Thursday 7 March 2013


A grey drizzly Thursday saw me nipping under the Mersey by train to Bidston station where the diesel Wrexham service is allowed grudging access to a few yards of Merseyrail track.  I took the diesel unit just one stop to Upton where I noticed the rather tatty Seven Stiles located by the station has been refurbished and renamed Fender.  I wonder where the odd name comes from, I thought, until I checked my records and found it's on the corner of Fender Way.  Anyway, I was heading in the other direction, towards the pretty village of Upton.

The first pub I came to was the Eagle & Crown which is in a very fine 1920s (I guess) building.  Just look at the size of those chimneys!  Sadly, going inside I was disappointed to find a fairly plain and ordinary pub interior, knocked through into one L-shaped room.  No real ale was available so I ordered a pint of Guinness and sat down to listen in on the half a dozen locals chatting at the bar.

Just a minute's walk away is the Horse and Jockey, which looks rather worn outside and in.  The plain, slightly threadbare interior consists of one large knocked through room.  Guinness once again for me as no real ale was available.  The place was pretty deserted, with just a few regulars sitting at the bar, and three youngsters - they needed passports to buy drinks - in one corner.

When I visited Greasby last year I missed out one pub, The Twelfth Man, because it's actually nearer Upton, so now was the time to head westwards and try this one out.  I found a large pleasant pub attached to a Premier Inn, and was pleased to see a Cask Marque sign by the door.  Inside, bare brick and wood beam decor, all fake I suspect.  I chose a pint of Spitfire.  They concentrate on food from the Fayre and Square brand and were doing a steady but slow trade, mostly of diners, on what was by now a rainy Thursday afternoon. 

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