Thursday 2nd July 2015
When I first heard of the name of this micropub I thought it was a bit of a joke, a play on words if you like.
I have only previously heard of Liverpool Pigeons as a nickname for the iconic bird statues atop the Liver Building on the Mersey waterfront.
Well, it proves how wrong you can be. Those birds are not depictions of a real species but the Liverpool Pigeon is, or at least was, a real bird.
In 1851 Edward Stanley, the 13th Earl of Derby, established the Stanley Museum in central Liverpool. He was an avid collector of Flora and Fauna from throughout the world. The museum was known as the Liverpool Museum for a long time. It is now the World Museum Liverpool. The collection is priceless and contains many well-known extinct animals and birds including a Great Auk, a Dodo and..........the Liverpool Pigeon!
Its proper name is the Spotted Green Pigeon or in Latin, Caloenas Maculta. It was found on an island in French Polynesia, possibly Tahiti, sometime between 1783 and 1823. The only known physical example is one in Liverpool, thereafter known as the Liverpool Pigeon. The species was last observed in the early 1920s. It is believed to be related to the Nicobar pigeon which luckily, is still with us today.
It’s a good story and deserves to be remembered in a pub name. The pub was opened on 12th October 2013 by Pat Moore who, after thirteen years as a primary school teacher, wanted a change. And who can blame him! The pub has proved to be popular and has achieved distinction by being twice awarded CAMRA Merseyside Pub of the Year.
It was a bit of a wet old afternoon when I arrived about thirty minutes after opening time. The place had quite a few customers, mostly sitting with their backs to the window facing into the pub. The furniture is wooden chairs, soft-top stools and round tables. I noticed there were various cartoons and pictures on the walls along with a collection of old brewery trays.
The L-shaped bar is at the top end of the room and this is where the blackboard showing the daily offerings and those to come, is hanging. There was also a library of books on beer and some board games. The overall colour of the pub, outside and inside, is green. Very appropriate as it named after a green pigeon!
The beer was dispensed via hand pumps and there are normally five offered. On this day I had a choice of: Marble (Manchester) Summer (4.5%); Peerless (Birkenhead) Triple Blond (4.0%); Exit 33 (Sheffield, South Yorkshire) Stout (5.0%); Celt Experience (Caerphilly, Glamorgan, South Wales) Bleddyn 1075 (5.6%) and finally Odyssey (Brockhampton, Herefordshire) Mo’Citra (4.0%).
There are two ciders available, served from boxes. These were Gwynt y ddraig (Pontypridd, Glamorgan, South Wales) Happy Daze (4.5%) and Orchard Pig (West Bradley, Somerset) Navelgazer (6.0%). The pub also sells a range of bottled Belgian and German beers.
This is great little pub that well repays the journey out of the city.
The Liverpool Pigeon, 14 Endbutt Lane, Crosby, Merseyside. L23 0TR. Tel: 0151 949 0341
Open: Tuesday-Friday 16.00-21.00; Saturday 12.00-21.00; Sunday 12.00-17.00
The pub is easy to get to from central Liverpool. Buses depart from the Queen’s Square bus station that is about five minutes walk from Lime Street railway station. The 47 operated by Arriva runs every 20 minutes from Liverpool to Southport on Mondays to Saturdays, every 30 minutes on Sundays. The X2 operated by Stagecoach runs from Liverpool to Preston via Southport every 30 minutes, Monday to Sunday.
The stop to alight at is Crosby Queen’s Road. Walk back along Liverpool Road a very short distance. Cross to the other side and walk along Endbutt Lane. You will see the pub on the opposite of this road. To return to the city, go back to Liverpool Road and turn left towards the city. You can catch the bus from the Crosby Fairholm Road stop.