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BS: Pubs in Britain

GUEST,Jack the Sailor 29 Jul 08 - 09:28 AM
Paul Burke 29 Jul 08 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,LTS pretending to work 29 Jul 08 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 29 Jul 08 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,Joe 29 Jul 08 - 10:39 AM
Richard Bridge 29 Jul 08 - 10:56 AM
Big Al Whittle 29 Jul 08 - 11:14 AM
Dead Horse 29 Jul 08 - 03:28 PM
bubblyrat 29 Jul 08 - 03:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jul 08 - 06:52 PM
oldfogie 30 Jul 08 - 01:46 AM
GUEST,Ex 60 a day smoker 30 Jul 08 - 04:00 AM
oldfogie 30 Jul 08 - 06:41 AM
manitas_at_work 30 Jul 08 - 06:51 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 Jul 08 - 07:12 AM
Paul Burke 30 Jul 08 - 08:18 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Jul 08 - 08:38 AM
oldfogie 30 Jul 08 - 08:39 AM
lady penelope 30 Jul 08 - 08:49 AM
manitas_at_work 30 Jul 08 - 08:51 AM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Jul 08 - 12:19 PM
Big Phil 30 Jul 08 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 30 Jul 08 - 03:18 PM
Liz the Squeak 30 Jul 08 - 05:20 PM
Mr Happy 31 Jul 08 - 03:40 AM
Zen 31 Jul 08 - 07:50 AM
Backwoodsman 31 Jul 08 - 09:08 AM
Joseph P 31 Jul 08 - 09:54 AM
Nigel Parsons 31 Jul 08 - 01:29 PM
lady penelope 31 Jul 08 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 31 Jul 08 - 06:59 PM
Zen 31 Jul 08 - 07:07 PM
Emma B 31 Jul 08 - 07:20 PM
lady penelope 01 Aug 08 - 03:22 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Aug 08 - 07:25 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 01 Aug 08 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 02 Aug 08 - 06:13 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Aug 08 - 07:32 AM
Zen 02 Aug 08 - 01:00 PM
GUEST, Topsie 02 Aug 08 - 07:44 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 03 Aug 08 - 06:05 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Aug 08 - 07:24 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 03 Aug 08 - 07:31 PM
Mr Happy 05 Aug 08 - 06:46 AM
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Subject: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 09:28 AM

Economist article.

Two thousand years ago, Britain's Roman occupiers wrote letters home complaining about the rowdy drunkenness of the natives. Such ancient cultural practices tend to be immune to the fussing of mere governments.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Paul Burke
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 10:10 AM

I wonder where he got that statement from... not that I'm disputing the fact of the drunkenness, just the letters. The Celts have always been a boozy lot.

Since the smoking ban, English pubs are closing at the rate of five a day. I hate smoking, but I'd rather have a smoky pub than no pub at all, and the control freaks who implemented the ban are pure Confucian fools- they know not, and know not that they know not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: GUEST,LTS pretending to work
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 10:29 AM

So rising costs spiralling out of control, premises that no longer pass H&S codes, fuel bills, wage bills, more and more areas being populated by those for whom alcohol has no place in their culture - these are not reasons for pubs closing? No, apparently not. Only the smoking ban.

It's time to get off that horse, it's tired.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 10:36 AM

By all indications, the first pub talked about in the article deserves to be closed.

>>As soon as you sit down, those good impressions start to go sour. The tables are sticky with half-dried beer. There is a wide range of beers to choose from, but often it tastes as if the pipes have not been cleaned for weeks. The food is cheap because it comes pre-made in plastic sachets and is reheated in a microwave—that is, assuming the overworked staff can remember your order. Until smoking was banned from pubs in 2007, the front half of this Wetherspoonerism stank of cigarettes while the back half was suffused with a smell from the toilets. After three disappointing trips I swore never to return, a promise that I break now only in the interests of journalistic inquiry. Sadly, the tables are as sticky as ever and, while the cigarette smoke has gone, that has only allowed the toilets' odour to pervade the entire place.<<


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 10:39 AM

I know a few lovely pubs that serve neither food nor Guiness....


