Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Down Memory Lane

I read, with a great deal of interest, Mudgie's article in response to one by Boak and Bailey referred to on Twitter and linked.  The subject, paraphrased, is dodgy pubs.  Now it has to be said that Boak and Bailey aim their piece squarely at the (American) visitor as it was published in All About Beer Magazine, but there is more than a grain of truth in their observations, summed up in this paragraph, which Mudgie quotes. It is necessary for me to do the same as it provides context.

"But if you wander into side streets, the outer suburbs, or into the shade of concrete tower blocks, you might still come across the kind of pub where it is possible for an innocent abroad to get into trouble. There aren’t many exterior clues other than a general state of disrepair, although with experience you develop a kind of sixth sense based on the state of the curtains or some subtle hint implied in the signage."

Like my colleague Pub Curmudgeon, I too have been visiting pubs where I'm not known for over 40 years and like Mudgie, I have had few problems in so doing.  Of course, to some extent in terms of pubs, you do develop a sense of impending danger and are able to quietly slip away before anything difficult to deal with occurs. I agree too that as you get older, you present no real challenge to those with the potential to do you harm at worst -  or alarm - which in itself is bad enough, but likely more difficult to deal with for the foreign visitor, who is already struggling to understand both culture and nuance.

I did relate on Mudgie's blog, a little story of my time in Liverpool, when I was once physically attacked, though then as a fit football playing young man under 30, I was able to shrug off my attacker, though not the locals who grabbed me and chucked my out on my ear, but no more than that.  In recalling this incident, I looked up the name of the pub concerned (The Newstead Abbey -see photo from Google)  as memory had faded. In doing so I came across this fantastic review of what was my manor. It talks about the pubs I used to visit frequently, most of which are closed. It concentrates on Smithdown Road in Liverpool 7. I lived 100 yards from that road, though most of my local drinking was done in the parallel roads and back streets. Nonetheless, those were pubs I visited frequently and usually with great pleasure.  The bus went from Smithdown Road, so it had that handiness too for a quick pee when returning from Town, or a swifty on the way there.

Do read the linked article. It hints at a pub life that has faded away to a large extent and in its observations, suggests I think, about why the beleaguered remainder may not be as welcoming as I can assure, most once were.

I think that the Newstead Abbey has now closed. My own local, The Earl Marshall a mere 100 yards away was still open fairly recently, but who knows now. 

The writer of the other article speaks of his dislike for the New Campfield. Me too. Unlike the rest (Mulliner excepted - ) it was keg. Whitbread of course. 

The photo is of the Mulliner which was a Tetley pub which sold "Drum Bitter" or keg. It was a nice boozer inside and very welcoming, but was called something else then which I can't remember, but everyone called it the Mulliner.. 

Photo:By Rept0n1x [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons


Curmudgeon said...

Fascinating article on Smithdown Road there.

Quite a few of the comments on my blog echoed the point that you're much more likely to encounter a frosty reception when you're young. And I don't think that's to do with being voluntarily self-limiting about the pubs you go in, it's more that nobody's bothered about older people.

Also, compared with forty years ago, there's much less reason to go in potentially dodgy pubs purely for the beer.

Barm said...

Glasgow, you know as well as I do, has something of a reputation for drinking and violence. But I have to say there are very, very few pubs that I wouldn’t go into, at least in the city centre. Plenty are just not very appealing but I would only class a handful as potentially dangerous or unwelcoming.

Anonymous said...

Fair to say Smithdown is something of a changed place. Craft Taproom, Little Furnace, Belzan, Evil Eye, Secret Place, Handyman's all part of a quickly changing landscape.

richard Coldwell said...

A trip down memory lane, this and the linked post, which accord with my own thoughts from early 2016 https://beerleeds.co.uk/2016/04/20/the-willow-bank-and-sad-times-down-smithdown-road-liverpool/

Tandleman said...

Richard. Thanks so much for the link. Yiou and I must have been drinking there at the same time.

The Salisbury was only 300 yards from my front door and was a Greenall's House. Quite push really. I used to meet a young lady there from time to time but that's another story.

Can't agree with you about Warrington brewed Tetley though. A fine drop that I'd give my eye teeth for now? Ever go to Higson's Dead House (The Earle). Used to be my haunt when I went to the adjacent bagwash each week. 2nd nearesr pub to me. Nearest was the Earle Marshall, 3 doors down.

Edd Mather said...

How Do Tand,
Do you remember the revived Walker's ordinary Bitter, not the Best Bitter?, I think it was around in the early 1990's ?

PS: I always preferred the Leeds brewed Tetley beers;)

Tandleman said...

Edd. I do indeed. My local in Liverpool became a Walker's house and I used to drink it a fair bit. I have a pumpclip of it somewhere.

Andrew said...

I genuinely miss Greenalls bitter which you could find in the Liverpool outskirts. Is there anything similar in taste today? Timothy Taylor's?