I was given a book present at Christmas. It has probably been out for a while but
just in case here's the details... "Shropshire's Historic Pubs" by Jan Dobryzynksi is a paperback packed with wonderful pub photographs that
capture the spirit of the Salop Boozer.
The official blurb is ..... "With literally hundreds to choose from,
and hundreds visited, the task of selecting a representative number of
historic pubs in Shropshire was fraught with difficulty. The search to
find the choicest establishment took the authors through each of the
county's towns and villages, along its river, over the rugged
Shropshire Hills and along the county's highways, byways, railways and
canals. There are certainly more pubs discovered than could be fitted
into this book, but sixty of the best are presented here, all of
differing origins and styles and dispersed evenly throughout the
entire county. Suffice it to say, these pubs are the best in
Shropshire and certainly have a history behind them. Some even boast
tales of witchcraft, resident ghosts or folklore. Having visited them
all, the author wholeheartedly recommends them to anyone seeking good
ale, food, hospitality and history."
If I have a criticism it is a bit light on the history of many of the
pub's featured and rather a description of how the pubs are today. Not
that this is such a bad thing as it is sort of combines the Good Beer
Guide and Good Pub Guide with information on the pub layout, what
beers are served and who the publican is. The latter may make the book
rather ephemeral but, hey, Jan can always publish an updated version
in the future.
Overall, I have enjoyed reading it over the Christmas period. In fact,
if you love pubs then you'll undoubtedly find the book rather
wonderful. You can even pack it in your walking bag/cycle panniers/glove compartment or whatever and re-read the relevant page whenever
you visit one of the featured pubs - as indeed you should because most
of Shropshire's best pubs are covered.
Incidentally, the author did publish a similar book for Worcestershire
which he compiled with Keith Turner who I assume is the same Keith
Turner who put out a book on Birmingham's pubs. The latter had more
than the odd blooper but you can forgive such things when they are
done in the right spirit.
So, I assume you are clicking on Amazon right now...
28th December 2009