I don’t go out a lot now, a number of factors mean that I can’t be bothered to pop out to my local and have a few beers. Chief among these are the sheer hassle of trying to deal with the regular Sunday morning hangover I had while studying at college (which of course was technically illegal).
Most weekends we would head out to the pub we knew both served the cheapest drinks, and had the laxest policy on ID checks. At The Woolpack we would while away the hours until it was time to head home via the Chinese for a quick chips and curry sauce.
Now when I drive past my old haunt it looks a lot different. Where once my shoes stuck to the floor and you would be surrounded by a whiff of urea and bleach you now have this:
I wanted to show you a picture of my old watering hole, but because it is long gone there are few images of the once great establishment. The only one I could find was a stock photo that cost £30 to license. That would be enough for a whole month at The Woolpack.
The problem is that pubs are dying, proper old style pubs that have ne’ver do wells and iffy hygiene regimes. I could from an old coal-mining and manufacturing town and the classiest place were those that had new beer mats. As they didn’t want underage yobbo’s chucking their pristine pieces of cardboard at each other we would have to go to the places of less repute.
Like The Woolpack. Not once do I recall being ID’d while asking for a bottle of Budweiser (I was young okay…I didn’t know better) and some scampi flavoured crisps. It was here we would ‘dance’ to the disco at the back while trying to have shouted conversations with one another.
When the bell rang we had just enough time to head up the road to the wood paneled decor of the Chinese takeaway for a soggy chips and luminous brown spiced sauce to ‘line’ the stomach (yes I know this is the wrong way round).
It’s gone now though, as more and more towns lose their dodgy pubs to see them replaced with buildings that advertise ‘Pint & Beer’ I’ve lost something as well. You can’t sit around having a chat being stupid in a gastropub, it’s too clean and sterile. Sitting around a table surrounded my marketing material suppresses the fun. Whenever you go into one of these pubs everybody looks sad and depressed, I don’t remember that when I was young (but it may have been the fact lighting is more plentiful now).
To many of pubs are now ending up like the one we used to go to for a sneaky pint while at school:
We are losing these valuable educational facilities for our young, who is going to teach them to lie about their age, or drink awful drinks, or how to play pool on a sloping table?
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Ode to a Playground.”
A place from your past or childhood, one that you’re fond of, is destroyed. Write it a memorial.