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Obit: The Death of the English Pub.

Acorn4 21 Feb 09 - 05:07 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 21 Feb 09 - 05:21 AM
Les in Chorlton 21 Feb 09 - 05:40 AM
VirginiaTam 21 Feb 09 - 06:01 AM
Folkiedave 21 Feb 09 - 06:06 AM
VirginiaTam 21 Feb 09 - 06:15 AM
Sir Roger de Beverley 21 Feb 09 - 06:44 AM
Acorn4 21 Feb 09 - 06:59 AM
Anne Lister 21 Feb 09 - 07:09 AM
MC Fat 21 Feb 09 - 07:31 AM
kendall 21 Feb 09 - 09:19 AM
kendall 21 Feb 09 - 09:23 AM
Jeri 21 Feb 09 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band 21 Feb 09 - 10:06 AM
Dave Illingworth 21 Feb 09 - 10:50 AM
Les in Chorlton 21 Feb 09 - 10:51 AM
kendall 21 Feb 09 - 01:23 PM
Anne Lister 21 Feb 09 - 07:19 PM
Effsee 21 Feb 09 - 11:00 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Feb 09 - 02:37 AM
Richard Bridge 22 Feb 09 - 03:21 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Feb 09 - 03:42 AM
Ian Burdon 22 Feb 09 - 03:43 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Feb 09 - 03:44 AM
kendall 22 Feb 09 - 09:10 AM
Ptarmigan 22 Feb 09 - 10:29 AM
Ian Fyvie 22 Feb 09 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,glueman 22 Feb 09 - 01:13 PM
John Routledge 22 Feb 09 - 01:23 PM
Weasel 22 Feb 09 - 02:25 PM
Acorn4 22 Feb 09 - 02:46 PM
Rafflesbear 22 Feb 09 - 03:18 PM
John MacKenzie 22 Feb 09 - 03:24 PM
skipy 22 Feb 09 - 04:57 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 22 Feb 09 - 06:11 PM
Ian Fyvie 22 Feb 09 - 07:35 PM
Dave Hanson 23 Feb 09 - 03:06 AM
rich-joy 23 Feb 09 - 03:35 AM
Valmai Goodyear 23 Feb 09 - 03:51 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Feb 09 - 04:04 AM
GUEST,Golightly 23 Feb 09 - 05:40 AM
GUEST,HSA 23 Feb 09 - 08:02 AM
melodeonboy 23 Feb 09 - 08:26 AM
Dave Hanson 23 Feb 09 - 10:18 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Feb 09 - 10:30 AM
Rifleman (inactive) 23 Feb 09 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,trevor artingstoll 23 Feb 09 - 12:43 PM
Banjiman 23 Feb 09 - 01:03 PM
John MacKenzie 23 Feb 09 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,glueman 23 Feb 09 - 01:51 PM
BB 23 Feb 09 - 02:23 PM
Acorn4 24 Feb 09 - 04:10 AM
Mavis Enderby 24 Feb 09 - 06:59 AM
GUEST, topsie 24 Feb 09 - 07:19 AM
Rafflesbear 24 Feb 09 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,Jim Martin 24 Feb 09 - 11:20 PM
Acorn4 01 Aug 09 - 01:10 PM
Acorn4 01 Aug 09 - 01:12 PM
Peter the Squeezer 01 Aug 09 - 03:03 PM
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Subject: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Acorn4
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 05:07 AM

This was the title of a book produced by Camra in the seventies.

I think we are in a more serious situation than we were then over pubs hitting troubled times, as Camra's argument then was mainly over the quality of beer. When I drive from Leicester town centre to where I live in Groby, there are six or seven formerly busy pubs now boarded up, and none open.

What the recession is failing to do the government and breweries seem to be determined to. The excellent landlord and landlady of our village pub have turned it into a thriving establishment which also serves as a village youth club. They have been forced to call it a day because every time their profits go up, the brewery puts up their rent, and they feel they are just working like blue a***d flies to line someone else's pockets.

