Having been to one of the best football pubs in Britain by the Albion ground in my last post which will please all you Wolves readers out there, my pal tipped me off about another possibility pre-match.
376 – West Bromwich Dartmouth Cricket Club B71 4JJ have been one of the big boys in Birmingham Premier League cricket for many years although they’ve not won the top prize for a quite some while so are fairly similar to the Baggies in that respect!
Apparently, their ground resides within the old estate of the Earl of Dartmouth and that is how their unusual moniker arose.
I’m pretty sure the Earl enjoyed the tranquillity of this place pre M5 and expansion of the Birmingham Road which turned the route towards the Baggies ground into a concrete jungle.
Anyway, cricket clubs are always on the lookout for fundraising and I reckon this place is an absolute gold mine on match days.
It cost us the princely sum of £1 to get in as non-members and the clubhouse was heaving two/three deep at the bar.
You get a little bit of Baggies heritage too
and I couldn’t see any cask on so had a Caffrey’s, which did exactly what it said on the tin and took me back to the late eighties early nineties…
Cricket grounds are tranquil and was a fantastic contrast to what was going on outside with bustling of pre-match atmosphere.
(nearby views – you can’t beat a bit of Baker boys)
It doesn’t have award winning views but considering where it is based it is a mighty fine club to have a drink in before a game – calm before the storm if you like.
They’ve really made an effort too with hedges and greenery over many years blocking out the Birmingham Road in the background.
Prior to this my pal reckoned we should visit a boozer that doesn’t even appear on the CAMRA website but is situated on West Bromwich High Street.
A imposing entrance with an equally imposing doorman (who was camera shy) greeted us at the377 – Sportsman Bar B70 6PP.
I like it when boozer makes the most of what they’ve got and this place was packed with Albion fans, primarily, and the staff even wore Throstles badges on their shirts.
Live sport on the box, Indian food and beer appeared to be the order of the day again in here and in the absence of any cask I had a Staropramen and we ventured outside on to the beer patio.
(Guinness and Staropramen – keg craft!)
I reckon the current parlance is a Desi pub and this is of a similar ilk to The Vine – minus the Holden’s of course.
There were some corrugated iron style storage sheds but I have to say, fair play to this place as they’d done a terrific job in sprucing up what could have been an eyesore.
There were Baggies pictures dotted round the pub too and even the semblance of a few songs starting as more people arrived.
Three kids were having a proper game of what all the old pundits on Sky would refer to as ‘street football’ as they were knocking seven bells out of each other and the one with the most skill appeared to be winning!
A smart enough place that has had a bit of cash spent on the interior and a bit of innovation out the back with a ‘fan zone’ that probably comes alive on match days only I’m guessing.
Mudgie made a really interesting comment recently about a pub called The Victoria near to Manchester city’s ground that opens between the hours of 12-4 on a Saturday when City are at home!
(On his way to a Guinness)
It just proves that where there is a will there is a way and the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking in West Bromwich.
I know how Mudgie loves a quiz so can any eagle eyed reader tell me who this is? A Baggies legend…a pint of Banks’s to the first person to guess correctly.