Another blogging hiatus due to work commitments and general lack of enthusiasm about the whole ‘closed pub’ scene in general mean posts on this site are about as reliable as the ‘goal wristwatch alert’ scheme at Villa Park.
I can understand why the officials didn’t give the goal though as Villa’s Goalkeeper was only hanging onto the back of the net with the ball in his hands so it wasn’t as though they could have asked for VAR or, bear with me on this, actually give a decision!
A bit like umpires and front foot no balls, the days of Premier League linesman giving goals for a disputed ball over the line are long gone.
However, with football returning then at least I can talk about something other than lockdown whilst cunningly adding in a post about one of my Top 20 Pubs.
Blues are set to kick start Albion’s promotion charge again on Saturday after announcing that Pep Clotet is leaving in nine games time as the hot seat at St Andrew’s reaches scalding levels.
I wonder if Pep will drown his sorrows with a beer or two at The Red Lion in Shirley. It’s not too far from the Blues training ground at Wast Hills and Pep likes the odd half so I reckon he could be tempted into a proper old school British boozer before he heads back to sunnier climes.
There was a spell in early 2019 when The Lion, as it’s known affectionately by all the locals, was shut….it was feared that with the gleaming new behemoth of a Wetherspoons over the road attracting a lot of trade, that the Lion might be consigned to the history books.
But it’s back with us and sums up everything that is good about Shirley. Closest suburb to Solihull (just keep driving down the A34/Stratford Rd) it possesses a massive array of shops but none of the glitz of its near neighbour.
It’s perfectly happy with that though and the fact this boozer looks like it is in a 60’s shopping precinct, with a flat roof to please Paul WME, and surviving despite Shirley council’s best efforts to continue ‘regenerating’ the A34, is testament to what an institution this boozer is.
Live music, jukeboxes, cheese cobs, real ale, acerbic banter and never a hint of trouble and a cracking atmosphere mean this place is a bona fide member of my Top 20 pubs.
I suspect it won’t trouble the GBG, but it actually serves excellent beer at sub £3 prices, which is a bonus.
Longstanding pubs on a High Street that survive the Sizzling/Hungry Horse/2-1 makeovers that are commonplace deserve a mention.
This is my original post here and let’s hope that when (if) the pubs reopen that The Lion carries on defying the odds and holding its place at the heart of the community