WEST MIDLANDS - Netherton, Old Swan
An historic pub interior of national importance
89 Halesowen Road, Netherton, DY2 9PY
Tel: 01384 253075
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 1100-2300; Sun 1200-1600, 1900-2300.
Draught Beer & Cider: Home brew: Old Swan Original, Dark Swan, Entire, Bumble Hole.
Public Transport: Bus: 143.
Pub Food: Meals.
Listed Status: Grade II
View this pub in WhatPub
An institution - if asking for directions locally always say "Ma Pardoe's". A legendary pub in the annals of real ale - when CAMRA was formed in 1971 it was one of only four pubs to have kept its home-brewing tradition since built. This tradition has been broken in the meantime but has recommenced. Licenced since 1835, the current pub and brewery were built in 1863.
The front bar is unaltered since Victorian times - apart from the fact that the attractive, bright red paint is unlikely to be authentic. It is one of the most distinct public bars in the whole of the UK. The most remarkable feature is the enamel ceiling (possibly unique) bearing a picture of the eponymous swan; an old stove still in use with its flue running across the room; and a weighing machine. It retains the original six-bay Victorian bar back featuring an etched mirror 'The Old Swan', an original bar counter with a new top, and old fixed seating. Leaving the public bar by the right-hand door and the other side of a partition wall is the tiny off-sales lobby with a two-part glazed hatch and basic seating attached to the partition. Making up the original pub is the rear smoke room with a etched glass panel in the door, Victorian tiled and marble (?) fireplace with elaborate mirror panel above; service via a hatch to the back of the bar, a good ceiling rose and original fixed seating with baffles at either end. Also a dumb waiter between the off-sales and the smoke room with an old cast base fireplace nearby and a hatch to the back of the bar. In the 1980s, the adjoining shop was acquired and absorbed into the pub as a new lounge, but this has no impact on the historic core - a model of how to make a traditional pub viable without ruining it. A rear passageway with new toilets off links it to the original pub on the right.