Friday 6 April 2012

Clock Face

What's this? Another pub survey - three in five days? Actually, no, the main reason for my trip out on a sunny Thursday was to have a look at Dream, St. Helens' version of the Angel of the North, which is located on a wooded hill, the former site of Sutton Manor Colliery. Pity about the worker's van, spoiling my photos.

Having enjoyed a stroll in the sunshine round the park I might as well check out a pub so I headed to Clock Face and the never before visited Clock Face pub. Inside the impressive building I found a very nice pub comprising a bar, a lounge with a couple of side areas, and a restaurant. I entered the lounge side and found two hand pumps, one with a clip so I ordered a pint. It was immediately obvious that these hand pumps were purely decorative, as the barmaid disappeared to the bar side to fetch my beer. She returned with a pint with an enormous head on it, plus a half pint glass for topping up! I forget what the beer was but it was very good. The decor in the lounge side included a good collection of clocks, as you might expect. The place was quiet on a Thursday afternoon, with one regular sat at the bar, and a few people heading for the restaurant. I think there were more people in the bar side.

I also took a quick look at the rather fine building that contains the Green Dragon but unfortunately the place appears to be closed.

Tuesday 3 April 2012


Another day, another excursion. Sunday's sunshine was long gone as I set off on a cold grey Monday, my destination this time being Greasby, reached via a bus ride under the river from central Liverpool.

I headed along a country road through the fields to the tiny village of Frankby and the Farmers Arms, finding a rather fine large multi-roomed pub in which the majority of the customers were dining. There weren't many people there on a Monday afternoon. The interior decor was old beams and plasterwork. A good selection of real ales was on offer, and I enjoyed a delicious pint of Hawkshead Bitter.

I strolled back to the centre of Greasby itself, where there is a cluster of three pubs, all deserving of a visit. The Coach & Horses is, perhaps, not much to look at from the outside, but inside is a wonderful cosy antique multi-roomed pub, served from a small counter. I repeated yesterday's mistake and ordered Guinness before spotting the single hand pump which was not on the counter itself but secreted to one side, so I missed out on a pint of Landlord.

Across the road to the strangely named Greave Dunning, a member of the Ember Inns chain. Inside I found well done contemporary decor and a menu at the up market end of food-oriented pubs - For example, the day's specials included venison steak. Decent beer was not neglected, with a small range of real ales, and I had something good called Old Leg Over, I think.

Finally, to the Red Cat. Another chain food pub, a little less posh than the Greave Dunning but still very comfortable, and serving a couple of real ales, I had Greene King IPA.

All in all a very pleasant trip out to four good pubs, and all four never before visited. 1,131 and counting! I have been thinking for some time that there are no more clusters of un-visited pubs left, but I keep finding them.


A beautifully sunny if somewhat chilly Sunday saw me on a train to Lea Green where I bypassed the Bull and Dog and headed off along Elton Head Road, soon reaching the Boar's Head, a pub I've never visited before. My first impression was of a somewhat down at heel establishment and my opinion was not enhanced by the gang of smokers round the door, but once inside I found a rather pleasant and comfortable two sided boozer, sadly not offering real ale. The Liverpool match was on the TVs but no-one in the lounge side was watching the 3D screen, they all seemed to have chosen 2D. That gimmick didn't last very long, did it!

I strolled on through open countryside towards Rainhill, where I aimed for the Coach and Horses. This was packed with footie fans so not wishing to stand in anyone's sight line I quickly ordered a pint of the black stuff at an accessible corner of the bar and then retreated to the snug. Too quickly as it turned out, because I'd missed the two hand pumps further along the counter. No chance to explore but it would seem that the large back room I described last time I was here has become an Indian restaurant.

My final pub on this short excursion was a firm favourite of mine, the beautiful Commercial. This was also full of football fans and I had to stand to drink my pint of Sharp's Doom Bar and watch Liverpool's goalie being sent off.