Last night we went to a pub in Shepshed where the upstairs room was packed for a folk night. Apparently the landlord has got into an argument about the brewery over a similar issue, and will be leaving.

Are we all to sit at home drinking cans and watching reality TV?

I thought I might put this on the "Non-Music", but it does affect our music directly.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 05:21 AM

As Hillaire Beloc wrote "when you have lost your inns, you may drown your empty selves for you will have lost the heart of England"


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 05:40 AM

Any good advice on how to save the threatened?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 06:01 AM

Landlords could try this

He was facing eviction because he refused to pay the increased rent. Don't know what has happened since. This article is from October 08. There is another thread about it. I will see if I can find it and make a blue clicky.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Folkiedave
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 06:06 AM

Certainly when I read about the "death of an English pub" I have a tremendous amount of sympathy with the people who struggle with the likes of Enterprise Inns and Punch Taverns.

But there are oases of hope:

thread.cfm?threadid=118802&messages=6#2571765


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 06:15 AM

A bit more current news on the same landlord and his campaign.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 06:44 AM

The initial post in this thread uses the term "breweries" - the whole (or a lot of ) problem is that breweries don't own pubs anymore and they are as much the victims of the likes of Enterprise Inns as are the licensees.

R


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Acorn4
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 06:59 AM

The whole world seems to be run by swivel eyed accountants and look where it's got us!


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Anne Lister
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 07:09 AM

I think like the rest of us pubs have got to work out how to adapt to the changing conditions around. There's a pub in Abergavenny which has earned our respect (and seems to be doing well) - they have good bar food, an acoustic music club (see where I'm coming from?), a film club, occasional comedy nights (we're off there tonight) and a restaurant. This has all happened in the past few months after an extensive re-fit.
Oh, and some people seem to go there just to drink, too ....

Anne


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: MC Fat
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 07:31 AM

Some pubs are thriving my local the kelham island tavern has just won CAMRA National Pub of the Year. The Pubco's who owmn the majority of pubs are basically property owning groups who have funded aquisitions by borrowing on the strength of property values. Now the thing is currently rental values are going down because of the credit crunch therefore how can these money grabbing b*stards increase rents. My advice is to envoke the 'Lanlord and Tenant Act' and seek advice from a qualified licensing or property solititor as I believe in this current climate licencees could actually get decreases in rent. It's worth a go.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: kendall
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 09:19 AM

Ian Robb wrote a song called The Old Rose and Crown.

...for the landlord behind once a man of good cheer just mumbles the price as he hands you your beer...

..and the worst of it all's what they've done to the beer,
for your shandy's and lager will make you feel queer,
for an arm and a leg they will fill up your glass,
w'e a ha'pint of mixture of ullage and gas....

Oh what has become of the old Rose and Crown, the Ship, the King's Arms and the World upside down, for oak brass and leather and a pint of the best fade away like the sun as it sinks in the west.

Change is inevitable. Resistance to change is also inevitable.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: kendall
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 09:23 AM

I'm surprised that this one is not in the DT


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Jeri
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 09:27 AM

Old Rose and Crown, Ian Robb


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 10:06 AM

Vicki Woods, who writes in "The Daily Telegraph", has, over the last year, told of how their village pub was doomed but has been saved by the "village" becoming the tenant and running the pub. So far it seems, from her articles, that the community are actively supporting their pub/business and it is thriving albeit requiring some dedication to the task of manning it. It certainly is not the way every bar/pub/inn should go but if this individual one works, good news.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Dave Illingworth
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 10:50 AM

There is a fine pub, THE STAR (in Dorking, Surrey), where one of my bands, DPN+1, play about once every three months.
As well as music (of various styles - but no karaoke or tribute bands), the pub hosts old time music hall, film nights, vinyl nights
(bring your own LPs & 45s), poetry evenings and other entertainment.
The pub is also a regularly changing art gallery for local artists.
An annual pantomime is performed by staff and regulars.
Food is not served, but the landlord recommends various local good
(not junk-food) takeaways, and customers are welcome to eat the food in the pub.
The beer is good and so is the welcome.
This is all a big risk, but it seems to working.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 10:51 AM

