Best real ale pubs in Redditch – guest post by Robert


Wetherspoon - The Royal Enfield - The Old Cine...

Wetherspoon – The Royal Enfield – The Old Cinema – Unicorn Hill, Redditch (Photo credit: ell brown)

With traditional British pubs closing at an alarming rate, it’s great to find a place that still has lots of knowledgeable barmen offering proper craft beer on tap in cosy surroundings. If you love a decent real ale or craft beer, you have to pay Redditch a visit. Here are some of the highlights of the local beer scene…

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Redditch Pool League – The Golden Girls


English: A British standard pool table, showin...

English: A British standard pool table, showing a cue ball and a red/yello ball close to the (smaller) pocket. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are now four weeks in to the Summer league of the Redditch Pool Season, with ten weeks to go of the group stages before the finals rounds. The Golden Girls have found our core team members, our regular girls who turn up each week for practise and matches, and we have a nice selection of additional players for when they are required. Our first four matches have helped us learn a lot. We may not be winning but we are improving already and can only get better, right?… Continue reading

The Death of Great British Traditions – Public Houses


The interior of a typical English pub, in this...

The interior of a typical English pub, in this case the Penruddocke Arms, which lies between Dinton and Wilton in Wiltshire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A number of great British traditions are dying and it can all be linked back to one thing – The Government. Not just the current one, this is something Labour, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives can all take the blame for.

It all started with alcohol, the death of the local public house. Sure, there are still pubs, but there are not as many and they are not what the used to be. Over 4500 Uk pubs have closed down since 2008. In reality I am too young to remember properly the ‘old’ pub lifestyle. I wasn’t one of those kids who grew up in a ‘pub’ family. My parents rarely frequented the local smoke-filled bars, but I am aware of what these places were like to a degree. Continue reading

The Golden Girls – Redditch Pool Summer League.


A British standard pool table, showing a cue b...

A British standard pool table, showing a cue ball and a red/yellow ball close to the (smaller) pocket. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Summer league is underway for Pool games here in Redditch. Last night was the first game of the season and saw the Golden Cross Pub entering four teams into the competition – The Big Potatoes, Stoppit, The Cross Cues and The Golden Girls.

I am captain of the Golden Girls, our only all female team, and (I believe) the only all girl team in the league. Continue reading

Pool – The serious side of the Pub game


A British standard pool table, showing a cue b...

Image via Wikipedia

I only started playing pool in April this year when I stumbled into a new pub with my mate Ellie on a night out and though I was rather drunk and teetering in high heels and a short skirt she challenged me to a game.  I ha never played before and didn’t know that she is actually something of a star player for her own pub team! Arrghhh…

Following that fateful night (somehow amazingly I wasn’t 7 balled that first time I played – more about 7 ball shortly…) I ended up returning to the same pub regularly from then on – to play pool! I have to admit I was absolutely useless, but thankfully Ellie agreed to give me some lessons.  It still took quite some time before I could actually pot a ball by choice rather than some kind of fluke.  I became well known in the pub as the ‘7 Ball Queen’, I got 7 balled more times than anyone they had ever seen play before (much to my dismay it still happens from time to time now 😦 gutted!). Basically pub rules state that if you get 7 balled in a pool game you have to do one of the following –

If you are a bloke – Drop your trousers, two laps round the table

If you are a bird – Top off, two laps round the table

Being 7 balled means the other player has potted all 7 of their balls and the black ball, and you still have all 7 of your balls on the table, as you can see this is something to be avoided unless you like getting your kit off  – which is what everyone at the pub thinks I enjoy, they think I get 7 balled deliberately, this isn’t the case (honestly) I am/was just really crap at playing the game! :/ Luckily the 7-ball rule doesn’t apply in matches, it’s only a pub rule not a league rule (and probably not a rule in all pubs, lol). By the way, this is the British pool game I am talking about, with 7 red and 7 yellow balls as opposed to US Pool with the stripes and spots balls, which we know as Billiards.

Luckily everyone at the pub is really friendly, so me showing off my bra on a regular basis was barely worth casting a glance at after the first half dozen times, lmao, and we have a great laugh all the time.  After I started improving my game and can actually beat people occasionally I was asked to join the pub’s pool team, ‘The Cross Cue’s’ for the Summer league matches, in the Redditch and Studley League.  I still don’t really think I’m good enough for being on a team, but then we aren’t a strong team anyway… The summer season is almost over and we have not won a single match 😦 Hopefully we can do better in the winter league as we should be against teams that are similar in ability to ourselves for the new league set-up! Here are the stats from the summer league (I’m in 81st place, not as bad as I expected! lol)

Still, the main thing is we play for the enjoyment of the game and while it would be nice to win I think it better that we have fun, some of the teams we have played are sooo serious they are boring!  They need to loosen up a bit, okay they might win, but do they actually enjoy the game anymore?

We have become quite close knit on our team and even get together for the pub quiz night and other events as well, not just for the matches and practice – it’s like a little family. Some players aren’t so close, some come and go, but the core group remains pretty much the same all the time, myself, Sam (our captain), Stretch, Rash, Dolly Annabelle (our mascot), Chris (part-timer/mascot), Ollie, Meggs, and Ben (gone but hopefully we can get him back). We have had a change in staff at the pub since I first started playing here, Gill and Glenn were great but now moved on, and now we have Mandi and Foz who are also great and not forgetting the rest of the team Jodie, Ollie, Cam, Jazz and Dan of course – quiz master extraordinare and Queen of the Cross 😀

I’ll let you know how we get on in the Winter league! 😉