Saturday, 15 August 2009

Suffer the little children

In CAMRA’s quarterly magazine BEER, veteran cookery writer Prue Leith has proposed that pubs should provide school dinners for children whose schools have no kitchens.

She seems to assume that pubs have cooking and waiting staff hanging around at lunchtimes doing nothing, whereas in reality pubs would need to recruit staff to carry out this function, and put them through the expensive and time-consuming CRB checks required for anyone working with children.

She says:

Many pubs are empty miserable places at lunchtime, with a couple of old codgers supping their pints in silence in the gloomiest corner.
Sounds like me, really, although I always try to find a spot where there is good light to read the paper. And does she imagine those old codgers would still be there if their quiet space was invaded by a troop of schoolkids? In any case, most of the pubs where that was the case have either closed down or stopped opening at lunchtimes.

To be honest, you have to wonder when she last went in a pub. Some of the comments inject a welcome dose of reality.


  1. Another bonkers idea by Camra. It's becoming quite a trend.

  2. Yes. Bonkers, though by CAMRA? Poor editing as I'm sure it's just Prue's opinion.

    Or wrongly conflating a personal piece with CAMRA policy?

  3. Like most of these ideas, they are useful to a very small number of establishments.

    The point about recruiting staff is valid. Nearly every single publican I know cites recruitment as high in their list of problems.

    Also, I doubt the going rate for school meals is going to make a pub much money. Some pubs I know do pensioners clubs at lunch time and find that they only work because of the extra wet sales.

    Of course Tyson I'm sure would encourage that for school meals as well.

  4. It's an idea that will go absolutely nowhere, so I'll just say, "calm down." Yes, I'm from Liverpool.

  5. All kids need is a bag of chips, a mars bar and a can of tizer. The sugar and e numbers makes them run around a lot and keeps them fit and stops them getting fat. All these morbidly obese kids started to appear after e numbers were taken out of kia ora, and low sugar pop was introduced. The kids have no energy to play and now sit infront of playstations.


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