You can’t blame me…it was Monday, the day after the afternoon before and I was passing through a Wolverhampton suburb so I thought I’d check it out.
I’m not one to gloat as regular readers will know but there was a slim chance I just might bump into Paul WME to offer my disingenuous sincere commiserations after Wolves had crashed out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage.
Not once had it crossed my mind to mention that Birmingham City future captain fan Troy Deeney’s late equaliser and Gerry Deulofeu’s extra time winner, which sealed an FA Cup classic for Watford, ensured Birmingham are still the only club in the West Midlands to have won a major trophy this century.
If I did mention that Birmingham are still the only club in the West Midlands to have won a major trophy this century then I would be accused of gloating and no one likes to read about the successes of one club, failure is much more fun to read about.
So, with all that in mind, I approached my first pub in almost 400 boozers with a WV postcode with some delight trepidation, as I wondered if there would be a sea of old gold bunting strewn across the floor and lots of punters dancing to ‘Woolly Bully’ to cope with the angst of defeat.
With my regional tones I don’t usually make a point of mentioning other dialects but there is a big difference between Brummie accents and those of punters from the Black Country.
(NO karaoke – serious singers only!)
This was clear as day when I was in Sainsbury’s post pub and I walked past the bakery and a mum was talking about “Chocurlut browernies” to her lad and that, apart from Barry from Auf Wiedersehen Pet, is the perfect example of Black Country speak.
(The only Carling Cup Birmingham are winning this year…)
Anyway, back to the boozer in question and 380 – Dog & Partridge WV10 7DW is tucked away in the wonderfully named village of Calf Heath on a road known, imaginatively, as Straight Mile.
A Monday at 3.30 isn’t prime time but I needn’t have worried about any FA Cup hangover in this place as it was an absolute gem.
(That’s a straight mile…)
The game had definitely been shown yesterday as they have live sports on covering all bases but, apart from some birthday balloons still on a table, all was calm.
(Beers you’ve heard of)
The landlady was friendly and attentive and served up a reasonable half of Abbott Ale (Greene King) although I noticed a few more options round the corner…
The conversation was classic pub chat as an old girl was laying into rip off parking charges…
(scissors in the condiments bowl)
and a bloke, who had good listening skills, was nodding along.
Another conversation was flowing about the merits of Coventry and how it was in Warwickshire really and not the West Midlands; whilst this suburb is closer to Cannock than Wolves, it had a warmth about it you often get in Black Country homely boozers.
Lots of knick knacks around, clearly well-kept and although it was open plan it was split level, so had the feeling of separate rooms.
A great pub that is tucked away underneath the M6 and has the feel of a canalside country boozer serving pub grub as opposed to gastro boozer.
Four ales on might be a little optimistic but, no doubt when Paul WME finally arrives with his merry band of men to celebrate Wolves reaching an FA Cup Final, they will drink the place dry…