Battle lines drawn over new bar

The prospect of a new real ale bar in Bearwood has had a mixed response, varying from the wildly enthusiastic to the downright hostile.

The comments on this blog and on the Bearwood Facebook Page have been mostly in favour, with supporters of the Campaign for Real Ale saying they are looking forward to taking a drink (or two) in a bar run by a company which already runs The Wellington in Birmingham City Centre, one of the most popular pubs in the Midlands.

However, some residents in Wattis Road which is directly behind the proposed pub are actively opposed to the possibility of another pub appearing behind their back gardens. One residents has written saying they will fight the proposal all the way, pointing out that they already have the Bear and the Samba Lounge to contend with just yards from their homes. It is unacceptable, they say, for them to have another pub tipping out in the early hours of the morning and disturbing the peace.

Both sides of the controversy have announced they will be writing to the planning department to express their views when the request for a change of use to a public house is considered. Even if the Planning Committee give their approval, the argument is likely to continue as the Council's Licensing Committee will then have to determine whether the premises meet the requirements of the licensing laws.

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12 Responses to Battle lines drawn over new bar

  1. Keith Bracey says:

    Many a slip twixt cup and lip……………..

  2. Michael says:

    Would you please post full details of where residents should write to about this application.

    It will be a great shame if we let it fail because of a few people with limited vision. I simply cant see how a premises fronting onto the High Street will impact Wattis Road. What would they prefer, a wasteland of empty shops, or worse still more fast food outlets?

    • Bob says:

      Michael, those who feel strongly either way can comment online via:
      Or alternatively, write to Dean Leadon, ℅ Planning Department, Sandwell Council House, Oldbury stating you are writing in connection with application DC/13/56689

    • Keith Bracey says:

      Hear! Hear! Michael……The whole point about these Black Country Inns and Taverns pubs is that there is NO loud music and louts spilling onto the streets at 2.00 waking up the locals….These pubs are for real ale aficionados who like beer, not youngsters who have no regard for their community and get slammed on fizzy lager and pop……

      I would name the pub ‘Bill’s Bar’ in tribute to General Bill Slim who was born and lived not 400 metres away from this pub in Poplar Avenue, Bearwood.

      There is a Birmingham Civic Society Blue Plaque in tribute to General William ‘Bill’ Slim who was from Bearwood and led the ‘Forgotten Army’ of largely Birmingham soldiers and Indian Army regulars in the Second World War Burma Campaign in 1944/5 which saved India from the marauding Imperial Japanese Army at the Battles of Imphal and Kohima in Burma

      Some years ago when Cardinal Newman RC Secondary Modern School in Poplar Avenue, Bearwood was demolished, Chris Sutton of Smethwick Heritage Centre, now renamed Smethwick Museum, The ‘Museum in the Park’ at The Lodge in Victoria Park on Smethwick High Street approached Birmingham City Council to sound them out about naming two of the roads on the new housing estate to be built in Poplar Avenue on the site of the old Cardinal Newman School.

      Chris had the idea of naming two of the roads on the new Poplars Development after the two war heroes born in Poplar Avenue: General Bill Slim and Major Herbert James VC.

      Major Herbert James VC won his medal at Gallipoli in 1915.

      Both of these two war heroes from different conflicts have Blue Birmingham Civic Society Plaques on the houses they lived in in Poplar Avenue, Bearwood.

      Sadly, Chris Sutton did not even receive the courtesy of a reply from Birmingham City Council

      ‘Bill’s Bar’ would be my choice for a name for this pub in the former HSBC Bank premises on Bearwood Road named after Viscount William ‘Bill’ Slim, a true Bearwood hero

  3. Marie Scott says:

    Well I think it’s a bloody marvellous idea! As cask conditioned ale is too be served, I think that a more fitting name should be “THE WHEEL TAPPERS AND SHUNTERS” as it would attract the “Men of the Midlands” and ladies should enjoy a “milk stout” and the only music that should be played should be “Country Music” or “folk law rhymes”. Why shouldn’t Bearwood high st be like Broad street. Why should we travel! if we can have it all on our doorstep. Bearwood needs too be brought alive again. With a real ” quality managed” Public House. (inn)

  4. Drew says:

    Who needs another pub on the high st?

    The evil overlords that have been running the Wellie have been deceiving punters for years! Hoodwinking peons with their chemical free “real ale” – I wanted Mexican\Colombian (brewed in Burton) fizzy pish Can you imagine how distraught I was to discover local ales brewed by small independent breweries on sale here!

