October 27, 2012
A traditional way of life is fast disappearing from the British scene. I’m talking about the English pubs.
Ever since smoking was banned in July 2007 in public places, which included pubs, restaurants and the like, people have drifted away from them. Another factor is that VAT (value added tax) was increased and greedy brewers have hiked up the price of beer, wine and spirits. The rent and Council Tax that the landlords and landladies have to pay rises every year, as does the cost of gas and electricity.
Even as I write this pubs are closing. Take a look at the widget on the right, when I started to compose this post the number was at 11,000!
I love to spend an evening or two with friends in local pubs especially ones with a good atmosphere, like the one in the video below. This particular pub, “The Bluebell”, in a local village is one of my regular “watering holes”. I know that folk music is not to every-ones liking, but I find it invigorating and it works for me.
The girl, Ann, playing the flute is the daughter of my current lady-friend. I know most of the rest of the group too. Some of them used to play at pubs and clubs in my village, namely “The Plough”, now a private house, “The Cricket Club”, which closed down two weeks ago, and yet another pub not far from my house is finding it hard to keep going and have stopped paying for live music. In the last few years a total of four public houses have closed in my town.
More and more people are buying cheap booze from supermarkets and staying at home in the evening watching mind-numbingly boring TV programmes like X-Factor, Big Brother House, Soap-operas etc., instead of getting out and about.
Here is another example of a popular pub that closed down a while back, “The Merrie Monk”. I used to go every Sunday lunchtime to meet John G of “Publog” (he’s the handsome chap in the wheelchair). After it closed it became an Indian restaurant, and John told me recently that has closed and the pub is again up for sale. I now go to the “Hollybush” about once a month to meet John and swop stories.
Now the Government have latched onto the fact that supermarkets are doing a roaring trade in canned beer and wines they are trying to introduce higher prices and taxation to match the prices paid in pubs!
Toffeeapple on October 27th, 2012 at 11:49 am #
A banjo! What a lovely thing to hear being played. Bar snacks – are they free? Goodness, you are spoiled. It is so sad that so many pubs are being killed off, so quickly.
Pat on October 30th, 2012 at 4:27 pm #
We do our best to support them and local restaurants.
If ever you are on your travels in this area I can thoroughly recommend it for fine food and good service. – Keith.
Sarah (Rhubarb) on November 3rd, 2012 at 7:41 pm #
The disappearance of the neighborhood pub is tantamount to loss of Motherhood and Apple Pie. Shame! Where else can good ol’ boys go to chin wag (talk) and hoist a few?