Rolling Back The Years In Shirley

Time flies on this blog and it was December 2018 when Russ controversially suggested Birmingham should play Brentwood rather than Brentford in a Championship fixture.

Of course, the one constant on this blog is that Birmingham fail to win and last season’s goalless draw – covered, along with two Brummie boozers here – was matched with a 1-1 draw this Saturday.


Martin will be pleased to know Championship football is very exciting when Manchester City join the second tier next season after their Saracens style points deduction!

Not playing fair, i.e. not allowing the self-appointed clubs with bigger crowds and more established in the hierarchy to win all the trophies, means the blue half of Manchester can join the blue half of Birmingham unless we get another nine point deduction for not playing fair…


But one of the joys of going back to visit England’s premier city is the opportunity to visit some boozers I’ve not ventured into for years such as 533 – Woodmans Rest B90 3DB


It’s an Ember Inn but in this part of the Midlands they are often the only source of cask ale and whilst all Embers have to be massive by publaw#15 this is very much a local pub in the backstreets of Shirley.

Anyway, a point at home against a team in the top six is a cause to celebrate and I had my eldest with me after subjecting her to 90 minutes of purgatory so a stop off seemed only right.

Actually, it was also an excuse to catch up with a mate, who I’ve not seen for the best part of a decade after he’d subjected all of his family to 90 minutes in Small Heath.

(winter blogging = bad light!)


The place had the feel of a proper local with families, groups of lads and lots of friendly faces warming up on a Saturday night at about half past six.

I had to inform my pal that times have changed since I used to live in Brum as he was about to get me a Carling but I squeezed a Sunbeam (Banks’s) out of him, which was more than decent.


As you can see from this table, I was in the minority and they were giving out complimentary flakes with the Carling such was the head on it.

It’s good to see the Woodmans still going strong and there is no denying that, like The Fieldhouse, Ember Inns seem to suit local Solihull/Shirley boozers pretty well.

Unlikely to feature in any GBG anytime soon, no one in the Woodmans will care one jot as it still ticking along nicely with plenty of local punters.

15 thoughts on “Rolling Back The Years In Shirley

  1. This is another of my Quiz Pubs…every Wednesday night you’ll find me there asking ‘damned silly questions’!
    That’s a pretty fair assessment of the place…it nicely treads the line between being a pub and an eating establishment without losing the feeling of being a proper pub!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those photos make good use of the dark.

    Glad to have your take on City. As long as they don’t close down our pubs we’ll be fine, I saw a few games in City’s expulsion into the depths of the League 20 years ago and they were great times. It’s the Scousers and Londoners who don’t have good pubs who obssess about the actual football.

    The Woodmans WAS in the Beer Guide, perhaps a decade or more ago. As you so eloquently explain, in east Brum these Embers ARE the boozers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Went in the Colebrook Inn not far from Shirley station last season ( on the way to Highgate Utd v Shepshed Dynamo), another M&B Ember Inn and had a very acceptable Jaipur.
    It’s odd that there aren’t any in Leicestershire yet their Vintage Inns branded pubs are everywhere.

    By the way, you’ve got a Woomdans in the last sentence!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes I’ve not been there for donkeys years either. A little bit more Solihull Lodge so a bit grittier I reckon….will Shepshed ever scale the heights they reached in 80s/90s? Or are they Midlands Alliance forever more?
      Good spot!!


      1. In the FA’s attempt to create a perfect non-league pyramid, Shepshed, Quorn and Louughborough Univ were moved sideways this season into the UCL. Not impressed, no more interesting trips to Lye and Stourport, just the delights of Holbeach, Boston, Sleaford etc..
        The home games still give the chance for a Bass in the Black Swan though!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Beermat, the Woodman’s Rest looks pretty much as I remember it too, a lively local. Sounds like it still rates as one of the safer bets for half-decent cask ale in Shirley, and probably more down to earth compared to some Ember counterparts. I remember Nick and I going to the Solihull Beer festival one year and the volunteers all groaned when we said we’d be going to Shirley afterwards! Cheers, Paul

    Liked by 1 person

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