Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Two pints of milk and a packet of rusks

The Daily Mail reports that the King’s Fee Wetherspoons in Hereford has started running a baby and toddler group in the bar area. It’s only from 10 am to 12 noon one day a week, so isn’t really going to bring about the end of civilisation, although you do have to wonder how well the kiddies will mix with the typical JDW early-doors clientele. But it’s hard to decide which is worse – the fact that it is happening at all, or the ludicrously sanctimonious comments expressing horror at children being taken into such a den of iniquity as a pub.

And it’s not so long ago that Prue Leith was proposing that pubs should be used for serving school dinners in rural areas.


  1. I would never stay in a pub where children are present - not because I think they are being corrupted, but because I wouldn't find the atmosphere relaxing; but it's the landlord's choice. The children won't understand the difference between a cafe and a pub. If other customers don't have much regard for a pub which is "closed" to them until noon one day a week, they are free to go to a different pub.

  2. Two hours one morning a week to help alleviate the isolation that mothers with very young children often feel? Seems a good use of premises that are probably under-utilised at that time of day.

    As for the "sanctimonious comments" - self righteous killjoys will always be with us. I hope the group is a success and that other Spoons follow suit.

  3. Our Red Nev could be right
    a few broods of screaming brats would be a welcome relief from the
    stale mutants now keeping the morgues alive.Breast feeding could be a real winner for Butty Saloons
    such as W..........s
    As long as they dont have Puff the Magic Dragon showing Blue Peter
    films or Mr Pastry clips

    Bless em

    The Quiet Man

  4. JDWs are nor REAL pubs anyway - as far as I am concerned, they could hold women's institute meetings there, they could be polling booths, host bonny baby competitions, or even be state controlled dens of wholesomeness :P

    I wish CAMRA would see what they are promoting at the expense of the Traditional British Pub!!

  5. When did CAMRA promote mother and child groups in pubs? I must have missed that policy decision. And I note that most pubs in the Good Beer Guide aren't Wetherspoons, so the Campaign isn't promoting them that way either.

    I really can't see that two hours one morning a week sounds the death knell of the English pub. There's also the chance that some of these mothers, when the kids go to school, might continue to go to the pub for a drink or two to meet the friends they've made there and become - gulp! - regular pub goers.

    I accept it's your opinion that Wetherspoons aren't proper pubs, but I don't agree. I'm not a JDW apologist: in fact, I rarely go in them, not on principle, but because my friends and social life are elsewhere.

  6. Young children should not be allowed in pubs in my humble opinion.

    CAMRA support JDW by offering the membership fee back in JDW beer voucher - which out of principle I do not use.

    Small breweries get attracted to supplying to JDW so their product gets a wider audience, but JDW do not pay what they expect, so they put their prices up to the smaller pubs. The smaller pubs then find it more and more difficult to find reasonably priced local cask ales,,,,etc. etc..

    The traditional adults pub will soon be a thing of the past - I will mourn its passing with copious amounts of cheap bottled ales from the large supermarkets out there :(

    Russell VR Ord

  7. Martin, Cambridge8 October 2011 at 21:26

    As you say, a mother and toddler group once a week, finishing before many pubs in Hereford open, can't seriously upset anyone, and even Wetherspoons need to maximise their income as they are not immune to reduced pub trade.

    In my experience children in Spoons are pretty well behaved, keep to their own section, and aren't encouraged to stay after their meal by play areas, games etc. For a real contrast, try a Crown carvery in the North West, PC, which really do feel like playgrounds, and without good beer (cheap food though).


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