The George Inn


I was travelling through Wednesbury from a delicate evening of culture the piss up with Andy, and was in dire need of a slash. Against local custom, I passed by shop doorways, and elected for the first pub I came to: The George Inn. It’s a 60s-looking building, and from the outside looked closed at first, but closer inspection showed that only one side of the considerable space was lit. It looks to be up for sale.

The barman was friendly, and my pint of Carling was cheap (but then it was Carling, so like making love in a boat), and he let me charge my phone for a few minutes. I’d suspect this pub was crowded at one time, but Wednesbury has fallen on hard(er) times: there were only 3 other customers at 9pm ish on a Saturday. By no means dreadful but no ale or decent lager, so I continued my journey quickly.

The Horse and Jockey


I’d met Andy in the White Rose, and he expressed an interest in the Horse & Jockey round the corner. I’m never one to refuse a visit to a new pub, so we went in. It’s an odd place, evidently recently refurbed, and with a mix of ages as clientele. The music was over-loud, and no ale, so we settled for mild and Guinness- the former was a bit rough, the latter OK. It wasn’t a terrible pub, but spoiled by the below-par beer and loud music delivered from huuuuge speakers. We departed for The Trumpet (oddly closed), and settled on The Henry Newbolt.

Tommy Ducks


Near to the Pleasure Beach and the South Pier, this has the seafront position. We dropped in, tired after a day wandering (and a ride on The Big One for me), while I searched Google for a nearby Chinese restaurant. It was a mix of good and bad: the glasses were plastic, but better than the usual cups. No ale, but drinkable Stella (a repeated story of this trip…), and friendly staff that were working hard, but nowhere near enough of them judging by the filthy tables and piles of dirty glasses, and the wait at the bar. We sat outside in the sun at the only clear table, next to one with discarded not-even-half-eaten meals, so overall not a good impression, but there was nothing wrong with our drinks and the prices were OK.

The Bispham Hotel

Bispham, Blackpool:

The only ale I got on our Blackpool trip. Some way north of the main attractions, but very near a tram stop, this is a lovely thirties pub, with some great features, owned by the Samuel Smith’s chain. I’d class the exterior as a bit more Arts and Crafts than Art Deco, but the inside has strong Art Deco touches.

There’s no music, no TVs, and no kids :-). Added to that, the prices are stunning: a pint of bitter and a half of cider came to £3.27, little more than the pint alone would cost in many places, and not much of an increase over a visit to a Sam Smith’s pub in 2008.

The Bull Hotel


Passed this on our first walk to the seafront, having taken the long route because we couldn’t see the short one in the dark. It’s on Waterloo Rd, just back from the seafront.

It looks like a modern refurb from outside, inside is traditional, and pleasant, but not prisitine & sparkly bay any means- but I like that. It’s fairly large and open plan inside, and gave the impression of being less of a tourist pub than many.

Friendly staff and customers: no ale, but the lager was OK.

The Laughing Donkey


The bar on the South Pier. It sells itself as a family bar, and that’s pretty much what it is. There’s mixed entertainment aimed at the audience. In short, it’s just the place I hate and detest…

…however, in context, it’s fine. It’s ordinary families having fun on holiday, and as it was a warm night we sat outside and enjoyed the view over night-time Blackpool. It won’t win any prizes for beer (no ale…) or for relaxed ambience, but it was OK.

The Yeadon Way


It’s a Brewer’s Fayre, so a family feedbag blandfest, next to a Premier Inn. However, it was nearly 9pm, and we needed food and alcohol, so in we went.

It wan’t bad. Pretty devoid of atmosphere, of course, and the beer selection was the standard keg rubbish, but the Stella was OK, the wine OK, the staff efficient, and the food OK too. The pub exists mostly to serve as the Premier Inn’s restaurant, so expect children, but this wasn’t a problem.