Square Pegs In Square Holes

Along with lots of Birmingham City fans, I’m not quite sure what to do.  Yesterday’s win at Derbados means the only team in the West Midlands to win a major trophy this century (not sure I’ve mentioned that for at least a week) are actually safe for the 165th consecutive season in the Championship.

No last day dramas, no must win games and everything appears to be going smoothly at St. Andrew’s.

Yes, I know this is a pub blog but I can’t miss a chance to praise Lee Bowyer who has totted up 17 points from 8 games to leave us with sunglasses on and cigars out for the final two games.

He’s basically started putting square pegs in square holes after the dismal Karanka era and without applying rocket science, has found a formula that works – KEEP IT SIMPLE!

Most fellow pub bloggers suffer with pain from their football teams with Duncan a glutton for punishment following both St Mirren and Reading, Paul WME (Wolves) breaks out in a cold sweat at the mention of non-league Chorley, whilst BRAPA’s Hull Tigers travails (yesterday excepted) are legendary. 

The Wickingman has suffered a few relegations with Burton Albion during his lifetime whilst the Matt AKA the Travelling Barman is waiting for the Baggies to boing their way down to League One any time soon.

Martin, of course has it really tough as Manchester City actually finished second last year and only reached the FA Cup semi-final this year, that’s true suffering.

Anyway, there was finally a crowd today at Wembley, for the Caraboa Cup Final between Martin’s mob and Chas and Dave’s team (Birmingham won this in 2011 you know), and a sure fire sign that normal service is slowly starting to return.

Buzzing boozers on a Saturday night is also a sign that normal service is returning to the pub world and 618 – The Wellington Ale House WS14 9BJ on the outskirts of Lichfield fitted the bill perfectly.

It was known as the Duke of Wellington for years but appears to have been reborn with a new moniker and is on the Birmingham Road next to a disused canal – sorry Pete.

The blurb on their website says it is “A real ale house with a modern twist and a spacious sunny beer garden. Family and dog friendly.”

I had dropped one of my ankle biters off at his mate’s house so a stop off in Lichfield at 7.00pm seemed the next logical step and a pub that allows you to turn up without booking is ideal.

A barmaid with a fag greeted me and once I had zapped my NHS app, she gave me a choice of three tables as the place was jumping. 

There were lots of tables on the actual beer garden and a fair few on the patio and I think this place was as full as anywhere I’ve seen post lockdown.

Soul/blues/motown in the background and the youngest clientele to boot alongside what I would call a proper pub atmosphere.

The lads on the table next to me were howling with laughter and there were lively groups everywhere that made for a crackling atmosphere.

The barmaid came and took my order and I plumped for the Harvest Pale (Castle Rock) and when I asked her for the Wi-Fi code she said, “It’s all the cloud isn’t it”

Not on my blower it wasn’t but no matter as it meant I could soak up the atmosphere and on my obligatory toilet visit note that it is an old skool proper pub inside.

Pubs are back and many a time in the past I have been the sole punter but not anymore – everywhere is rocking and it’s great to see.

24 thoughts on “Square Pegs In Square Holes

  1. “means the only team in the West Midlands to win a major trophy this century (not sure I’ve mentioned that for at least a week)”

    Slow golf clap. 🙂

    “but I can’t miss a chance to praise Lee Bowyer who has totted up 17 points from 8 games”

    Not bad!

    “has found a formula that works – KEEP IT SIMPLE!”

    That’s applicable to more than just footy. 😉

    “whilst BRAPA’s Hull Tigers travails (yesterday excepted) are legendary. ”

    It’s BRAPA. Go figure. 🙂

    “The Wickingman has suffered a few relegations with Burton Albion during his lifetime whilst the Matt AKA the Travelling Barman is waiting for the Baggies to boing their way down to League One any time soon.”

    I could actually figure most of that out. 🙂

    “Martin, of course has it really tough as Manchester City actually finished second last year and only reached the FA Cup semi-final this year, that’s true suffering.”

    LOL. (slow golf clap)

    BTW. Shouldn’t he now be cheering for Sheffield Wednesday? 😉

    “for the Caraboa Cup Final between Martin’s mob and Chas and Dave’s team (Birmingham won this in 2011 you know)”

    Anyone reading your blog would surely know! 🙂

    “and 618 – The Wellington Ale House WS14 9BJ on the outskirts of Lichfield fitted the bill perfectly.”

    Lovely ‘shade and sun’ shot below.

    “and a pub that allows you to turn up without booking is ideal.”

    You will hear no argument from Martin on that.

    “There were lots of tables on the actual beer garden and a fair few on the patio and I think this place was as full as anywhere I’ve seen post lockdown.”

