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Shropshire's Historic Pubs

Salopian Signpost
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...
Kieron McMahon 28th December 2009

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