Shove it, chuck it, toss it:
The Prince of Wales, Shrewsbury

How best to describe the Prince of Wales. The pubs own website suggests 'Hidden Gem', which seems entirely legitimate to me. It might even be described as Shrewsburys best kept pub secret, certainly it's a little off the beaten track, though we found it easily enough. Indeed the landlady of the B&B we were staying in seemed reticent recommending the Prince of Wales to us, something to do with it being her local!

It can be like that with a well-loved locals pub, the last thing the regulars want is an influx of tourists and part time pub-goers clogging up the normal, efficient day-to-day service. But as we know, pubs need all the trade they can get these days, so I have absolutely no qualms in recommending this very fine pub to you, and urge you to seek it out the next time you visit Shrewsbury. Local Shrewsbury folk need no such urging, they've already found it, they're just not saying!

From the outside the pub presents itself as a fairly typical wide-fronted community local of a type which came to prominence in the inter-war years. These so-called 'improved' pubs were designed to replace some of the more 'earthy' Victorian and earlier boozers, and appeal to a wider range of tastes and social backgrounds. A feature of many was the inclusion of recreational facilities not primarily associated with drinking, and this period marked the beginnings of the dedicated beer garden proper. The wide frontage of the Prince of Wales gives a clue to the pubs star attraction. Not a beer garden but a full-size Crown Green Bowling Green which sees very regular use throughout the summer months.

If you've yet to witness a Crown Green Bowls match in progress this is probably the ideal place to see what all the fuss and noise is about (it's a far noisier game than its Flat Green relative). A raised patio overlooks the green, and there's plenty of 'stadium' style seating bordering the green for spectators (some rescued from the old Shrewsbury Town Football Club ground). It really is the perfect accompaniment to a cool pint on a warm summer evening.

Inside and to the left of the entrance is the public bar (above), home to the Darts Board and several raised-edge games tables suitable for the rattle and click of league Domino play. Dominoes is still very popular in Shropshire and the local Shrewsbury Domino League seems to be well supported in the more traditional pubs of the town.

A central bar serves both the bar and lounge. Originally a Border Breweries pub, the Prince of Wales is now free of tie, and when we visited the beer range included excellent local ales from Salopian and Three Tuns breweries. The pub is the current (2015) Shrewsbury CAMRA Pub of the Year.

article by Mark Shirley
Shove it, chuck it, toss it: The Prince of Wales, Shrewsbury

Many of the traditional games which have been a part of our pub culture for generations are in serious, perhaps even terminal decline. This decline in pub game play mirrors the more general decline in pub going of recent years. This blog aims to document a few of these fine (and fun) pastimes before they, and the pubs where they are still played, finally disappear forever. I urge you to help protect our traditions. Please visit your own local pubs, drink their beer, play their games...

Interested in more articles about traditional pub games? Have a look at their blog here: Pub Games Blogspot