Friday, 8 November 2013

Pubs we have loved and lost

Here’s an interesting piece of nostalgia from the Shropshire Star about pubs that have been lost in the county in recent years. The comments about pubs being caught in “planning limbo” are particularly pertinent.
A particularly agonising possibility for failed pubs is that they will be in planning limbo land. In this set of circumstances local people tend to be vociferous in wanting to keep the pub, even if they don’t often drink there themselves, and the local council supports them by refusing to give planning permission for conversion into homes, or whatever. The publican or pub company argues that the pub is not viable and that nobody wants to buy it as a pub.

And so there is a standoff. The building is in the worst of all worlds, a pub that is not a pub, and not really anything else either. If it is not occupied, it will deteriorate, with every day an incremental decrease in the chances of bringing it back to life successfully.

Empty buildings are vulnerable buildings, and a few closed pubs have been burned down.

But it’s very hard to deny that, sad though this toll of closures may be, the underlying cause is a long-term fall in demand that has rendered more and more pubs unviable.

The picture is of the interestingly-named All Labour in Vain at Horsehay in Telford.


  1. Pubs are holy land. Once consecrated with a splash of Best Bitter on the carpet they must always be pubs until time itself ends and the universe is just a cold dead hulk.

    Should anyone ever want to change a pub into something else they ought to be stopped by the retired teachers and corrupt union stooges that get onto the council who ought to decide what private property can be used for. This is because if we can't have socialism then crony capitalism is better than actual capitalism, because then at least the corrupt union stooges on the council can get a kickback.

    If anyone turns an old bank or bedshop into a pub or bar, then that's it. It has to be that forever. Anyone that thinks a failed pub that no one wanted to go to is no longer is needed and thinks maybe a shop or some housing might be more useful and of more value is an evil greedy corporate capitalist bastard.

    Nothing must ever change, ever. Unless it is to build a new pub.

  2. Funny how you indulged in arselicking on Pete Brown's blog rather than expressing similar sentiments there, Cookie.

  3. The issue of converting pubs to other uses is different to the beer tie, Pete Browns blog, which is an issue of ripping off investors.

    Flogging people businesses that cannot succeed under their own legal terms is akin to mis selling pensions, insurance and numerous other financial chicanery. Capitalism requires a legal framework within which to exist. Without the law you don't get capitalism, you have feudalism.

    There is no contradiction in saying the owners of property have legal rights AND business contracts ought to be clear & fair.

    Oh and as for the title, "loved". A pub is an object, it cannot love you back. So it makes little sense to love a pub any more than a car. It would make better sense to love your missus, your kids, maybe even a pet. You could love a barmaid, if she had a fair pair of knockers. They might even love you back.

  4. The English Pub was ,since ancient times, an integral essential centre for the English
    way of life.It survived war ,plague,depression and Puritanical oppression.It's survival was dependent on the character ,fortitude and stubborn determination of the English Spirit.An open door where rich and poor mixed freely,where different opinions were expressed,where strangers made friends,where problems were resolved. Now we do not have enough Englishmen who will stand up to be counted,be seen,be heard,
    taken notice of.We do have a few who still battle on but they are outnumbered by those who cave in to apathy ,who surender to lies and deception pumped out by well financed vested interests.
    maybe ,hopefully soon,enough will come out of their comma and start a Rennaisance ,hopefully

    Saxon Dreamer

  5. But the anti-pubco lobby are very keen to conflate the issues of unfair contract terms and the general decline of the pub trade.

    And the commenter "keithpp" on Pete Brown's blog who said "There needs to be a local listing of all buildings of historical and architectural interest. Once listed, and this Victorian building meets the criteria, cannot be demolished." is surely a prime example of the "preserve everything in aspic forever" mentality.

    Also plenty of people are happy to say that they "love" particular pieces of scenery, or historic buildings, or steam locomotives, or even Jaipur IPA. Can't they "love" pubs as well?

  6. That's summat to take up with Keith. I offered an opinion on the tie separate to that of building preservation, cos they are separate issues. I can only offer my own opinion. It will be different to others. It's a free country, innit? People are free to disagree with me. Those people are wrong, mind, but are free.

    I like fair and clear contracts. I don't dislike old buildings but have no problem with knocking them down. The earth existed for millennia before they were built and life will go on after they are knocked down. Capitalism requires creative destruction to free the resources for new human ingenuity. One day it will all be academic, anyway. The earth will plunge into the fires of a dying sun and all the art and beauty man has created will be no more. Ce La Vie. It's not all bad. Alongside the good stuff, Police Academy 7 : Mission to Moscow, the worst film I have ever seen will be no more too. It will be like it was never made in the first place.

    As for love, you can love what you want. But you can't expect me to. I love living things capable of returning love, preferably with pert knockers. I can like things. I like plenty of old crap. Seems to me to be a bit emotionally stunted to love inanimate objects, but heh ho, that's the British. Good luck with that.

  7. Cookie

    You said "The earth will plunge into the fires of a dying sun". That is not true. The Sun will expand to consume the Earth. Not a trivial distinction.

    Should we treat your other pronouncements with equal caution? :-)#

  8. Crikey Dave, you're not wrong. That's shattered my world view and I've now joined the welfare party.;)

  9. Cookie

    I think you see ‘love’ as a verb as in “do you love me?” meaning deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone.

    While the beard club see it as noun as in “pubs fill the beard club with intense feelings of love” meaning an intense feeling of deep affection.

    Although PC, with his passion for smoke-filled dens of yesteryear, might fall into the former category.


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