Exlnt, lets hope Vicki finds a more appropriate paper to work for

L in C


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: kendall
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 01:23 PM

Thanks Jeri.I was looking in the wrong category. R instead of O.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Anne Lister
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 07:19 PM

Just realised my comment above may not be relevant as the thread is about the ENGLISH pub and the successful one we've visited tonight is, of course, Welsh.
Perhaps Mudcatters could try to remember that England is only one part of these islands - unless it's true that pubs in England are having a harder time than those in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and, for that matter, Ireland?
But to digress onto Welsh pubs ... on our hill here in Pontypool there are or were no fewer than five pubs at one time. It's surprising that they ever were all viable businesses, given that it's not the most properous of towns and money would not have been plentiful even before these hard times. It's not a long walk from one to the next. Inevitably with the change in social drinking habits one has closed - but that's still four still open, and given the total number in town (no, I'm not going to try to count them, but trust me, there are a lot) it's amazing they're still going.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Effsee
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 11:00 PM

The first nail in the coffin was the smoking ban!


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 02:37 AM

"The first nail in the coffin was the smoking ban!"
This sentence is somewhat dyslexic - should read - smoking is the first nail in the coffin - should be banned!
Of course, if it is true it means that smokers are holding the rest of us to ransom by insisting that they won't go into pubs unless they are allowed to indulge in their dirty, smelly and potentially lethal habit.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 03:21 AM

No names no packdrill but I was in a lockin in a pub the other week - a private party, see - and the smokers were smoking inside and it had a good nostalgic vibe. I'm a non-smoker, but it was good.

I think it really started with the breathalyser.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 03:42 AM

Johnny Handle wrote a lament called ' The Old Pubs ' in 1964, it was happening then as it is now, I suspect it will never happen completely

My local isn't dying, it just smells that way.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Ian Burdon
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 03:43 AM

No: the problem is neither the long overdue smoking ban nor the breathaliser; the problem is the strand of capitalism which commoditises everything and defines value solely by reference to the potential for financial return for shareholders of GreedCorp.

Got a brewery that makes good beer? Buy it out, fire the brewers, make something which tastes vaguely similar in a chemical plant and exploit the brand name. Own a good pub in a decent location? Check out the land value and build on it.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 03:44 AM

I think it started when the moved the pigs and goats out of the snug and into the bar


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: kendall
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 09:10 AM

The smoking ban has had the opposite effect here. 75% of Americans don't smoke. 25% do. Do the math.That is Americans who go to bars.I won't go anywhere if smoking is allowed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 10:29 AM

It's not only the smoking ban that is encouraging folks to stay at home & drink there.

Surely, cheap drink that is easily obtained at any local Supermarket, must also be to blame.

e.g.:
"The best premium lager deal right now has to be Stella at Morrisons:

2 x 18 packs (440ml) Stella for £16. Equivalent to 44p a can, or 57p a pint."

Just for the record, this is my local Session Pub here in Ireland.
At the moment it is thriving, but when the present owners retire, I dread to think what knew owners might do with this wonderful olde worlde establishment!

Cheers
Dick


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 12:31 PM

Ian Burdon has the best point so far I think - but here's another.

On the smoking ban - I'm sick and tired of Landlords appearing in our local newspaper whingeing because those with a legal drug habbit can't spread their stinking fag smoke around the bars any more. Just an excuse?

So - a better suggestion as to why many pubs have closed: TV sport.   

Various money grabbing publicans saw the golden screen as the big profit spinner. So they kicked out the folk session, the dominos players, closed the darts area, scared away all the other "microgroups" who dropped into the pub on one particular night a week for a quiet chat, game of chess or a laugh with their mates.

