Here’s an absolutely brilliant piece on the “Pubs of Manchester” blog, evoking the pub world we have now pretty much entirely lost.
And the shaman who presided over these stories, the men who had spent a lifetime recording and remembering and retelling these tales were red-faced, slightly dishevelled men who not only drank in pubs, but lived in them. My dad was one of those shaman. The clothes he wore were often bought from men who went from pub to pub with a van out back. The meat he ate often came from a similar source. He knew names of landlords, barmaids, owners. He knew which local hardmen to avoid and which to talk to. He knew which pubs had jukeboxes, had pool tables, had darts teams. He knew pubs.