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03/09/2007

The Old Contemptibles re-opens in the heart of Birmingham

Mitchells & Butlers is re-opening its well known and much-loved city centre pub, The Old Contemptibles, in Birmingham City Centre on Friday 31 August, after a significant investment which has restored the pub to its former glory.

The pub’s current name dates back to January 1953, in recognition of the achievements of a small group of men who met regularly at the pub. They had been members of the original infantry divisions of the British Expeditionary Force, sent to France in World War I. Kaiser Wilhelm II was said to have referred to the BEF as “Sir John French’s contemptible little army”; so they called themselves the Old Contemptibles.

The Old Contemptibles has now been carefully refurbished to restore and preserve its heritage. Local carpenters have hand-made much of the panelling and woodwork now in place, including the ornate carving featured throughout the pub. Some more light-hearted scenes from the trenches, taken from old photographs, have been painted in the alcoves behind the bar.

A separate room has also been developed as part of the restoration, as a tribute to the First World War military campaigns in which the Old Contemptibles were involved.

The Old Contemptibles is located at 176 Edmund Street, Birmingham B3 2HB.

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