Soon ANY night of the week could now be overtaken by crowds of punters watching a big match so you couldn't hold any sort of interesting civilised gettogether in that bar any more on a regualar basis.

And the punters of course - they nearly all clear off after the final whistle. But thats late enough to have wrecked the evening for any microgroup - so they don't go any more. The consequence? - no big match tonight >>> empty pub.

Lastly - how about folkies buying pubs? Given the age group and life position of many folkies - now could be the time to buy cheap - and do a whole local community a great service.

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 01:13 PM

The number of pubs closing is astonishing. On some roads it's every other boozer boarded up.
The local at the end of our road is good with a selection of cask ales but the couple make ends meet by cooking, serving at the bar, running theme nights and generally running round like blue @rsed flies until midnight.

A lot different from the pubs of my youth where every corner bar attracted its own customers.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: John Routledge
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 01:23 PM

In almost all "good" pubs in the olden days customers drank a lot of beer per head.

Nowadays in a recession a lot of beer equals a lot of money.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Weasel
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 02:25 PM

My local had a regular blues session but in all other respects, it was dying. Very often when me and my mate went in there we and maybe half a dozen others were the only ones in all night.

After a series of managers, a couple turned up and bought the place. I rarely go in there nowadays - they threw out the blues night, scrapped the karaoke tore out the old wooden bar and replaced it with a stainless steel American type monstrocity and painted the walls red.

They installed a loud juke box (if that's what they're called nowadays)so that you can't hear yourself think and made the pub uninhabitable to the likes of me.

Result? - it's now prospering like it hasn't done for years and is crowded almost every night. On Saturday night, you can't sit down.

I don't like it, but what he's done is to look at the area where he's situated, look at his potential clientele and gear his pub towards them. And it's worked.

A tragedy for those of us who love the old english pub and in particularly me who loved the old place as it was and had been since I moved here, but at least the place is still open which it wouldn't have been if he'd tried to keep it the way it was.

It's worked here - now if old fashioned pub types can convince landlords (where landlords have a choice) that the old fashioned pub is a going concern, then we may have a chance, but the old fashioned way wasn't working here.

Cheers,


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Acorn4
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 02:46 PM

For those of you who login to Facebook, there is a page about it:-

Save the Great British Pub:Facebook

Not sure how much effect thses things have.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 03:18 PM

Acorn4 - if you want to see a thriving pub pop up the road to Burton on Trent on Friday night and go to the Cooper's Tavern in Cross Street. It's a truly amazing pub with a great selection of beers direct from the cask, every time I have been in there it has been heaving. On Friday you will have the chance to see your own Leicester based band Norcsalordie playing there and you will be helping a good cause because it's a charity night for St Giles Hospice in Lichfield

You will also from just inside the front door be able to put two fingers up to the massive Coors industrial complex opposite.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 03:24 PM

Well what Ptarmigan said is part of the problem. The real cause in my mind is that breweries on the whole no longer own or operate pubs. They are owned and operated by big companies with no loyalties in the trade, just the profit motive as their raison d'etre.
They buy the beer and spirits from the big breweries/distillers at quantity discounts, and then sell it on to their managers/tenants at a high mark up. These managers also have sales targets which when they meet them, result in the target being raised again.
They can only obtain their supplies from the owners, and they have to pay a lot more than we do in a supermarket, so as a result they have to sell it on at inflated prices.
The pressure for the supermarkets to be stopped selling drink at cheaper prices, comes from these large companies who employ lobbyists, and contribute to party funds as well.
If this chain was broken and publicans were free to buy their supplies where they got the best bargains, then the price of beer etc, would drop like a stone in pubs, and yet the landlords could still make a profit.
When a bag of potatoes needs to be accounted for by producing so many portions, then the accountants are running the pubs,not the landlords, and really the lunatics have taken over the asylum.
Notice I never mentioned the smoking ban, which in my opinion is a red herring [kipper?]


