Birmingham Leisure

49’ers – Smallbrook Queensway


Over the years I have begun to think that 49’ers was a figment of my imagination as I’ve found virtually no reference to it anywhere so I’m hoping that some people who read this will chip-in with their memories – or at least attest to its existence, and thus my sanity!

The bar stood roughly where the the image above is showing although with the redevelopment of the Bull Ring Shopping Centre the exact spot no longer exists: it was set back from the road, tucked away up a corner next to Chinese restaurant (I think the restaurant was called Heave Bridge at one time). Anyway, the bar was relatively modest in size and on two floors with the downstairs featuring a pool table as you walked in and a bar at the end of the room straight ahead. However, the bit I enjoyed from about ’86-’87 was upstairs and was a heaving rock pub and was a favourite haunt on a Friday/Saturday night before staggering to the Grapes.

As with my recollections of the Costermonger, age and beer have clouded my memories somewhat but I remember it as always jam-packed and a mission to the bar took some time. I also recall tv sets around the room that always seemed to be showing the Rocky Horror Picture Show . . . the Timewarp being a particular fave in there . . . although the crowding made ‘a jump to the left’ fraught with danger and much spillage!

There were also gigs there sporadically as I recall, with Fayre Warning – who seem to crop-up in many of my recollections – playing there one evening.

I also have a feeling that Simon Lawrence – who also worked at Musical Exchanges – was the DJ there but I’m not 100% certain on that. I seem to recall the place went rather downhill when Edward’s opened and due to a few skirmishes between two rival bike clubs (the United Bikers and either the Tramps or 69ers?): the last time I went there as a rock pub being the night Edwards opened.

A few years later, around ’92-’93 I worked on the door of Quenchers – a few doors down from 49’ers – and the assistant manageress took me there for a drink one night and it was a gay night with loads of drag acts on and I bumped into a chap called John who used to run nights at Boogies and the Powerhouse – and had a spell as Maitre d’ at the Institute in Digbeth (and about whom I could tell a few good yarns) – and had a riot.

I’m not sure when it closed but the ‘old’ Bull Ring Shopping Centre was demolished in 2000 and it may have closed then, if not before, as it was housed in part of that complex.

The Fly Fishing Experience

 

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