Thursday 24 March 2022

Greasby and Upton

Upstairs at the front of the bus for a ride through the tunnel and on to Greasby.  My original idea for today's jaunt had me starting at the Farmer's Arms in Frankby, followed by a pleasant country stroll to Greasby, hence my choice of today with its sunny weather, but this morning's pre-flight checks revealed that the Farmer's closed last year.  So, no rural walk, and I started in the pub closest to the first bus stop in Greasby, the Red Cat:

I wonder from when this building dates?  Could it be a rare 1970s construction?

A very large pleasantly decorated chain dining pub, this, run by Greene King.  No less than six handpumps on the counter, all with the clips turned round, so I had my usual Guinness.

A few diners created some background chatter in the mostly empty space, while the music, which had accidentally slipped into St Patrick's Day mode a week late, returned to more normal selections once the manager had adjusted the machine.

The tellies were showing golf.  I wonder if I'll catch any of the cricket later.

Next, a short walk to the Coach and Horses:

This gem of a pub continues unchanged, I'm pleased to say.  A number of small rooms with antique wooden bench seats, and just a small counter, sporting four handpumps from which I selected a lovely Reverend James.  I remember last time I was here the only handpump was at the back of the bar and I didn't spot it until I'd ordered a Guinness.

Worryingly, I was the only customer at two on a Thursday, just two more came in as I enjoyed my pint.

There was racing commentary, I think, providing low level background noise, but the main sound was the landlord's young child.  (Who was not loud enough to be annoying, I hasten to add.)

I wonder how much of the lovely interior to this pub is truly historic?  I've got a sneaking suspicion it was all done in the 1960s.  "Fake" or not, it's a wonderful place.

Next, across the road to the oddly named Greave Dunning:

Standard Ember Inns styling in here, but less cookie-cutter than some, I think, helped by a higledy-piggeldy layout.

Eight handpumps on the counter, but I didn't look further than my favourite Plum Porter, which was excellent.

At half two on a Thursday afternoon this place was amazingly busy, a steady queue at the counter resulting in lots of drink and food sales.  The background music was almost entirely drowned out by chatter.

I eyed up the blackboard by the counter.  Coming soon Oakham Citra.  One of the few beers better than Plum Porter!  From my corner I could observe the handpumps:  A decent amount of cask was being sold, and the Wainwright ran out as I watched.

I couldn't get over how popular this place was.  It wasn't full, there were a few available tables, but it was one of the busiest pubs I've been in for years, I think.  Despite two bar staff working efficiently, there was sometimes a queue at the counter.  Good news indeed.  Now we need a few customers to go across the road to the Coach and Horses.  A different demographic, perhaps?

Is it really ten years since I last surveyed Greasby?  It doesn't seem any different.  Good thing too.

Now a bit of a quandary. Should I tick the Graevsberrie, last done in 2019, or move straight on to Upton where there are two 2013 and one 2019 targets?  I think I'll stick to the oldest ticks, and catch a bus to Upton.

At Upton, ignoring the Bow-Legged Beagle last ticked in 2019, I headed into the Horse and Jockey:

Back in 2013 I described this classic 60s boozer as "a little threadbare".  No longer true, it's still a traditional boozer, but well maintained and cared for, and deservedly doing well.

The two handpumps on the counter were merely ornamental, I think, so it was Guinness for me.

"Now 70s" was mostly drowned out by the cheerful chatter of the regulars.  Other tellies had Now 80s instead, causing a bit of a clash!  The Partridge Family doesn't really mix with Duran Duran, creating something of a cacophony.

Now 70s played a few of my favourites, hang on, that's fifty years ago.  Suddenly I feel very old.

The barmaid busied herself hanging a new card of pork scratchings on the bar back, amid much barracking from the regulars sitting at the counter.

I have visited far too many empty pubs on Thursday afternoons post COVID, so it was good to find another one doing well today.

Finally, the Eagle & Crown:

Two operational handpumps, I chose Thwaites Gold.  The barmaid had great difficulty in pulling it and eventually consulted the landlady, who gave some advice, than tried to demonstrate, and then headed down to the cellar to fix the problem.  "The Wainwright is OK" said the barmaid so I switched to that.  Just as she'd finished pulling an excellent pint of Wainwright the landlady returned having resolved the problem, so I had to apologise for wasting her time, luckily she said she had to fix it anyway.

The interior of this pub, though pleasant enough, doesn't really live up to the magnificent exterior, I think.

The place was ticking over very well at half four on a Thursday, quite a few regulars scattered about the place, but there was plenty of room for more customers.

Racing commentary was mixing with chatter, chatter winning.  No cricket, I'm afraid, but as England were 46 for 3 at lunch, I'm not sure I wanted to know!

Time to go home.  In contrast to last week there were no new pubs today, but the ones I visited were last done nine or ten years ago, so five very desirable ticks.

My bus back to Liverpool was making horrible noises and was eventually terminated in Birkenhead, so I passed under the river by train instead.

Pub of the day: Coach & Horses, a gem.
Miles walked: Hardly any.  Maybe I should measure train miles and bus miles as well!
Maybe coming soon: Southport


  1. There are two reviews of the Farmers Arms this year for Trip Advisor.

    1. Strange. Trip Advisor and the pub's own web site say it's closed, so I'm not sure whether it is or not.