The Skylark is the only pub left standing in Castle Vale. Gone are the Artful Dodger, the Trade Winds, The Lancaster, The Albatross and The Trees.
Perhaps pubs are no longer as much a part of English life as they used to be. Clubs, restaurants, drinking at home… have they replaced the good old English pub?
Castle Vale is unrecognisable from the place it was ten years ago. But for some who haven’t visited it in recent years, its reputation stays the same. There’s a campaign in Birmingham that wants to rid Birmingham of its poor reputation. It’s called, rather sadly, ‘Birmingham’s not
sxxt‘. Its calendar is on sale around the City centre.
It has a website, and over the past months, various contributors to its forum have been discussing the merits of various pubs of the ‘old days’ and assessing which is entitled to the claim of ‘ the hardest pub in Birmingham’.
As an indication of Vale’s low reputation amongst the drinking classes, here is a selection of the comments:
Comment A: What about the (ex)Trooper in Chelmsley Wood. The Artful Dodger or the Trade Winds on Castle Vale ? Or , dare I say it, The Bagot !
Comment B: The Trade Winds on the Vale certainly takes some beating, but I’d like to nominate the British Oak in Stirchley. Go in there on your own without a crash helmet on and you’ll certainly take some beating.
Comment C: what about the shotgun in castle vale (well its what the locals call it).
Comment D: Some that I came across that have long lingered in the memory and some that I have heard great things about are;the Bagot, Pype Hayes. The Chester Arms, Castle Bromwich.The Mackadown .The Stockland, Stockland Green.The Skylark, Castle Vale.The Yenton, Wylde Green.
Comment E : The Adventurers – by Villa Park. The Dubliner – Digbeth. The Skylark, Lancaster, Trade Winds, Artful Dodger, ( or anything on the Vale).
Comment F: Been in Bondi for 20yrs I remember drinkin in yates wine bar then over to the windsor & parrsiene? had me scooter nicked from round the corner there.In the suburbs always thought the bulls head and swan yardley full of Skins on cov rd. Castle Vale was cool lots of good drugs.
Times change, so do places. But reputations linger a little longer !