    And they have the audacity to threaten to bring this to my Bearwood (the Broad St of the Wesht)?

    I shall be waiting at the doors 10:59am ready to speak to the Owner.

    On a side note:

    I think we need a Greggs\Estate agent combo – sells you a 3rd home whilst you tuck into a nutritious I can’t believe its not steak bake.

  5. Keith Bracey says:

    I had a tour of ‘The Two Towers Brewery’ which lies just off Constituion Hill near Great Hampton Street just over the road from the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham…..

    They have some fantastic ‘Birmingham-themed’ Ales like the ‘Jewellery Quarter Porter’ ‘Livery Street Mild’ , BSA, ‘Birmingham Special Ale’, ‘Baskerville Bitter’ and the ‘Crowning Glory’ for me, as someone brought up in Brummagem in the 1960’s and 70’s…..the ‘Bhacker Ackham’s’ Premium Ale…..which will resonate to most Brummies as to conduct a tryst at ‘The Back of Rackham’s’ was to consort with a lady of ‘Dubious Morality’……….Geddit……????

    The Two Towers Brewery is run by the Arnott-Job brothers, whose Mom Marion Arnott-Job was a prominent Labour Politician in Birmingham in the 1970’s and 80’s and is a former Lord Mayor of Birmingham

    More power to their collective elbows as we sup our ‘Real’ Ales………

  6. Paul says:

    I think that this is a fantastic idea…I regularly use the lych gate tavern in Wolverhampton that is part of the black country ales pub co and as Keith rightly says is a “real ale pub” with no music,sky sports or entertainmnent-just great ale at good prices-the type of clients this kind of pub attracts aren’t the kind that like lager or alcopops so it’s hold attract a more discerning punter!…its certainly better than it being turned into another charity shop or fast food outlet!!

  7. Keith Bracey says:

    Hear! hear! Paul……no more Charity Shops and Takeaways in Bearwood please…..a real ale bar or a decent Gents outfitter or a toy store……for me…..

    Just look at the success of The Coffee Lounge where Dalloway’s Fruit and Veg used to be in the 1960’s and 1970’s…..

    Me Owd Mom Dot used to send me to Dalloway’s for the spuds and just opposite on Bearwood Road to George Mason’s Grocers.

    Me Dad Les Bracey known locally as The ‘Harborne Tarzan’ thanks to his remarkable resemblance to Hollywood Tarzan actor and Olympic Swimming Champ: ‘Johnny Weismuller’ sent me to the Newsagents for a pink Sports Argus newspaper on Saturday nights.

    Les had a ‘larger than life’ cartoon drawn by Roy Ullyet in the ‘Sporting Pink’ Argus before I was born in the 1950’s.

    I came along in 1958 and our first home was the flat above ‘The Chop Suey Bar’ in Three Shires Oak Road, Bearwood after I was born in St Chad’s Maternity Hospital just down the Hagley Road in April 1958

    I also used to go to ‘The Outdoor’ as Off Licences were known by Brummies next door to the Newsagents (does anyone know what the newsagents’ name was?)

    I recall Mrs Gregory working there as I was at George Dixon Grammar School for Boys with her son Pete Gregory who was a magnificent sportsman at GD and 4 or 5 years above me, so would be about 60 nowadays……we all lived in Willow Avenue just off Sandon Road on The Poplars Estate.

    Does anyone remember Chevington’s Dairy and ‘Old Mr Chevington’ who was a shopkeeper just like Ronnie Barker’s ‘Arkwright’ from ‘Open All Hours’!

    Chevington Lodge, the Chevington family’s bungalow is still on the corner of Poplar Avenue and Sandon Road……

    I would be sent to ‘The Outdoor’ by me Mom Dot for a bottle of Bulmer’s ‘Woodpecker’ Cider……..or some sherry out of the cask behind the counter……All these ‘Outdoors’ were owned by Mitchell’s & Butler’s Brewery at Cape Hill for whom I also played Birmingham League Cricket for from 1972 till 1984 when I went to Nottingham University to study to become a History Teacher at Handsworth Grammar School and Solihull School where I also coached rugby

    Happy seventies days in Bearwood doing the errands for me Mom Dot Bracey……God Bless her and God rest her Soul……..Keith Bracey

  8. Gurinder says:

    Okay, so I can find the bear. I know where the mud cafe is. Hopefully it’s around that strip, it sounds like that from the above article. Thanks


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