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 10:56 AM

Why is it always toilets that smell, never lavatories?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 11:14 AM

I know, its a pisser!


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Dead Horse
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 03:28 PM

I think it has something to do with the OE origins of the term Urinal.
Yore - meaning ancient + Rhinal - to do with the nose.
Hence Old piss smell.
:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: bubblyrat
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 03:48 PM

I'd sooner have a pub urinal any day than a Warwick Festival Chemical Loo after three days of hot sunny weather !! ( Or a Great Dorset Steam Fair ditto at ANY time ! ).


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 06:52 PM

I think he might have been speculating about the Romans writing home - probably a sub pulled out a qualifying expression such as "no doubt". Or maybe he's just a lazy writer, which would be in keeping with much of the article.

For example ...there is no table service at pubs... - he's not quite right there. In Wetherspoons pubs you have to order at the bar, but they bring the food to you.

And my experience of Wetherspoons pubs is wholly different to that of the nameless hack who wrote that article. "...a mid-sized pub which shall remain nameless..." and by not naming it, he effectively sets out to slag off all the excellent Wetherspoons pubs around the country, like the one we've got in Harlow, with it's wall of books and it's intriguing range of beers (Polish Plum beer is a recent favourite), and no problem with smells from the urinals either.

But then I wouldn't go to the Economist to find out about pubs or beer. (Or economics either.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: oldfogie
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 01:46 AM

I do wonder were all the non smokers who wanted to ban smoking in pubs are. Now that they've spoilt other peoples enjoyment they don't seem to want to go to pubs themselves. Before anyone shouts I have been a non smoker for some thirty years. I just resent people taking away others rights in order to impose their own ideas of how we should be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: GUEST,Ex 60 a day smoker
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 04:00 AM

I gave up smoking because of the Draconian measures of this fascist government.
What right do they have, to take away my freedom to poison and pollute, the atmosphere of innocent men women and children?
It's every Briton's right to kill people and to keep the National Health Service busy with smoking related illnesses. It doesn't matter whether the patient is a non smoker does it?
I mean, what's the NHS for anyway?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: oldfogie
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 06:41 AM

I gave up smoking because I chose to- didn't need some do-gooder to tell me I should. There was always an option for ardent non smokers to start their own non smoking pubs but instead they chose to get smoking banned in places that traditionally allowed smoking.
guest Ex 60 a day smoker - I take it that you have never got drunk, never driven a car, never flown on an aeroplane, never bought cheap clothes imported from the far east, all brought here using polluting container ships, never used japanese electronic goods brought over in the same way. perhaps you could do something about them polluting the atmosphere.Makes a few fags a bit minor- no one forced any non smoker to enter a smoking environment.Its not so much to do with whether one chooses to smoke but more to do with nibbling at rights.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 06:51 AM

"no one forced any non smoker to enter a smoking environment."

Same old shit! Nor did they provide an alternative excepto say if you don't like it you can drink at home. There was plenty of oppotunity to do so ( 300 or 400 years, I reckon) but chose to wait for it to be legislated on and you know what happens when new legislation is brought in - it's always OTT. And those people who went home to drink in a non-smoking environment are still in the habit of doing so and you know how hard habits are to give up don't you?

But in the end it's the staff who are being protected not the non-smokers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 07:12 AM

Pubs need rethinking.

Theres no choice of non alcoholic drinks, and most of us have to drive. A lot of them still pong like an eighty a day man's sweaty old vest. The food is frequently the sort of garbage that you could buy at Iceland and microwave.

Why don't people come to folk clubs?

Because people don't live like that any more. That simple.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Paul Burke
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 08:18 AM

All that is true: pubs used to be smoky, smelly, sometimes unpleasant. But the fact is that they were there. You can't blame the general economic problems for the insane rate of closure; there wasn't this carnage in the previous 3 recessions I can remember. Some of the prpblem is due to changes in ownership- pubs used to belong mostly to breweries, who made their profits by selling beer, now they belong mostly to property groups who make their money by racking the tenants. But the accelerated rate of closure is clearly due to the traditional clientele having walked off, because they can't smoke. And the non- smokers aren't really interested in replacing them.

