haunt that Mr WME was all that keen to frequent. We took the plunge in February 2014, surviving another example of dubious Guinness and possibly arousing the suspicions of barstaff who thought we were the police. The place shut down completely not long afterwards and has gradually decayed into an absolute eyesore ever since. 

#5 >>> further Oldbury occupation now as the Doll's House sets up at home in the number 5 slot. A double-gabled Banks's number which stood next to a coach depot on Newbury Lane, this was on its last legs when we dropped by in August 2012. Bubblegum machines and cardboard carpeting accompanied a quick Carling in a boozer that would have drawn its clientele mainly from Rounds Green and Lion Farm. Sadly this one has bitten the dust, cleared away to leave a vacant patch of land. 

- The Doll's House, Oldbury -

#4 >>> we're nearing the business end of the chart now and Mr D9 has judged Walsall's Old Bailey to be worthy of fourth position. We happened across this when returning home after the World Cup Great Wyrley trip of July 2018, the Chairman insisting it needed to be done as a matter of urgency. Cue much John Smith's jollity with the regulars in permanent party mood regardless of the footballing situation - England did make the semi-finals to be fair.

#3 >>> the tension mounts as the podium placings await, and what do we find on the lower step but none other than the Coventry Cross. Contraband salmon and crumbling toilet cubicles made for a never-to-be-forgotten encounter back in November 2014, the Chairman procuring himself discounted tins of John West's finest fishy stuff. The dishwater Worthington's was reasonably palatable given that part of the pub resembled a building site. 

- Bar NV, Walsall -

#2 >>> the Chairman informs us that it was the tightest of calls when deciding which pub would walk away with the title. Commiserations therefore go to our noble runner up, Bar NV. A 'highlight' from the Hoot Marketing owlspotting adventure of September 2015, this was a nerve-shredding nightcap destination on Walsall's Bradford Street. The jukebox was in high demand, even eliciting rapturous rounds of applause from one highly enthusiastic chap so it's a good job we didn't unleash any renditions of 'Spanish Eyes'.

#1 >>> so where on earth could have eclipsed Bar NV in claiming the most spectacular of triumphs? It turns out we're sticking with Walsall and the coffin-shaped 'classic' that is the New Inn, a beast of a boozer on Blue Lane West near Birchills. Canned Carling and canine calling cards made this instantly unforgettable, so much so that the Chairman insists on a revisit whenever normal Hub Marketing service resumes. In the meantime my thanks go to Mr D9 for treating us to this alternative Pick of the Pubs chart - cheers!


  1. A magnificent top ten! Daring to go where few others fear to tread!! I've only been to the trident and I knew a couple of lads who used to go there regularly and it's the epitome of no nonsense!!!

    1. Hi Beermat, magnificent is one way to describe it!! The Trident was very earthy on our visit, all part of the Shard End experience. Mr D9 claims that the dive end of the pub spectrum produces the most memorable outings and judging by this list he's probably right! Cheers, Paul

  2. I couldn't agree more!