Boing Boing…Anyone For Cricket?

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.

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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!

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Apparently, their ground resides within the old estate of the Earl of Dartmouth and that is how their unusual moniker arose.

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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.

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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.

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You get a little bit of Baggies heritage too

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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…

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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) 

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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.

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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.

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A imposing entrance with an equally imposing doorman (who was camera shy) greeted us at the377 – Sportsman Bar B70 6PP.

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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.

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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!)

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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.

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There were Baggies pictures dotted round the pub too and even the semblance of a few songs starting as more people arrived.

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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!

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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)

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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.

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21 thoughts on “Boing Boing…Anyone For Cricket?

  1. You could also have visited Sandwell Park Golf Club which is round the back of the cricket club for even more peace and quiet! The stone archway in the middle of the roundabout where the A41 and M5 meet is the old entranceway to the golf club which lost some land when the motorway was built.

    My guess for the footballer is Bobby Robson (even though it looks nothing like him, its the best I can do!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are a font Pete I didn’t know any of that! Love the fact it is such a contrast to the ground and kind of unexpected when you walk through the cc entrance….that is a good attempt Pete and worthy of a Caffreys!

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    1. Caffreys was great back in the day and a seamless bridge from lager to cask…you are almost right as there are two matching consonants in your answer! They’ve made an effort in the pub patio and like the fan zone effect

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  2. This continues to be Britain’s best Midlands focussed sports based pub blog! There are pubs outside Celtic Park that only open matchdays too. Never seen a game in the Birmingham League but know it is a very high standard as some of the Worcestershire boys play in it when the county don’t have a game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to receive such adulation Duncan as it’s a tough field to compete in! 😀 I reckon there’s a niche in the market at blues but Celtic get a few more in on a match day! Yes it’s a great standard and all Bears players were affiliated to one of the club’s for games I think… Dominic Ostler has been playing for Berkswell for years

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  3. No idea who the vintage Baggies player is but I can vouch for the entertainment value of Birmingham League cricket – haven’t had the pleasure of visiting West Bromwich Dartmouth yet so I’ll add it to the hitlist (which seems to grow ever longer every time I read your blog)! I rather like the Sportsman although it’s been given the full Desi effect since I first did it. West Brom does seem to be the spiritual home of the Desi pub and long may that continue.

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    1. I agreea….Desi pubs seem to be the way forward to stop pubs closing in suburbs and I’m all for that..he was part of the 1931 cup winning team and that picture was taken at the ground in the suite named after him…

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  4. Figures you’d start posting almost daily the one week I’m away and not commenting. Will try to get to them all later, especially the walkabout one.

    “and that is how their unusual moniker arose.”

    Makes sense now. 🙂

    “Anyway, cricket clubs are always on the lookout for fundraising and I reckon this place is an absolute gold mine on match days.”

    And a bloody good idea.

    “which did exactly what it said on the tin a”

    I think it was either worth the wait or cream and smooth or some such?

    “calm before the storm if you like.”

    Indeed.

    “(Guinness and Staropramen – keg craft!)”

    (chuckle)

    Used to be a big fan of the former; and still like the latter at times.

    “and even the semblance of a few songs starting as more people arrived”

    Plus, from the photo below, what appears to be someone engaging in a highland fling?

    “so can any eagle eyed reader tell me who this is?”

    From the photo I’d say it goes back to at least the 1950’s if not earlier, but otherwise, not a clue. 🙂

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to see you back Russ….neither of these two would be in canra but probably wouldn’t want to be as not their market…ttraditional Baggies boing boing jig Russ 😉 it was Tommy Glidden from the 1931 FA Cup Final team so even before your time mate 😀

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      1. “so even before your time mate 😀”

        Ouch! LOL

        Can only comment quickly as it’s raining cats and dogs here and my darling wife figures that’s a good time to catch up on shows we taped while we were away.

        Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

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