When they're gone, it's for good. New pubs open, but they usually have very different aims. They are seldom community- based, and you couldn't imagine a folk club or a session in the likes of Wetherspoon's, rather a stage performance at best. The transition from traditional pub to smoke- free community pub needed time to develop, and that time hasn't been given.

As a non- smoker for well over 30 years, I hate other people's smoke. But if it's a choice between that and no pub at all, I'll take the smoky pub.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 08:38 AM

But if it's a choice between that and no pub at all, I'll take the smoky pub.

Ditto, Paul. But why should that be the choice? Surely it is not rocket science to ensure non-smokers are protected from the smoke? Modern air conditioning with possitive and negative pressure areas are more than possible but the pub management companies chose not to. Why? Because of the cost. They would not cater for people who would rather not breathe smoke and were then the first to whinge when someone made them do it! I think the closure rate is significant but I suspect a cynical manipulation of the smoking ban by poor management plays a far bigger role than people imagine.

BTW - I do have the very (5 or 6 a year-ish) occasional cigar or cigarette when I am sure it will not bother anyone else.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: oldfogie
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 08:39 AM

and all the smokers who stayed at home and smoked increased the risk for their children


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: lady penelope
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 08:49 AM

Pubs haven't suddenly started closing down due to the smoking ban. Go back 5 years and you will still see plenty of evidence that pubs were already well in decline.

WLD has the right of it. People, whether they smoke or not, simply do not use pubs the way they used to. Nor do pubs provide a service the way they used to.

Large pubs, like the ones Wetherspoons creates, tend to large throngs of people out for a bit of a party. They sell cut price booze which encourages groups to drink competatively and also appeals to younger groups of drinkers who may not have figured out that you don't have to be paralytic to enjoy yourselves. This atmosphere of general rowdyness has driven out those who want to go out for a quiet drink, talk to a couple of mates and generally relax.

Some other pubs have gone down the 'gastro pub' route. But this has often meant that you end up with a pub that's really a restaurant. For example. The Royal Forester at Chingford. It has always served food (and good stuff too normally) but over the last year all the bar space has been given over to food service. Because people are going there to eat and not drink, the selection of beers has become dire. One ale (the most god forsaken version of Tetley's they could have come up with) and everything else is lager.

Other pubs went the route of 'sports bar'. Well, here's the thing. Although many people like sports, a lot of them don't want to go to a pub, spend out a large amount of dosh on beer and then listen to four blokes in football shirts shout at the 4 by 6 foot screen that takes up half the bar. Sports bars have limited appeal and the 'local' pubs that have adopted this ethos have reaped the reward by losing revenue in the long term. As people who either don't like sports, or have no wish to drink in that environment, have gone elsewhere.

And then there's the cost. To buy a pint of beer in London can cost anything between £1.90 (if you're really lucky...) to well in excess of £3. This also applies to non - alcoholic drinks. And this on top of a dreadful selection - usually J2O drinks, which are vile and far too sugary for me, very few pubs sell non 'gun' coke and lemonade which only tastes ok with large amounts of alcohol in it and there's only so much orange juice any one being can drink in an evening. Why is it so hard to get a decent cup of tea or coffee in pubs?

Considering high prices, an often poor choice of beers, often in poor condition and having to put up with an environment they find non conducive to a pleasant evening, punters will start to get the hump.

Definitely time for a re-think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 08:51 AM

And who lit up the cigarettes?


That's choice for you, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 12:19 PM

Cutting the tax on beer in pubs as against drinks would make a lot of sense, and if balanced by a rise in the price of beer bought in supermarkets it could be revenue neutral.

