Ale & Hearty


The Railway Tavern in 1993 – was that really 20 years hence? It was always a nice looking pub and a landmark on the Lichfield Road. Image kindly supplied by Mike Leonard.

Reader and friend of the blog Mike Leonard has been in touch. He’s supplied some utterly remarkable images of two of Brownhills lost pubs; the Railway Tavern and The Wheatsheaf. I’ve been looking for decent images of these two boozers for years – the only ones I knew of were on David Hodgkinson’s excellent site, and I was after something a bit more detailed.

Both alehouses have been mentioned in a recent article in the Ogley Square triptych, with the Railway Tavern not fairing well in public opinion of the 1930s. The Railway Tavern stood on the corner of Lichfield Road and Narrow Lane, and The Wheatsheaf on the corner of Ogley Road and Mill Road, on the site of the old Ogley Square. Both were replaced in the 1990s by housing developments.

Mike said:

Hi Bob,

These few scans may be of interest to some readers on your blog.I found them in my late Fathers photo collection and intend to get around to uploading them onto Flickr or similar.

The photos of the Tavern is dated 1993. I also have some photos of the Super Alloys chimney stack as it stood prior to demolition in 1988 and the site after demolition. There are some more photos that require further dating.



Well, Mike, I thank you profusely for suppling these great pictures – the Wheatsheaf in particular didn’t seem to have been well recorded, and I’m proud and honoured to be able to add your father’s pictures to the historical record.

I welcome any further images you want to share and I’m sure readers will help date them for you. Please do fire away.

If anyone else has photos of historical interest, please do share. You can mail them to me at BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.


The Wheatsheaf – a noted, some would say notorious boozer in Ogley Road. Image supplied by Mike Leonard.

wheatsheaf sign

The Wheatsheaf sign – that’s a good one. Wonder if it survives anywhere? Image generously supplied by Mike Leonard.

Tavern sign

Is this perhaps the only recorded use of Thomas the Tank Engine on a pub sign? Did the Reverend Aubrey approve, I wonder? A remarkable Image supplied by Mike Leonard.

Tavern a

The Railway Tavern was deceptively large. A few merry Brownhillians staggered over that threshold over the years! Image generously supplied by Mike Leonard.

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7 Responses to Ale & Hearty

  1. Warren Parry says:

    Both the Railway and the Sheaf had great discos on during the mid eighties. The Sheafs friday night disco was the one to be at though, with poly on the decks. I think the landlrds name was Wright at that time, he was the predesessor to Brad Cooksey.

  2. Pedro says:

    Many thanks to Mike for sharing the pictures.

  3. Clive says:

    Great photos Dave and Bob, thank yiu

  4. Peter Leek says:

    Many a happy hour spent supping in the Tavern and Friday night’s disco was without a doubt the best around. Ron and Pat were great at running the Tavern, even had my 18th party there.

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  6. Vicki says:

    Ron and Pat are my parents! I remember great dancing and dad fighting to beat mum over the bar to pull apart a scrap!

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