The Second City

One of my favourite places anywhere is the Old Joint Stock public house in Birmingham and I am by no means alone. A publisher I have worked with several times, Fine Leaf Editions, used it as a venue for our business meetings. An excellent selection of drinks with meals to suit every taste is just the tip of the iceberg. Upstairs is a theatre where any number of successful performances (including some of the best improv I have ever seen) takes place.

The pub gets its name as it was once where stocks and shares were traded. Look around, it is easy to see this as a venue for Victorian and Edwardian stock brokers. Virtually unchanged since early last century, take particular note of the exquisite stained-glass dome in the ceiling. Also take note of the ‘facilities’ which are at least the equal of anything I found in my research for Staffordshire Privies by Countryside Books. Although this book came out over 15 years ago, I am still being asked to speak on it – although invariably find myself the only male in the room (make of that what you will). Incidentally I am reliably informed the ‘facilities’ at the Old Joint Stock are equally impressive irrespective of gender.

At the Old Joint Stock customers can also purchase tickets for the Birmingham Ghost Walks organised by Midlands Discovery Tours. Although I have yet to experience the tour personally, I am told it is an excellent experience and among the best on offer. Perhaps you may even be able to experience one of the many stories focusing on the City Centre found in my Ghosts Around Birmingham, if so I would be delighted to hear from you.

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