The Tamworth overspill is one of those areas in the Midlands that is rich with none too salubrious boozers but, ultimately, the sort of places pub tickers love.
665 – The Gamecock Inn B78 1AH in Birchmoor is, to all intents and purposes, an estate style boozer set in the countryside on the edge of a North Warwickshire village with plenty of greenery in close proximity.
It is one of the glorious former mining villages such as the likes of my favourite pub town, Coalville along with Whitwick, which are home to some terrific no nonsense boozers.
Birchmoor is a smaller village and very much feels like a Coleshill/Kingsbury style boozer with thick as treacle Brummie accents permeating the room in what is a real traditional two-roomer.
A quarry-tiled floor greeted me on a Saturday just after midday with a group of funny blokes putting the world to rights in the bar and a pub dog greeted me on the bench seating.
There’s a room to the right as you walk in with different beermats to the bar, always the sign of a proper pub, with a pool table but the action is centred in the bar.
The barmaid starting pulling me a pint of Foxes Hat (Church End) but said “I reckon that’s on the turn, I wouldn’t so why don’t you try this instead?”
She pointed me towards the Fallen Angel (Church End) which was excellent. It’s always good to have a barmaid who recognises cask is on the wane and can offer an alternative.
However, as in all good pubs, no one was talking about the beer too much and topics ranged from the evacuation of Afghanistan as well as a bloke saying his son had got lost on the motorway and when he asked him what he could see he replied “A sprinter and a Merc!”
Another geezer walked in with razor sharp wit and responded to one of the blokes already settled in with “Is anyone there? I thought I was talking to the curtains” due to the outfit he was wearing which brought a round of F**** and plenty of laughter.
The landlady emerged and revealed that bottles of Wainwright’s were becoming increasingly popular and one of the lads sitting down concurred and there was also Guinness, Stella and Carling on the agenda.
Everyone made a point of saying goodbye when I left and I reckon there’s a good local footfall throughout the day as one of the punters was popping in after a shopping stint.
Top class pub, one of those places that is often overlooked but sells proper beer, is not for the faint hearted and I reckon most of Birchmoor and the surrounding chimney pots pop in here on a regular basis.