Mudgie has a number of blogs and one that really hits home is the closed pubs site.
My own thoughts are that they have been replaced by social clubs and, for example, Castle Vale in Birmingham is a prime example of pubs biting the dust on an estate.
It had six when the estate looked very different to how it does now back in the eighties and nineties but they have all disappeared…Trade Winds, Albatross, Trees, Skylark, Artful Dodger and Lancaster…whereas the only option now for an estate of 10,000 people is the St. Gerard’s Social Club.
This has both Sky Sports and BT Sports and looks like it’s the only option if you want to stay close; although on the outskirts of the estate, just off the Kingsbury Road, is the only other pub with a B35 postcode, the 126 – Tyburn House B35 6AA.
A bit of history will tell you that in the seventies and eighties The Vale had 34 Tower blocks with 2,000 flats and was unlikely to win any awards for ‘post-war overspill architecture.’
When a concrete panel fell from a great height in 1991 it sparked the regeneration of the estate and for the best part of 15 years nearly all of the tower blocks and maisonettes were demolished and replaced with new housing stock along with a gleaming Sainsbury’s and other shops on a retail park.
However, no one appears to have taken up the cudgels regarding pubs in Castle Vale and when I popped into The Tyburn House on a Saturday after another rare Birmingham win with my pal, it wasn’t bulging at the seams.
It’s a big old roadside boozer and, in its defence, it was the day before New Year’s Eve and therefore people might have been saving their pennies. There were a reasonable amount of people in, but this is a behemoth of a boozer so there is always plenty of space.
I think Mudgie has also been commenting recently on how he feels a pub that has eating and drinking combined is better than one with separate venues for food and drink and this would have been right up his street.
Although there were three of the most wasted people I’ve seen in a long time when I walked in tucking into a massive starter dish with another crowd playing pool. There was also a dart board so the Olympic sport bandwagon is gaining momentum!
This boozer was apparently rebuilt in 1930 in a Tudor style by Birmingham architect C E Bateman and whilst it purports to be Castle Vale it feels as though it is more Erdington really but, nonetheless, it was open and selling beer.
It has the feel of a drive to pub as opposed to walking here for your local pub, but, as stated earlier, there aren’t many pubs left in this area of town.
All three of the ales had gone, with the GK IPA pump just being turned as we arrived, so I had Worthington Creamflow,
Would you like a flake with that sir?
which was less than £3 and it was definitely a blue collar workers kind of place. There was a crowd next to me where a couple of the lads had company scaffolding t-shirts on and I reckon that is the perfect kind of punter for the Tyburn.
The low lighting and décor suggest it might be in line for an M&B refurb any time soon as it is from their Sizzling range but, there were beermats, Parklife by Blur was playing in the background and, bizarrely in Birmingham, there was a lad in full Wolves tracksuit having a meal with his parents watching them win at Bristol City on Sky Sports.
I still think Quiz Nights (advertised)/Sky Sports/Pool/darts – along with solid pub grub – will attract people into this boozer although the drinking habits of the locals has clearly changed over the years as there doesn’t appear to be any misty-eyed nostalgia over the boozers that have disappeared from Castle Vale.
Apart from the fact someone had ripped the crossword out of the Daily Mail (shocking I know!) which meant we couldn’t indulge in one of our pastimes, my pal and I had a decent hour in here.
It’s not an award winning boozer by any stretch of the imagination but it does what it says on the tin and in a part of Brum that is lacking boozers, performs a valuable service.