You left me in the Saracens Head on the A34 in Solihull’s premier drinking suburb AKA Shirley amidst men in blue vests, men in sunglasses and men with lots of tattoos on their calves.
Two of the aforementioned trio were in my drinking party, as we performed the well-known Shirley Decathlon, which takes in ten boozers at a pace Daley Thompson would have approved of.
The Drawbridge, The Colebrook, The Shaking Hand, The Red Lion, The Pump House, Craft Inn Shirley and Saracens Head had taken us up to a tally of seven with just three left to get ourselves on the podium
The comments section have uncovered not one but TWO of the Midlands finest pub quizmasters in Pete Allen (Ember Inns guru) and Planetearthisblue who was the Bob Holness of The Lodge – Solihull Lodge’s only remaining pub – back in the nineties.
And their starter for ten? Which floppy fringed baggy band from the early nineties had a top three hit with a cover version of the Beatles classic tune Strawberry Fields Forever?
All musical gurus such as Mark Shirley and Mudgie will know that it is Candy Flip whilst Duncan and Martin will of course remember the original version.
So, why I am wittering on about a song covered by a duo from Stoke on Trent? In true LifeAfterFootball fashion, the tenuous link is because our last port of the call on the night was 635 – Strawberry Fields B90 3DN
The last time I was in here for a pint was way back in 1993 celebrating Blues stopping up (nothing ever changes) with a last gasp win over Charlton and Karen Brady was in there learning all the words to Keep Right On in her pre Apprentice days.
Anyway, I digress and earlier in the evening we hit pub number 8 and it was a visit to the last newbie on the Parkgate development 636 – Desco Lounge B90 3GG.
The craic was good,
the beer was flowing and BrewDog (Dead Pony) was in fine form
in an era where they were front page news for their beer.
Next port of call was a revisit for me to the Plume of Feathers where we caught up with some more old faces and this boozer is still a locals pub that happens to be situated on the main drag through Shirley.
Strawberry Fields was where we settled down to watch England’s
Birmingham AFA League Division Six international friendly against the might of Austria.
I think this was once classed as a wine bar back in the day but has long since given up on that pretence and this is definitely a pub where you can have a laugh, play darts and watch live sport.
The conversation quickly turned to cricket and tales of largesse as England and Austria played out a rerun of the infamous Germany 1-0 Austria game from the 1982 World Cup whereby neither side laid a glove on each other apart from one goal.
No cask (as I recall) so it was Carling all the way here but the service was good, the atmosphere was good, sport was on the box and the pub is always more important than the beer.
A top day had by all and with The Shaking Hand in the GBG then Shirley will have a few more visitors than usual this year (well, at least three).
The phrase ‘something for everyone’ springs to mind and with a train station, bus route and The Lodge (Solihull Lodge) and Bulls Head (Hall Green) in close proximity then the possibilities are endless.
Don’t Call Me Shirley!