The old-school Bristol pub serving one of the best pints of Guinness in the city

It has been serving the locals for more than 250 years

Perched on the junction of Church Road, The Fire Engine is one of those long-running pubs most people drive past or simply stare at as they wait for the traffic lights to change.

But this roadside Redfield pub has been serving the locals for more than 250 years and has an interesting story behind its name.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t come across another pub called The Fire Engine, and certainly not in Bristol.

Apparently it got its name because there was once a steam-pumped fire ‘engine’ on this land, which was used to put out any fires at the local coal pit.

Once surrounded by farmland, The Fire Engine went on to become a hotel, a cider house and then a Courage Brewery pub.

The traditional interior of The Fire Engine in Redfield

A large U-shaped pub with a central bar, The Fire Engine is now one of the last old-school boozers in Redfield.

A corner of Bristol with a fast-changing demographic - and, some might say, gentrification - it’s more traditional than The Dark Horse and The Red Church, which tend to attract the young professionals moving into the area.

On a wet Wednesday lunchtime, The Fire Engine was surprisingly busy, with clusters of men supping pints and discussing the football and boxing.

The conversations were liberally peppered with expletives - if the landlord put a swear box on the bar, it might cover the additional costs of the winter fuel bill in no time.

There was a faint fug of body odour and stale beer in the air - the reassuringly familiar aromas of pubs where gentrification has yet to come knocking on the door.

As I sat down with my pint, I could hear a loud and unapologetic belch from one corner of the pub - always the sound of a venue where there are no airs or graces.

The Fire Engine on Church Road, Redfield, has been a pub for more than 250 years

Walls framed by chocolate brown paintwork are dotted with pictures of cultural icons including Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Bob Marley, with a few Banksy prints providing a more local flavour.

Behind the bar, a teetering pile of clingfilm-wrapped filled rolls, crisps and Yorkie bars seem to be the main food offering, but then this is more of a drinkers’ pub anyway.

There’s draught Butcombe Original and Doom Bar for real ale fans, three types of Thatchers cider and cold cans of Natch.

Lager drinkers can choose between Kronenburg, Foster’s and Amstel.My pint of Guinness (a bargain at £3.60) was perfectly poured and rested before the final flourish.

It was as good a pint of the ‘Black Stuff’ as I’ve had in Bristol for a long time and for a fraction of the price.

The Fire Engine has two dartboards and multiple screens showing live sport

With Sky Sports beamed across multiple screens, two dartboards and a full programme of events that includes karaoke and live music, this is certainly a pub that keeps things ticking along nicely for the regulars.

Pay a visit on Saturday October 22 and it’s reggae night with Lisa Lush. The following Saturday, it’s The Real SkaDub night.

Yes, it’s a bit rough around the edges, and it may not be the first choice for the more delicate types moving into BS5, but The Fire Engine has genuine personality and regulars with real character.

There aren’t many pubs left like it, which is reason enough to support the place before it’s too late.

The Fire Engine, 188 Church Road, Redfield, Bristol, BS5 9HX.