Monday, 27 March 2017

Popularity stakes

Various items of pub-related news pop up on Twitter, and one thing that has struck me is how often pubs are described as “popular”. Take these random examples:

Popular pub added to Campaign For Real Ale’s list of historic drinking places

The owners of a popular West Kirby pub have called time on plans to sell the building

Regulars left high and dry as popular pub The Ship in Leigh shuts with just a Facebook post for warning

A popular pub in a Hampshire town has closed - and looks set to stay shut for several months

Traders' shock as popular Abbey Hulton pub closes suddenly

Upset as popular Whitchurch pub closes and is put up for sale

Popular Leeds pub to close

Popular Blue Bell pub in Cottingham closes suddenly

It just comes across as a lazy journalistic cliché that rarely conveys any meaningful information. And, in some cases, obviously the pubs can’t have been that popular, otherwise they wouldn’t have closed down.


  1. The Blocked Dwarf27 March 2017 at 15:07

    Damn but you're right, Mudgie! Although I must admit, I would have assumed 'popular' when used by journalists to describe pubs meant 'popular with drug dealers' but that's just me being a cynical Ol'Dwarf I expect.

    To test the theory I looked up the articles about my crippled son's local which shut the other day. No mention of 'popular' (despite the Landlord's son supposedly dealing on the premises)but one of the comments proved worth reading for a number of reasons.

    As it was too long and well worded a comment to copy pasta and I couldn't find a direct link to the comment in question here some salient points he raised, and he did sound liek he might actually know what he was talking about:

    "As an Enterprise tenant for several years, I feel I must answer some of the criticism the company have received on here from "the many experienced licencee's"... The general consensus seems to be that they are putting up rents once a tenant is established, this is not technically correct. The rent increases are 100% the blame of the tenant; ....It is a fact that old time experienced landlords do not want a pub nowadays, the trade was finished off by Tony Blair, and customers don't now want to drink in a wet led pub with people smoking, and with experienced landlords getting out of the game.... In defence of The Bull, .... the problem at The Bull was that whilst it had a fairly experienced landlord, he had allowed his personal life become entangled with his business life... I'm afraid that in the case of The Bull, his "male chicken" was ruling his brain !"

    I wonder how many other 'popular' and not so popular pubs have closed because the Landlord was led not by profit but by his 'male chicken'..

    1. I certainly know of one very capable and experienced licensee who wrecked his career, and severely damaged the trade of the pub he was running, by having an affair with a barmaid.

    2. perk of the job, tupping barmaids, surely? like free peanuts.

    3. Not if your wife finds out!

    4. The Blocked Dwarf27 March 2017 at 19:55

      " by having an affair with a barmaid."

      Granddad Dwarf the publican had a saying for every occasion, at least every pub related occasion and I have no reason to believe he was a paragon of marital virtue either. In this case his saying would have been : "Yer don't shit on yer own doorstep". Mind you, Grandmother (NEVER 'Nana') was from Norfolk witch breeding stock with a brain and a tongue sharper than a 'knackers knife'...

  2. Popular, is in 'would be popular if a tenth of the people complaining about it closing had bothered using it'.

  3. Not all pubs close down due to lack of trade or being run by a bad landlord.

    The Nags Head & Plough in Stapleford was a popular well kept pub that was next to the Pinfold trading estate,a few different business that employed a fare few people.
    Then aldi came along and submitted a planning application to pull all of the trading estate down,i looked at the planning application and the Nags Head & Plough was just off the application,then a few weeks later it had been added by an hand drawn mark added to the original application,all locals were mad about this and the landlord of the Nags Head & Plough looked for new premises in Stapleford to continue trading,they found eventually moved into the old midland bank and named it Larrys after the landlord who was running the Nags Head & Plough.
    I took my last visit to the pub on the 24th August 2015,the pub closed its doors on the 31st of August 2015 and was pulled down a few weeks later along with all of the pinfold trading estate.
    The site was boarded off and then nothing happened,it is still empty to this day.
    A decent pub gone and more than likely most of the peoples jobs on the trading estate.
    Nobody in Stapleford seems to know what is going on with the site now,i think aldi are a disgrace in what they have done.
    People on here who are more clever than me may know what is happening to the site.

    1. I'd be upset about the Aldi not being built. You can't go wrong with the Steinhauser lager. £3.99 a six pack. Bloody annoying if it's not built yet, matey.

    2. The Blocked Dwarf27 March 2017 at 19:48

      Unfortunately the Bearded Ones are apparently trying to get The Bull in Norwich declared a Community Asshat (does that mean 'surrounded on all sides by 1950s bungalows and between two wannabe parades of shops?) so no chance it will be turned into an Aldi cos there's one at the other end of the road almost. Mind you a Lidls would fit in there nicely too and be an asset to the community. Crippled son has to wheel hisself miles to get to his nearest one (well get his PA to drive him in his hot hatch'd mobility car cos crippled he may be but he isn't stoopid and no one in their right mind uses public transport in Norfolk).

  4. They are popular pubs, they're just only popular with the same seven people that go in every day.


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