Monday, 26 October 2009

The Good Face of the Pub

We lost a couple of our Sunday regulars at the pub yesterday.
Dave and Gwen who have been going there each Sunday, more or less, for the last twenty years, have decided to move to Wensleydale, where Gwen originates and where she still has relatives. They maintain a caravan there, so it's familiar to them.

So there was a little celebration yesterday. The Sunday regulars were out in force including a few old faces, returning for the occasion. Sandwiches were provided by the landlady and a framed print of the pub, signed by all the Sunday crew, was presented by me, on behalf of the regulars, to Dave and Gwen. It was an honour to be asked to do so and to say a few words on behalf of everyone. Of course I recalled old times and faces, I mentioned that the pub just won't be the same without them, as it is the comforting familiarity of seeing the same faces, of passing a few words at the bar with each other, of the ease with which we can talk of this and that in our cosy little world, that makes it such a good place to spend a Sunday. You really can forget your cares for a while.

Dave replied, saying that truly, the thought of leaving the THT behind was a major factor in deciding whether or not to move. He said that it had been hard to think of times without the company of all their friends at the pub. It had been a close call. He went on to praise the unique nature of our pub and to thank everyone for the happy times they had spent there. It was an emotional occasion. We were saying goodbye to two of our own. We all felt a sense of loss.

When you hear so much negativity about the pub trade, it is good to remember that there are thousands of decent pubs, with splendid regulars, whose lives are enhanced by their pub visits and by the people they meet there. I feel lucky and privileged to be one of them. I am sure that Dave and Gwen will find a new pub to go to and that they'll settle in to their new lives well, but I know that from time to time, they'll think of their old friends in our pub and we'll look over to their usual corner and picture them there.

When E and I left, much later than we intended, Gwen and Dave were still there, with some of their usual crew, having a last one for the road. I hope the picture got back down the lane safely!

Pictured are Dave, Gwen and the Landlady (centre).


Wurst/Whorst- Brewing Arts Instructor, CEO APRK said...

This is a very sentimental post that shows a very tender side to your character. Paula and I would love to occupy Dave & Gwen's now deserted corner, but geographically this isn't possible. Do you visit the pub on Sunday's after or before Christ's message of love?

Paul Bailey said...

Excellent post, Tandleman. You put into words something that the anti-alcohol brigade cannot even begin to comprehend ie. the good natured, camaraderie and friendship that exists amongst pub regulars.

A good pub is far more than just a place to drink in, and your piece about the Tandle-Hill Tavern sums it up very nicely.

Professor Pie-Tin said...

I normally go to my local for a couple of hours every day of the week.
One of our gang - a heavy smoker - had his cancerous voice box removed last year and now communicates by writing notes.
It has made not one jot of difference to the fund and laughs we enjoy - and everyone is quite happy to wait for him to write his notes.
Although when he does it in capital letters with an exclamation mark we all join in together " Okay, no need to shout."
And he laughs the hardest.
Wouldn't life be just too plain dull without a local ?

Barm said...

Great post. There is more to a great pub than the quality of the beer. One of my favourite pubs doesn't even sell real ale, but it is a wonderful place nonetheless.

Tandleman said...

Thanks Guys.