Le 11 novembre 2008 Clare et moi avons passé plusieurs heures circumnavigating la ville de Birmingham sur l’autobus du numéro 11. C’était idée de limites de Jon Bounds de ‘Birmingham: n’est pas Merde.’
We’re still on the number 11 bus, we’re still in Perry Barr and we’re now passing the Crown and Cushion pub. There’s been a Crown and Cushion standing at the corner of Wellington Road and Birchfield Road for as long as I remember, although it hasn’t always been this Crown and Cushion.
The current incumbent is a fairly modern-looking, functional affair that, by my somewhat unreliable estimation, was constructed in the late 1980s or possibly even the early-1990s. I wasn’t on the number 11 at the time so I didn’t take any notes.
It was built on the site of a more traditional looking red brick boozer called, unsurprisingly, The Old Crown and Cushion. As I recall, across the road from what used to be The Old Crown and Cushion was a smaller pub squeezed between a row of shops on Birchfield Road. It was called The New Crown and Cushion.
Now, I’m no expert on pub name etymology, but I think its safe to assume that the New Crown and Cushion was a late arrival on the scene. Being a younger pub, I imagine it was a bit of an upstart fuelled by youthful exuberance and swaggering cockiness, although it probably skipped on the the piss and vinegar for health and safety reasons.
It must have felt a bit annoyed when the Old Crown and Cushion was bulldozed and replaced with a Crown and Cushion that was newer than ‘The New Crown and Cushion’. For one thing, it had to change its name.
For some reason this makes me think of Spinal Tap.