No Cock And Bull: Hanbury’s Horrible Histories

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Whilst the village of Hanbury is deep in the heart of Staffordshire farmland and, as such, is suitably underdeveloped, it has an explosive past at odds with its genteel present.

198 – The Cock Inn DE13 8TD is the only pub in the village and with sweeping views of the Dove Valley or Trent Valley, depending on which way you look it is just 600 yards away from the Fauld Explosion crater.

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It was too dark for me to see when I went for a pint with my pal, but it was home to the third biggest explosion in WWII back in 1944.

3,500 tons of High Explosives ignited in a Bomb Dump at the Fauld Gypsum Mines, which reportedly killed 70 people and left a crater 200ft deep and 400yds across. Apparently the noise was heard in Coventry (30 miles away) and surrounding fields were littered with dead livestock.

The Cock Inn also bit the dust but, according to the Hanbury Village website, when the Brewery rebuilt two pubs after the war the housing plans were mistakenly swapped.

Therefore this smart looking boozer should apparently be on a housing estate in Birmingham whilst a small village pub was built in Birmingham (no doubt it’s long gone!)

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Anyway, that aside, this place was more ‘pubby’ than I expected. Yes, you could get food here but the bar could have been in a housing estate in Birmingham and I mean that positively. There were dogs aplenty, hi-viz orange jackets, muddy work clothes (albeit farmers) and a lad in a Lichfield Hockey club tracksuit.

It all added up for a crackling atmosphere and bearing in mind it was a Wednesday night then I was pleasantly surprised how many people were in.  This is clearly a pub that is well kept and it also had Bass on!

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But, on this occasion, I thought I’d plump for a Massey’s Original Mild (Heritage) as I see it so rarely these days and the pictures will tell you it was a gem of a pint.

The barmaid was friendly, the bar was a proper place to have a drink and if you look at their reviews then clearly their food is a winner too in the lounge and restaurant areas.

(Two pub dogs eyeing up the Mild…)

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But, this still felt to me like a country pub where drinkers are welcomed and despite feeling fairly remote, it’s close enough to decent sized villages and towns to make it viable and there was a mural advertising all the nearby walks.

If you’re ever in this part of town then this boozer is definitely worth a visit just for the  historical context and a big plaque on the wall of the boozer embraces that particular part of history, which is Hanbury’s most famous landmark.

Not far from the A50 but a totally different pace of life and a pub that hits the spot.

19 thoughts on “No Cock And Bull: Hanbury’s Horrible Histories

  1. “3,500 tons of High Explosives ignited in a Bomb Dump”

    Yikes!

    “the housing plans were mistakenly swapped.”

    I shouldn’t but… LOL. 🙂

    “and the pictures will tell you it was a gem of a pint.”

    I would have taken that for a stout or a porter at first blush.

    “If you’re ever in this part of town then this boozer is definitely worth a visit ”

    You do have some lovely places in your area.

    I just went on a stroll with Google Maps starting at the Cock Inn. What the bloody hell is that tower like thing amongst the houses between Oakfields and Martin’s Lane? 🙂

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “A big water tower!”

        Crap. Shoulda thought of that, but in my defense Google Maps wouldn’t allow me to get close enough for a good view and it appeared to be too close to the other houses nearby (I thought it was some posh addition to a house) LOL

        Cheers, and thanks

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember seeing something on TV a few years ago about that explosion. No doubt since it was in wartime it was all hushed up at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting. Explosives were stored in large amounts where I was brought up. Being canny Yorkshire folk they were stacked in small amounts, separated by a safe distance, hence no disasters! You can still see, just, the hard standings at the side of many small moorland roads.

    Decent boozer by the looks, shame about the 1970’s beer line up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My Dads sister married a Yorkshireman from Leeds and my Dad who is not here anymore even introduced her to him as they were pals in the Navy.
      He got on well with him and i liked him, but he was like most people from Yorkshire very big headed.

      Liked by 3 people

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