    Things are definitely looking up!

    “and the youngest clientele to boot”

    Definitely not a Spoons then. 😉

    “and when I asked her for the Wi-Fi code she said, “It’s all the cloud isn’t it””

    Blimey. Philosophical barmaids. Whatever next!

    “but no matter as it meant I could soak up the atmosphere and on my obligatory toilet visit note that it is an old skool proper pub inside.”

    Yup. Sometimes soaking up the surroundings is nice. As for the loo visit; is that just old age creeping up or a way to sneak a peak inside? 😉

    “Pubs are back and many a time in the past I have been the sole punter but not anymore – everywhere is rocking and it’s great to see.”

    Whey-hey! As the Hairy Bikers are wont to say. 🙂

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BB the following comment made me wince ‘ everything appears to be going smoothly at St. Andrew’s’ usually at these sort of times we do something to liven things up like sack the manager !!

    Sadly COVID meant that I was unable to make the usual away trip to Pride Park yesterday where the Harvest Pale always goes down a treat at The Alexander Hotel near the station, particularly after a rare win, so your choice of beer yesterday was very appropriate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m just waiting for Bowyer to be sacked, a points deduction, a third stand to be closed and karanka to be reappointed….
      Some great pubs in Derby 👍 Alexandra, Brunswick, Smithfield, Furnace, Dolphin and Exeter Arms to name but a few…. they might be going down though😳

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  3. That disused canal is the Lichfield & Hatherton Canal which is currently being restored. However, the route by The Duke of Wellington isn’t being reused, but the newly restored canal will take a route a bit further south (following Falkland Road). (Still only a short walk to the pub though…if it ever gets finished in my lifetime!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Morning Beermat, I covered the Wellington and the Lichfield Canal on my blog a few years ago (shameless plug time – http://wmexplorer.blogspot.com/2018/04/waterways-walks-lichfield-canal.html). Great pub which always rated highly during its Duke of Wellington days too. Like Pete says, the canal is undergoing restoration and there has been some significant progress resurrecting the line at Fosseway Heaths and Borrowcop Locks. I’m hoping to get back to Lichfield later this year to see how its coming along. Cheers, Paul

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Always happy for a plug for your site WME as some terrific boozy walks on it…am I right in thinking more canals are being restored and as popular as they’ve been for years? Or am I just more aware of it? Rare serious question there!!

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      1. A serious question presumably demands a serious answer (we’ll be in contravention of the pub blogger’s charter to only write drivel if we’re not careful). I certainly think there is an increased awareness of the benefits of canals, both as a key wildlife haven and for the general health and well-being opportunities they represent, especially in these supposedly more enlightened times regarding mental health issues.

        Many of the canal restoration projects I follow have been plugging away for years, sometimes with limited success. Things look particularly promising in Lichfield as some stretches have already been returned to water, although linking it altogether as a continuous line again will be a significant challenge – it’s going to be a while before Pete can take his boat along there, put it that way. A successful restoration that may be of interest is that of the Droitwich Canal (sorry, another plug – http://wmexplorer.blogspot.com/2014/05/waterproof-in-worcestershire.html) Cheers, Paul

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Cheers for that Paul and I reckon there is a bigger interest in canals and restoring railway lines so more to come hopefully 👍 I like that post on Droitwich canal as some more classic canal side (and inland) boozers you’ve visited!

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      3. Interestingly, we did try out the Droitwich Canal for the first time last year and found some good, proper pubs in the town itself!

        In general, though, Paul is right – canal restoration usually takes a loooong time as it is mostly done by hand, by volunteers relying on charitable donations. I hope the Lichfield & Hatherton is completed before I’m too old and infirm to go boating…it’ll be touich and go!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Droitwich has passed me by except for being Rik Mayalls town! However, you and Paul have sold it to me…. I reckon you’ll be on your boat 🚣‍♀️ in Lichfield before the stairlift is required 😃

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  5. That looks a cracker.
    I had no idea this pub existed until a few weeks back on a walk around the outskirts of Lichvegas (just before re opening) it’s now definitely on the list for when pubs return properly. With the owl not far in one direction and the (newish) micro a couple of streets away, it’s the beginnings of a good crawl.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I consider myself very fortunate not to get a mention in you ‘pub bloggers pain with their football teams’ analysis 😉

    You’re right about Birmingman and on the Championship table their end of season performance contrasts beautifully with The Millers’.

    Still we’ve always been happier in League One.

    …great post and a great lacings photo to finish 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Has Rotherham’s chance of survival got anything to do with the season being ended today due to the pandemic and a final league position determined by an algorithm designed by the Department for Education?…
    …if not I fear the worst….. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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