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: skipy
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 04:57 PM

JC give it a rest will you, 26% of us smoke so give us 1 pub in 4! I think that is called democracy isn't it!
Skipy
Who does not go to the pub anymore or attend singarounds or clubs, even though I DID NOT smoke in them anyway!


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 06:11 PM

It's the same as everything else that is eroding our lives. It's not often I find myself agreeing with an archbishop these days, but Rowan Williamson gave a lecture just after his consecration on what legitimises government, and didn't mention gods at all but spoke of the ability to keep the consumer consuming. We are being killed by inches by the marketing men, by those to whom everything and everybody has its price, and by governments that support them to keep themselves in power. The pub is just the tip of a rapidly melting iceberg.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 07:35 PM

Just got back from the singaround. A pint has just gone up by 5p when prices should be going down in a shrinking market.

Smack on! everyone who's pointed to corporate pub owners for the death of pubs.

If the punters won't pay inflated prices then - hands simply wave in the air: 'Unviable - better flog the asset off for devepopment' (better for greedy shareholders that is...). And with the capital raised by liquidising traditional meeting places - it can be 'off to the best return on capital' in the global market place: nuclear bombs, cattle prods for third world regimes perhaps, spy cameras, general puntercrap which breaks down the day after the guarantee expires; Futures and other bits of imaginary money etc etc..

As I said in an earlier posting - as many pubs as possible need to be in the hands of those with higher motivations. Of course a particular pub needs to be economically viable but strip out the 'maximum return on capital' parasites - and a good many more pubs could stay open through ownership dedicated to serving decent beer bought direct from a quality brewery; and providing the traditional socialising space within the community where most customers live.

Thought - hasn't CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) arranged for pubs to be saved by being bought by members? Perhaps folkies could make contact with local CAMRA groups and see what is possible.

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 03:06 AM

I play in a session on Sunday nights at a local pub, it's always busy no secret, great range of real ales at great prices, no juke box or piped muzac just a great place to, sit and talk, drink, sing and play.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: rich-joy
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 03:35 AM

Down Under (yes, I realise this is about British pubs!), breathalysers certainly changed the drinking habits of Australians - as did ALL the above-mentioned things!

Then they turned over the bars to horse racing on TVs and TABs (for betting) and worse : POKIES! (or "one-arm bandits") where you can lose all your hard-earned, without having to interact with anyone, just a row of noisy machines ....
Are you also blighted with these in Dear Old Blighty???

Good Luck, mates. The British pub is worth fighting for!!



Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 03:51 AM

Dave, you're lucky.

My beloved Lewes Arms has fallen into insensitive hands; the emphasis is now on food although there's nothing like enough space to turn it into a restaurant, muzak has been installed and mobile phones are now allowed in the bars where once anyone using one would have been required to buy a drink for the entire pub. Many historic artefacts have disappeared and the lighting is bright enough for open-heart surgery to be conducted in there.

The new owners, Fullers, wanted to charge our 21-year old Lewes Arms Folk Club £50 for using the club room on a Saturday night and £75 for an all-day music workshop, despite the fact that the room only seats fifty at a very tight squeeze; we've been lucky enough to find alternative accommodation at the
Elephant & Castle, which has an excellent, much larger function room for which we aren't being charged at all.

The club was part of the pub's once-flourishing eco-system of small societies and dotty activities. As a result of its departure other things are under threat, notably dwyle flunking, because the new people don't understand how these groups are interlinked. The pub's unique atmosphere is being steadily eroded, despite its historic battle to get our local Harveys beer reinstalled in defiance of the then owners, Greene King.

