Dudley and South Staffordshire

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Focus on The Bridge Inn

About The Bridge Inn

The Bridge was first licenced in 1845 when James Bowdler was the landlord, who was also a blacksmith.Taken by A Cartwright..

There has been a long succession of licensees at this pub, 45 in all, with Sharon and Steve Osborne being the latest.

The pub has been known variously as Bridge Inn or the Old Bridge and was probably called this because of the historic bridge over Dawley Brook or the bridge over Kingswinford to Wolverhampton main road, which carried the Pensnett mineral railway.

Previously owned by Marston's, the Bridge was acquired by Black Country Ales in 2021 and refurbished to the usual high standard of the Black Country Ales pubs.

The Osbournes

Running a pub isn’t the easiest job around but Sharon and Steve seem to have taken to it like a duck to water.

Taken by A Cartwright.

They were both new licensees when they took over at the Bridge Inn, which is unusual for a new pub where experience is normally required to start with, however such was the enthusiasm for wanting to give it a go that Black Country Ales gave them a try out and it’s been a great success.

Steve did his training at the Vine with Phil and Sharon did her training with the wonderful Kim at the Black Country Arms in Walsall, a great pub. Both worked for pubs for free to gain some experience in day-to-day pub management prior to being taken on and it was this enthusiasm that sealed it for Black Country Ales.

The Bridge

The pub is a warm inviting place to visit with many regulars who come from near and far to soak in the atmosphere, the real fires and imbibe in the well-kept ales, wines, spirits and soft drinks on sale along with tasty cobs, pork pies and other snacks. It’s a place to meet, drink and chat. It’s a dog friendly pub and children allowed in up to 7pm, 8pm outside in the garden. The usual range of Black Country Ales are on sale along with a range of up to 6 guest beers from local breweries and those further afield and 2 real ciders.

Over the years, the pub has been the centre of social life in the local community, and this continues to this day, with two darts teams, one of whom have had a very successful season. Live music every 6 weeks inside and outside the pub in the garden when the weather permits. Cheese night on a Thursday, which is very well attended. The cheese and crackers are free to all guests. The pub also hosts private functions for up to 50 people and charity events in the garden outside. The latest event was to raise money for Breast Cancer awareness, with a singer and raffle.

Outside the front of the pub are plaques to the fallen soldiers of the First World War. Taken by A Cartwright.

These are brothers who lived locally and were pictured outside the Bridge. This came from a project by the local Summerhill School based on a book by a local author.

Local community is important, and this pub reflects the passion and enthusiasm of Sharon and Steve, and this shows because they’ve only been managing just over 18 months and they were runners up in this year's Pub of the Year for Dudley and South Staffs CAMRA.

A job well done but more to come. Good luck for the next 12 months!

Article kindly written by Andrew Cartwright (Treasurer of Dudley & South Staffordshire CAMRA), with acknowledgement to Steve James.
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