Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Negative symbolism

The Good Beer Guide has traditionally shown a range of symbols denoting various facilities such as pub games, gardens and food. But nowadays it’s getting to the stage where the absence of certain features has become an attraction in itself, so a few negative symbols are called for. One should be “No Satellite TV”, so you know you can visit in confidence without walking into a scrum of raucous footie fans. And, given the relaxation of the law relating to children in pubs, the “family room” symbol is increasingly meaningless. What is needed is an “Adult Friendly” symbol indicating that the pub has at least one separate area where under-18s are never admitted. It also needs to be re-emphasised that the “Quiet Pub” symbol means that no piped music is played in any public area, at any time. Regrettably, I know a couple of generally very good pubs that used to qualify for this but sadly no longer do through playing the radio at times.


  1. The quiet pub symbol is actually defined as no INTRUSIVE music, TVs or games machines. Though personally I would view any piped music as non-quiet.

    The family room symbol became out of date in 2005 when the law removed family rooms. The whatpub.org database doesn't record family rooms, it instead records "family friendly" with a recomendation to note the time off the premises.

    Have recently been looking through some premises licences within the Manchester & Trafford council areas and have been quite surprised how many pubs have no children's restrictions at all in their licenses, even when the pubs themselves choose for an outright ban or limited hours.

  2. "a scrum of raucous footie fans"

    I think your mixing your sports Curmudgeon!

  3. No, the 2011 GBG defines "Quiet pub" as "free from piped music, jukeboxes, electronic games and TVs (at least one room)"

  4. Why not have a little beard icon as the symbol for these features?

  5. If the smoking ban is one of the factors in pubs closing why do the few pubs that have a decent smoking area not put a sign up stating this?
    If they do I've never seen it. Mind you I've yet to see a decent smoking area.

  6. There are a couple of pubs near me with signs saying "Covered smoking patio" or "Smoker friendly area" - I should try to get a picture one day.


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