One strange trend which seems common now is for a pub kitchen to be hived off to a separate company, which presumably pays a fixed rate to the pub managers. The result seems to be that an increase in food sales doesn't result in much or any extra profit for the landlord.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 04:04 AM

"JC give it a rest will you, 26% of us smoke so give us 1 pub in 4!"
Fine - as long as you stay out of the ones I want to go into - those that sell real ale, that have character, that have music sessions, that are the choice of my friends.... it doesn't work like that, does it?
You are polluting my air, making my clothes smell like old ashtrays and turning my lungs into lace curtains and shortening my lifespan - not the other way round.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: GUEST,Golightly
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 05:40 AM

I stopped using pubs for a quick drink or meeting place years ago, as I wasn't willing to stink of other people's smoke just for the sake of a swift pint. This means I didn't develop a pub habit and, like many non-smokers, I got used to conducting my life without pubs apart from the occasional music night. Banning smoking in pubs may have presented more choice for me, but it didn't make me change my lifestyle. This must be a contributory factor in the problems facing British pubs now.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: GUEST,HSA
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 08:02 AM

As a musician who plays in pubs regularly, the smoking ban has certainly improved the quality of my nights out (and the state of my throat, concertina and guitar), but it certainly did reduce the number of people coming in to CERTAIN kinds of pubs. (Particularly the Irish workmen's, few jars after work kinds).

Landlords are quick to blame the smoking ban for a further reduction in numbers but that does not explain why some pubs are flourishing and some are not. And it's not just the price of beer or the breathalyser either. One of the sessions I go to is in the bar of a 4 star hotel where I am told the price of Guinness is £4 a pint. But it's always busy and sometimes very busy, it serves good food and has comfortable chairs. It's well managed, the venue supports live music and it has a lively commumity feel to it despite being a hotel.

Another is in a suburban pub which is always packed, have they just come for the music? Well maybe, but it has a very proactive landlord and staff who have been there for a while and know the customers. It has a welcoming atmosphere. All the other pubs round there look nearly empty.

Generallly, pubs that have decided to go down the good food route are usually very busy, even in the middle of nowhere.

From my perspective the successful pubs today have: Number One - an involved, active, present landlord who works to make their pub an attractive place to visit - whether for the food, the beer, the activities or the music. Absentee landlords seem to be a big contributor to empty pubs and I guess in there we can include the ones run by big property chains with managers rather than landlords.

Well that's my two-pennorth anyway.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: melodeonboy
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 08:26 AM

My impression of both Greene King and Fuller's is that they've mutated from respectable brewers into pub companies that have more interest in exapansion and takeovers than in the quality of the beer or their pubs. (As a student in Cambridge in the 70s, I claim to have extensive long-term experience of Greene King pubs and beers!).

On the question of why pubs are dying, much of what's already been said above rings true to me.

At the risk of at least partially reiterating some of the opinions above, I think a significant amount of the blame lies at the feet of the owners of the establishments and their increasingly avaricious demands. I hear many people say that pub landlords have to adapt and work harder to generate more custom, and that their success depends on them. Well, I know of two instances locally where, to the best of my knowledge, the landlords have worked extremely hard and done everything right. One of the two pubs has already been shut down and re-opened by the owners as an Indian restaurant; the other is still open as a pub, but may be in danger; the latter being a vibrant music pub, hosting a significant amount of folk music. The reason that the first pub is already shut and the second is struggling is not primarily down to the ineffectiveness of the landlords or even a lack of custom (!). It is more to do with the huge rents being asked by the property owners. We therefore have a scenario where well run pubs are being shut down through no fault of the landlord.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 10:18 AM

I suppose we are lucky in West Yorkshire, Osset Brewery have a small pub chain, they all have a great range of real ales at great prices, no juke boxes and no muzac and all seem to be doing well, it can be done.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 10:30 AM

Our local church nearly burned down when the smoking ban was introduced - because of the number of candles lit in thanks, mainly by flute players who found themselves able to breathe for the first time in the local session,
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 12:24 PM

"It's not only the smoking ban that is encouraging folks to stay at home & drink there."