Pubs ought to be the place where you go to get the cheapest beer - carry some home in a jug if you choose to, the way we used to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Big Phil
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 02:50 PM

Why not just close all the boozers down, ban smoking, ban cars, ban airoplanes and return us all back to the dark ages. Oh I forgot, that will be the NEW Liebour mantra for the next election. All in the name of going geen I suppose.

Phil*


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 03:18 PM

To me the classic idea of a pub seems pretty green. Your carbon footprint is smaller when your rec room and living room is a pub.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 05:20 PM

I'm sure I posted here earlier....

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Mr Happy
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 03:40 AM

Shock Horror!!

Last nite on the way in to our weakly music venue pub were greeted by a big sign outside the pub saying in very large letters:

'PUB TO LET'

Seems the licencee is moving on in 2 wks, 'cos of falling trade.

All we can hope is the potential new tenant will look kindly on our gathering, otherwise we'll be wandering minstrels once again


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Zen
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 07:50 AM

There are four pubs in the small town I live in.

One stocks real ales, is a bit of an old fogies' pub, but has a good reputation for food and is doing quite well.

The second is part of a fairly busy small tourist hotel, does not really do real ales, is civilised and safe, hosts the local weekly folk club and is also doing quite well.

The third (the one I use) stocks two regular real ales has a further three on a changing "Guest Ale" basis, put on a recent well-attended real ale festival with music each day, is well-run by a friendly manager, does no hot foot, welcomes live music (I organise a weekly session there) and, as far as I can see, is getting an increasing trade.

The fourth always seems to have catered for NEDs and ASBOs, does no decent beer, is very scruffy and run down and the area outside it seems to be the regular hosting venue for "disputes" and is well known to the local constabulary. This pub is currently "To Let" and has been so for some time with no apparent takers.

These are all in Scotland which has been no-smoking for a couple of years now.

Perhaps these examples can cast light on what seems to work and what doesn't. The good will usually thrive and those that do not offer something that is want will often fall by the wayside.

Zen


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 09:08 AM

Lady Penelope has it about right, as does Zen.

I don't drink alcohol any more, for health reasons, but when I did I preferred to abstain if driving. When I asked the landlord of a particularly unpleasant pub, which used to be the home of a folk club in Doncaster, what soft drinks he had, his response was to shout at me, "This is a PUB, we sell BEER", turn his back on me and walk away. His pub's been shut for a few years now. And I'll bet he wonders what went wrong. It certainly was nothing to do with smoking bans, it closed way before that came in.

Pubs are exactly the same as any other commodity. Good product = good returns, bad product = doomed to fail. Filthy, stinking, smoky, noisy pubs with ignorant arsehole landlords, and patronised by louts, fall into the latter category.

IMHO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Joseph P
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 09:54 AM

Its bizarre that people go into the pub trade with the opinion of 'wont it be cool to run a pub', sit around for a few months and are surprised when it all goes wrong. Being a good Landlord is an art form, VERY tricky to master!


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 01:29 PM

Zen:
"The fourth always seems to have catered for NEDs and ASBOs, does no decent beer, is very scruffy and run down and the area outside it seems to be the regular hosting venue for "disputes" and is well known to the local constabulary. This pub is currently "To Let" and has been so for some time with no apparent takers."

Unfortunately, if that pub closes then its 'clientele' may start using the three 'tidy' pubs. I doubt if mixing in better circles will make them the sort of customers the remaining pubs want to attract!


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: lady penelope
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 06:39 PM

Ah but if the landlords actually insist on their clientele behaviour in a certain manner (ie like civilised people and not drunken yobs) this shouldn't affect their current punters. Either the newcomers moderate or modify their behaviour or they get chucked out.

Joseph P is right. It's bloody hard work being a good publican and not everyone is suited to doing the job in the first place. Getting the beer and the environment right isn't even the half of it. How you handle your customers is the thing that really makes or breaks a pub.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 06:59 PM

What are NEDs And ASBOs?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Zen
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 07:07 PM

Hi JtS,

Non-educated delinquents and Anti-social behaviour orders...

