Nine Goal Thrillers, Gentrification and Relegation – A Normal Sunday In Digbeth (Tore Andre Flo)

Bloody hell! As if a nine-goal thriller at St Andrew’s wasn’t enough to contend with on a Sunday afternoon then the ongoing gentrification of Digbeth just about topped it off!

Let’s deal with the surreal first. Birmingham scored four goals at home in front of a packed St Andrew’s but, due to the fact Leeds bagged five and Duncan’s boys won away from home, Blues edged ever closer to the relegation zone.

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Not to worry, Martin assures me that Milton Keynes has some great pubs and if Coventry don’t sort out their ground issues then it promises to be a ding dong derby in Small Heath next season.

Clearly focusing on Birmingham City fixtures over Christmas has increased my appeal to Scandinavian readers as I have had an upsurge in Norwegians casting their eyes over my blog.

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So, in a shameless attempt to capitalise on this market post Brexit, I will be calling all my posts henceforth Tore Andre Flo.

He might well have played for Chelsea but Tore is a big Blues fan – seriously – read about it here!

Anyway, the third part of this title’s trilogy is around Digbeth’s ongoing gentrification and whether or not I can count a rehashed boozer as a new one.

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I’ve spoken before about the great things happening in Brum’s bohemian suburb and how lots of disused buildings are being brought back to life in a funky, modern way.

However, it still hung on to some of its traditional boozers and when I visited The Wagon and Horses in January 2018, the pub near Blues’ ground was a proper football boozer.

After an FA Cup tie against Burton, I recalled…
“There were lots of blokes  (and girls) in their 40s/50’s and 60s in adidas sambas bouncing along and clapping to all the songs, which clearly get played on a regular basis, as all the bar staff knew them too.

“There were some proper characters in the pub including a bloke who continuously ended up behind the bar ‘playing up’ with the barmaids and a bloke who was so hammered he was dancing like Bez and gurning like Ian Curtis as he put Penny Arcade by Roy Orbison on three consecutive times!!!!”

I also noted that a pint of Vesper (Cross Bay Brewing) was £3 and you could buy a cheese and onion cob for just a £1!

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But, not even Digbeth/Deritend can fend off the onslaught of craft and pizza so when my mate said to meet him after the game in the Wagon and Horses, I wasn’t surprised to see it had ‘moved with the times.’

Martin and Duncan have debated whether or not a pub that has changed names can be classed as a ‘new boozer’ but, after watching Blues lose again I reckon I can make my own rules up so it definitely counts!

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511 – Dead Wax Digbeth B9 4ED is on the site of The Wagon And Horses in Adderley Street and was reasonably full after the game.

There were bouncers doormen, who weren’t there previously, but the place has had a massive overhaul and it was all industrial pipes, smart seating and low lighting.

On the positive side, it was friendly and the barstaff were quick and helpful with lots of records piled high against one of the walls. Culture Club were on in the background and it looked as though this place is set up for vinyl (hence the dead wax moniker) and non football fans in the week, which may well mean it survives in the long term.

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Gentrification means that whereby I was paying £3 for a top notch pint of cask in 2018 I now paid £15 for a pint of Beavo Lager (Beavertown), a pint of cider and a bottle of Desperado!

The Beavo Lager was good but blimey, the prices were steep for a backstreet boozer near the ground…maybe that’s the price of gentrification.

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Nonetheless, I had a top class hour with a couple of great lads, who are both Amateur boxing coaches, chewing the fat about another Blues defeat and the boxing history of Brummie boys in the last 30 years.

A great time in a boozer and the fact it is still open is magnificent so I’ll move with the times and drink my £5 Beavertown or go to The Roost!

14 thoughts on “Nine Goal Thrillers, Gentrification and Relegation – A Normal Sunday In Digbeth (Tore Andre Flo)

  1. I noticed the change at the beginning of December, but haven’t had chance to get back to it with my camera and fully comprehend the changes. I thought that I could take my time and that no-one else would notice it for a while! How wrong I was…yours is the second occurrence documenting the changes…I’m going to have to up my game!

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    1. It was a surprise to me as well as my pal said meet you in the wagon and horses so I did a double take when I arrived!!! You are excused your tardiness on the basis that your photos will be the best, you find the best canal side pubs and you are a regular attendee on the B&PF Big Days Out!

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  2. Hi Beermat, this post does leave me with mixed feelings. Although I don’t mind trying the craft/hipster places (all part of the beery education), there’s always a tinge of regret when they are created out of proper pubs that get changed out of all recognition. I’ll have to reserve full judgement until I’ve tried Dead Wax for myself of course 😉 but I suspect I’ll be hankering after the Wagon & Horses before too long. Then again, places do have to adaptto survive I guess. Hope Tore Andre helps you conenct with your Norwegian readership although my allegiance would have to be with Havard Flo instead albeit his Wolves career didn’t amount to much! Cheers, Paul

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Beermat, this post does leave me with mixed feelings. Although I don’t mind trying the craft/hipster places (all part of the beery education), there’s always a tinge of regret when they are created out of proper pubs that get changed out of all recognition. I’ll have to reserve full judgement until I’ve tried Dead Wax for myself of course 😉 but I suspect I’ll be hankering after the Wagon & Horses before too long. Then again, places do have to adapt to survive I guess. Hope Tore Andre helps you connect with your Norwegian readership although my allegiance would have to be with Havard Flo instead (even if his Wolves career didn’t amount to much). Cheers, Paul

    Liked by 1 person

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