That old smoking ban, an easy target that, great place to put the blame on declining pub and other venues attendance figures. I do wonder if it occurs to anyone that people simply don't want to go out to the pub, and, perhaps, would rather stay home. Times have changed, village life, nor neighbourhood life, doesn't revolve around the local anymore.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: GUEST,trevor artingstoll
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 12:43 PM

Anyone know where I can find a scruffy pub with gritty wooden floors oak settles and the landlady balances a babby on one arm whilst she shakes a saucepan of boling peas with the other and lets in my dog and all is silence,no modern music,ie., no bang,screech and thump and the beer comes up from a cellar where alcoholic angels dwell and there are cheese sandwiches on the counter you don't have to cash an insurance policy to buy and-and pickles,slurp, O,I can't go on describing a pub in Heaven,it's too much. I'll wait until I die and go straight in.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Banjiman
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 01:03 PM

Ours closed..... only one in the village. A victim of Enterprise Inns, a small village population, the smoking ban (the ex Landlord swears it had a big impact), cheap beer in Supermarkets, drink driving crackdowns, an unsupportive local population ........ and all the other reasons cited.

Biggest night of the month was the folk club..... which we have moved to the village hall but only sometimes get a licence.

I miss our pub.

Enterprise have now put it up for sale (it has apperently been sold).... we'll see what happens. If we get a decent private landlord maybe it can be resurrected?


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 01:20 PM

I say again, at the risk of being boring. It isn't the beer in the supermarkets that's cheap, it's the beer in the pubs that's too dear!


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 01:51 PM

Talking of 'characterful' pubs, I used to visit the Three Stags Heads at Wardlow Mires, Derbyshire on occasion - scene of Britain's last live gibbeting coincidentally.
The only pub I've been in that had real stone walls with 1960's imitation stone wallpaper glued over the top in parts. Beer out the jug, mutton stew from the sheep outside and a barn loft if you couldn't drag yourself home.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: BB
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 02:23 PM

One of my favourite pubs is struggling. It's the only pub in the village, has a great landlord and family running it, and used to be a real community pub, but he's a tenant (Courage), and therefore has to pay vast amounts to the brewery, and can't afford to bring his prices down. The upshot is that all the village youngsters go into the nearest town because they can drink more cheaply there whilst still being with their mates (so not because they're drinking at home). Free houses have a lot more freedom to bring down prices and get there beer, etc. cheaper than this pub can from the brewery. And if anyone has to compete with Wetherspoons, they haven't got a chance!

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Acorn4
Date: 24 Feb 09 - 04:10 AM

This is the problem; a pub landlord struggles just as much if it's a success as if it's a failure these days. It's a no win situation.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 24 Feb 09 - 06:59 AM

Just heard that the Turk's Head, the one-time home of the Lincoln Folk Club is closing - another Enterprise Inns victim.

The catch here though, if the local paper story is correct, is that there is a clause in the sale contract which prevents it being used as a pub once sold.

Sounds a bit severe to me - adding insult to injury?

Story here

Pete.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 24 Feb 09 - 07:19 AM

I suspect that Enterprise Inns are trying to ensure there is no competition for their other pubs in the Lincoln area.


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 24 Feb 09 - 03:54 PM

I don't suppose it's cos we spend too much time sitting in the spare bedroom typing messages to each other rather than discussing the same issues face to face with some mates in the pub?


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 24 Feb 09 - 11:20 PM

Tabster asked if pubs in Ireland are having as hard a time as those in England. I think they are, certainly rural ones. I don't know how the system works here but I do know that pub owners can sell their licences from a rural location to an urban one, like Dublin - seems a strange way of going on! It's certainly not helping to maintain or develop sustainable rural living!


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Acorn4
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 01:10 PM

This song has been generating a bit of interest when I've been playing it around various cubs and festivals, so thought I'd put in up on the "tube":-

Last Orders at the Bar.

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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Acorn4
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 01:12 PM

sorry... "clubs"


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Subject: RE: Obit: The Death of the English Pub.
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 03:03 PM

And there was I thinking you were trying to attract the youth!!

Well done Dave - good song!

Peter


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