Thursday, 7 February 2013

Sticky wickets

There’s an interesting new website called A Journey into History which contains reminiscences of the long-closed Railway Inn on Wellington Road South in Stockport, which is now an art shop.

One of the most memorable anecdotes is the tale of pub regular “Sticky” Edwards whom the family encountered when they moved to another pub, the Church in Heaton Norris. At the same time both funny and sad, this has to be read to be believed, and conjures up a vanished world of how pubs used to be.

You just don’t seem to see that kind of heroic-cum-tragic volume consumption of beer in pubs nowadays. Indeed, to maintain a twenty pints a day habit would be prohibitively expensive, yet “Sticky” seemed to manage it on a pension in the 1950s, suggesting that the real-terms price of a pint across the bar has actually increased over the years.

The story reminded me of this post from last year about a retired licensee who claimed to have routinely drunk forty pints a day in his heyday.

8 comments:

  1. The CAMRA book, A Landlord's Tale by Barrie Pepper, has recollections of working in a pub in a West Yorkshire town in the 1950s. Full of funny and sad stories, and reminiscent of a time that has now gone in pubs.

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  2. I get the tragic. Not seeing the heroic. Heroic would be self sacrifice for a cause, a life, a dream. Nothing about dying of alcoholism is heroic unless you are some sort of idiot.

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  3. Thought you'd like that one Mudgie.

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  4. But Cookie. Not all succumb to a miserable alcoholic death. They enjoy their slow demise - one which we all suffer from - with the aid and support of the odd 40 pints a day.

    F*cking killjoy!

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  5. Cookie, ultimately it is essentially tragic. But, whether you like it or not, there remains a widespread view that consumption of huge quantities of beer - at least on occasion - is a rather heroic and manly thing to do. A while back I remember Tyson referring to the "100 pints a week club" who presumably didn't regard themselves as hopeless alcoholics, while the TV documentary about various Red Lions included one guy whose regular weekend recreation included having 20 pints on Saturday.

    Of course we know that true heroism involves completely staying off the sauce during January, and for the rest of the year walking five miles to the pub once a week and drinking a half-pint of 2.8% beer.

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  6. It's pretty pathetic, though, innit? Some bizarre masculinity thing about drinking a lot? You'd think it pathetic if it was a sports car or a young blonde. Maybe not the young blonde, I'd think that was cool but you get the drift.

    I mean, I like a pint and most of you have seen me pissed but if I was shaking when I got up and only 3 pints of bitter sorted me, I think I'd go to AA rather than see myself as a self sacrificing hero saving pubs. I'd worry if I was getting pissed too often, long before shakes and stuff.

    I know Oliver Read T shirts are as popular as lager boy T shirts among the weirdo section of the beard club but he is a hero only to the weirdos isn't he?

    A prerequisite of beer blogging is I think liking the sauce but it ain't a dick swinging contest is it?

    Sod it, bored of Becks Premier light (2.3% ABV & 64 calories a 12oz 355ml bottle) so I shall go get pissed in the beardy weirdy pubs this afternoon until i reek of pongy ale ;)

    Just remember, I do it because I like it, not because I want you to hero worship me. Hero worship tandy, he deserves it.



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  7. Nev, I too enjoyed reading Barrie Pepper's book which was based on his parents' experiences running a couple of pubs in the West Riding in the 1950's.

    As you say, some funny and some sad stories, but now alas, a vanished world.

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  8. Lord Egbert Nobacon10 February 2013 at 12:17

    I once consumed 20 pints of Bodingtons at the Illawalla Country Club near Blackpool.
    Unfortunately while attempting to dazzle a comely maiden with my dancing skills I sharted.
    I quickly deposited my soiled strides in the cistern of the gents, cleaned myself up and went back in pursuit of the punani.
    Later that evening as I disrobed prior to some energetic jiggery-pokery with said wench she informed me that I was one dirty bastard for not wearing any feckers but she was prepared, on this occasion, to overlook matters of personal hygiene.
    Since then I've never drank more than 10 pints and not once lost control of my sphincter.
    I hope pong lovers pay heed to this warning.

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