Tuesday 19 June 2012

The Woolton Pub Crawl 2012

The Woolton Pub Crawl has been an annual event for many years, although I've only been involved since the late 1990s. It used to be a proper gruelling pub crawl, visiting twenty or more pubs starting in the Childwall Abbey at midday. (The best I managed myself was nineteen pubs.) Gradually over the years it has become more "sensible" and the outlying pubs have been dropped from the schedule, and a number have closed. The whole event is now much more of a reunion and get-together.

This year, in a break with tradition, the sequence was reversed, so we started at the Derby Arms, or at least that was the plan as the intrepid organising party stepped off the 89 bus just as the rain started. We headed down to the Derby Arms where a sign in the window said they were closed until 4pm, so we quickly marched on to the Gardeners Arms, managing to arrive just before the heavy rain. This well cared for two sided pub had six hand pumps and I started the crawl with a splendid pint of Hobgoblin. Mobile phones were busy as more participants discovered the Derby Arms was shut. Apart from us, the pub was very quiet, we must have substantially boosted their Saturday afternoon takings.

Fortunately the rain had pretty much finished for the day by the time we headed up the hill to the County Court, a little plainer inside than the Gardeners but well looked after and comfortable. Quite a lot more non-crawlers in here as I drank my Doom Bar.

Along Quarry Street past the Cobden, which was closed, and the Village Inn which is pretty much demolished inside with just the outside walls remaining. No great loss in the case of the Village Inn, it was full of kids and had no real ale last year.

Just a bit further along is the Victoria, a nice friendly quiet place where I had a decent pint of Bombardier if I remember correctly. I think it was empty apart from us.

Time to skip some non real ale pubs: The Grapes is a plain boozer, Cello's is a night club in a large shed, and the Coffee House has always been a bit of a dump. Oh, and the Coach and Horses is now a nursery. 

So, on to the Elephant for a longer stay while everyone caught up - I think some may have paused at the chippy - and two pints of Old Speckled Hen, coincidentally the cheapest beer of the crawl. This place has had a varied history since I first came to Woolton, and was a restaurant for a while, but it's back to being a pub now, and a jolly comfortable one too.

Next, on to the excellent White Horse, recently redecorated but otherwise unchanged, for another pint of something good. This place is always popular, but I managed to get a seat in the main room.

Downhill (purely geographically) towards Gateacre, to the Bear and Staff next. This place doesn't seem to change much, still a very pleasant pub serving good beer.

Finally, on to the Black Bull for a last pint in the very nicely done interior of this listed building. All in all an enjoyable day, and a chance to see a number of people I haven't seen since the last crawl. See you next year!

For those who want to try it, here's my recollection of a full crawl from years gone by:
Childwall Abbey
Falstaff (Now closed?)
Grange Manor(Now Crying Tree)
Gateacre Park Hotel (Now closed and demolished.)
English Rose
Brown Cow
Black Bull
Bear and Staff
White Horse
Baby Elephant (Now Bubble Room)
Coffee House
Coach and Horses (Now closed)
Cello's (Was Chardonay's)
Village Inn (Now closed)
Cobden (Now closed)
County Court
Gardners Arms
Derby Arms
(But not necessarily in exactly that order.)



    1. Was there last night great night good beer, very friendly staff will be going again.