Saturday 24 February 2018

Stockbridge Village

Cantril Farm was a sixties overspill housing estate which soon gained a reputation as the roughest estate in the area, popularly known as Cannibal Farm.  In the mid 1980s the estate was regenerated and lots of work was done to improve matters.  It was renamed Stockbridge Village.

Not a good start to my researches as I found the Barley Mow was tinned up:
Next the Village Inn, formerly the Tithe Barn:
This classic 60s estate pub has retained its original layout inside and what looks like original matchboarding and wooden counter front in the bar.  Nowadays it's certainly not tatty, which is the word I used back in 1998.  The lounge side was closed and inaccessible, so I drank my Guinness in the bar.

A few locals were chatting and playing pool and mostly ignoring the live footy.  Unusually there was greyhound racing on the other screen.

On to the Ploughman, another sixties boozer:
The handful of locals here were very boisterous, but friendly, especially after I provided football updates from my tablet.  The jukebox was so deafening that I hurried my pint to get out of the noise.  The lounge side was closed.

Next, the Black Angus:
Once again a sixties estate boozer, this one looked a bit unwelcoming from the outside to the extent that I wasn't sure it was open until I got inside.  Both sides were operational here and I started in the bar side and then walked round to the more comfortable and equally empty lounge side.  I think there were only about two customers in the place, outnumbered by staff.

The landlady spotted an unfamiliar customer (I don't suppose they get many outsiders in Canny Farm) and came over to introduce herself, so I explained about the guide and showed her the book.  She encouraged me to stay for the Liverpool game when they would be offering free scouse.

I'm no expert but the layout and some of the woodwork look original here, just as they would have been when it was built in the late sixties.  I must say the lounge side was exceptionally tidy and well cared for.
Finally, out of Canny Farm towards my final destination.  First I passed the site of the Princess, just a flattened area and the remains of the sign:
On to the Deysbrook:
I entered the bar to find it quite busy with cheerful locals, almost every seat at the counter was occupied along with most of the tables.  Surprisingly, no football on a Saturday afternoon, all the TVs were showing racing, and some were watching.  I later discovered the footy was on in the lounge side.

There was a steady stream in and out of the door carrying betting slips to and from the bookies in the car park, each one letting an icy blast into the otherwise warm room.

Outside I could see a pleasant beer yard, but it was way too chilly for anyone to use it today, except for one hardy smoker.

Yet another sixties boozer, I think, but there's not so much original inside, perhaps the layout is original.

Halfway down my Guinness, I counted approximately thirty people in the room, of which exactly one was female.  The backgound noise was a solid hubbub of conversations that you just don't come across so often nowadays.

As I got further down my pint an old bloke was setting up speakers and other kit, so I'm guessing it'll be a lot noisier in here later.

An interesting view of the twenty-first century was provided by three young lads who took the table next to me.  They each had a half of lager, back when I was that age I wouldn't be seen dead with a half!  And I still tend to that attitude which is why I can only tick off four or five pubs per trip.


  1. That’s sad to hear, about the Barley Mow! My parents, were the very first landlords of this pub...about 50 years ago, methinks...we watched with baited breath, as it was built, from the ground up! They were the current landlords, at that time..of the United Tithebarn street....I myself..later on..became a hotelier..retired now...but the pub in Australia!

    1. Thanks for that, Lorraine. Sadly many of the sixties pubs are disappearing, and I imagine the Barley Mow will be demolished soon, if it hasn't already been.

      The United Powers is also long gone, I'm afraid.

  2. I use to have a very good friend who drank in there and I've lost contact with him, I was about to ring the barley mow only to find it dont exist anymore gutted I am I have no chance of finding andy now

  3. What a great article. Took me back to the early 1980s in the Ploughman, back in those days we called it the Plough. I spent many happy Saturday and Sunday nights in there with my boyfriend at the time and all his mates and their girlfriends. I think there was about 15 of us most weekends in the lounge. Miss those nights. Anyone remember Sonia

  4. I've been trying to find out about a regular from the ploughman. Karl "Rigger" Rigby. Anyone know if he's still around and how he is ?

    1. I was at school with a Karl Rigby back in the 60s. I'm afraid I have no information about him now.