Zen


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Emma B
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 07:20 PM

In 2001 the word ned entered the Concise Oxford Dictionary, defined as a hooligan or petty criminal, a stupid or loutish boy or man.

I first heard the term used disparagingly when living in Glasgow in the late 60s

Never relaized it was an acronym before !


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: lady penelope
Date: 01 Aug 08 - 03:22 AM

I like this place. You get to learn all manner of things! *G*


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Aug 08 - 07:25 AM

It's not the lack of education in itself that is the problem when it comes to yobs. Educated delinquents can be just as much a pain, and there are plenty of people who have lost out on education, but who are great to have as neighbours.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 01 Aug 08 - 09:30 AM

""It's not the lack of education in itself that is the problem when it comes to yobs. Educated delinquents can be just as much a pain, and there are plenty of people who have lost out on education, but who are great to have as neighbours.""

A seriously good point, McG. There is little to choose between the street corner hoodie, and the Eton/Harrow hooray Henry, when it comes to the irritation quotient.

Pejorative tags are inevitably inaccurate, counterproductive generalisations.

You only have to apply a modicum of common sense to realise that the majority of youngsters do not fit within those descriptive parameters, and also that the minority who DO so fit, will adopt the tag as a "Badge of Honour", and wear it with pride. The last thing society needs is for them to have any such unifying symbol.

Dijit


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 02 Aug 08 - 06:13 AM

Several years ago now some friends of mine moved to a fairly remote part of SW England. There were two pubs in the area - both of which relied heavily on local trade. Nevertheless, one of these was close enough to a touristy area to have access to passing trade in the summer.

Both pubs seemed to have a succession of suicidal landlords - all of whom seemed to have read the same book, 'How to Fail at Running a Country Pub'.

A landlord of the semi-touristy pub actually ended up banning most of the village from his establishment - thus putting a severe dent in his winter trade. He also apparently spent the summer being rude to tourists. Not surprisingly that particular pub was up for sale for quite a long time.

The other pub then filled up with the dispossessed locals but the landlord was so incompetent that he soon went bankrupt.

I haven't spoken to my friends for a while, so don't know whether they now have a local or not. But there situation had nothing to do with the smoking ban.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Aug 08 - 07:32 AM

One night I was doing a gig in Crewe. About thirty years ago. After the evening the landlord asked where I was playing next night, and I said I wasn't playing as I had to go to London to pick up a new guitar.

he said, whats wrong with the one you've got - it sounded okay.... and I explained I thought I could do a better show with a better guitar.

The shook his head remorsefully and said - you guys never get it, the guitar doesn't matter. Very little matters. if you get the beer right - the place is full. Drop below the standard of having EXCELLENT beer, and the place will be empty. That simple. Nothing else matters in this business.

I've often wondered if he was right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Zen
Date: 02 Aug 08 - 01:00 PM

Whether you like the background of the word "ned" or not it is a term pretty well universally used to describe a ruffian or yob here in Scotland.

Zen


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 02 Aug 08 - 07:44 PM

I thought 'Ned' was a generic name for a donkey or ass.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 06:05 AM

Either way, it is a pretty nasty pejorative.

The perfect way to win hearts and minds....NOT!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 07:24 PM

Would it be used to refer to a yob or ruffian with a degree?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 07:31 PM

I would presume that those would simply be "ED"s.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pubs in Britain
From: Mr Happy
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 06:46 AM

I attended a revived folk music festival last w/end in Bull Bay, Anglesey.

The hotel where it was based having recently changed landlord who wanted to revive the festival which had, prior to theyfre predecessorfs tenureship, hosted it for many years.

Apparently, the previous licensee had so alienated the placefs former regulars

The relevance of this story to this threadfs theme is that the new management team were anxious to turn the place around & get it back to its popularity & regain business goodwill, so apart from getting in delicious real ales, great meals, & superb service; theyfd also got the regular w/end music & song sessions going again and allowed the annual folk gathering to resume after an absence of 2/3 years.

A success story here!!


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