AN HISTORIC railway pub has been named as the Pub of the Month.
The One-Legged Shunter at Foxfield Railway, Caverswall Road, Blythe Bridge, has been named the September Pub of the Month by Potteries Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Branch.
The Foxfield Railway was once home to Foxfield Colliery, with a branch railway line being built in 1892 to 1893 to provide a link to The North Staffordshire Railway.
Foxfield Colliery and its railway line was closed in August 1965 by the National Coal Board.
The Foxfield Light Railway Society was subsequently formed in 1967 by a group of enthusiasts, local volunteers and ex-colliery employees in order to preserve the line, and were successful in saving a two-and-three-quarter mile section of the track.
The Railway is run entirely by unpaid volunteers and is owned by The Foxfield Light Railway Society Ltd, a company limited by guarantee with charitable status and run on a not-for-profit basis.
The Caverswall Road station building was originally built in 1982 with the front extension added in 1995, with the bar opening in 1996 after a successful campaign by some of the members to have an on-site bar to relax in after a day's volunteering on the railway.
The bar has been managed by Hayley Hall for the past two years, during which time she has actively marketed the bar more towards the general public.
The bar is run by a small group of unpaid volunteers.
Since the introduction of a Local Resident's Discount card, a scheme to encourage custom from neighbouring villages of Blythe Bridge, Caverswall, Dilhorne and Forsbrook, the bar has become a very popular at the weekends.
CAMRA Members also receive a generous discount of 40p off per pint.
The bar has a homely feel to it with railway memorabilia adorning the fire surround and bar, log burner and seating area with extra seating provided outside. The name One-Legged Shunter was apparently suggested by one of the railway's members based on an incident on the colliery many, many years ago. Whether the story is true or folklore, it makes for an interesting and intriguing pub sign.
The bar currently has four working hand-pulls, all of which regularly serve guest beers; in addition to Titanic Plum Porter being served direct from the cask on a permanent basis.
The bar also sells a range of seven bottled beers, all brewed locally, exclusively labelled for The Foxfield Railway in a train theme.
Local breweries such as Titanic, Lymestone, Slater's, Talke O'Th Hill and Burton Bridge have always been supported, in addition to a diverse range of new and different beers being sourced from across the country.
Live entertainment is provided in the form of a monthly live music night, with local musicians and bands being supported.
Last year saw Foxfield Railway's first mainstream beer festival over the Jubilee; there may be another in the near future.
Opening times: Friday 6pm to 11pm; Saturday 11am to 11pm; Sunday 12noon to 10.30pm; During August only: Wednesday 12noon to 10pm.