“You’d have to be mad to go out in that!” – Marketing Board Members have never been ones to resist a challenge from the elements, so when Friday 18th January brought with it some arctic conditions, the Chairman and the Secretary donned their winter weather attire and ventured out into the snow to complete a hat trick of New Year expeditions…
BREAKFAST: the meeting point is set for West Bromwich at 0830 hours although the Secretary has already endured an unexpected Winson Green detour when the Metro tram was so full he couldn’t alight at his intended station. The Chairman also clocks in on time and a preliminary breakfast roll is ordered to help our heroes stave off any threat of frostbite.
- D9 drives the Holyhead Road snowplough -
NEWTOWN: the mission proper gets underway with a ride down to Hockley complete with a D9 driving demonstration (minus any mushrooms on this occasion). Alighting at the flyover, we mush our way into Newtown along Nursery Road and Gerrard Street. Having pinpointed the Gunmakers Arms, we then plod through Burbury Park to admire the Lucas Memorial, the granite rings marking the location of a prominent Birmingham vehicle manufacturer.
- The Lucas Memorial -
ASTON LOCKS: heading into the teeth of the blizzard, we realise that the weather has one notable downside in that the Chairman’s bald spot is firmly hidden from view under a double layer of woolliness. We assess the driving conditions on Newtown Row, where slush is already building up and traffic is crawling along, then the Globe pub registers itself on the pub radar. Chairman D9 is always keen on a Soviet swimming pool experience and the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal at Aston Junction delivered a nose-numbing dosage of sub-zero Siberia.
- Aston Junction Bridge -
BIRMINGHAM CENTRAL: the snow continues to be persistent as we plough through to Lancaster Circus where the telltale signs of former closet doors can be detected by one of the subway passages. The Secretary’s hair has frozen solid so the Wellington is required for medicinal stout and some urgent thawing out before we venture into the underground chambers of the Post Office Vaults where the Chairman gets nostalgic about Birmingham’s subterranean pubs of the 1970s and 1980s.
- Thawing out in the Wellington -
- Snow in the shadows of Snow Hill -
SMETHWICK: news is filtering through of widespread travel disruption so we aim to be sensible for once by commencing the slow homeward trek with a train ride to Smethwick. The dives detection apparatus is tuned in expectantly as we prepare for the Blue Gates and the Old Talbot but we actually found that we rather liked both establishments. The Blue Gates demanded a look because of its landmark status on the High Street (although the Chairman's crafty discounted round might also have been a factor) whilst the Old Talbot offered friendly locals, a traditional multi-room layout and a packet of Monster Munch!
- Stony Lane Closet -
OLDBURY: our arctic endeavours are almost at an end but there are still a few calling points as we return towards the safety of base camp. The Chairman has his sights set on a couple of Georges and a British Queen, although the latter wouldn’t necessarily qualify as being very ladylike. There are also encounters with a White Swan and a Jolly Collier as our intrepid duo reach mission’s end at Sandwell & Dudley Station.
- And the discount of the day goes to... -
We had braved the elements with barely a bald spot in sight, proving that when it comes to Anti-Hub Marketing, our Members are ready to campaign whatever the weather. Cheers!
- Sorry no bald spot! -