Premier League and English football – Les Cahiers du football |
Already, the concept of pub is broad, big differences between pubs. Not much to see between a village or neighborhood pub, even lively, and a city center pub invaded on weekends by hordes of thirsty and scantily clad thirsty girls.
Basically… And then I’ll say a word about pub food.
In the countryside and in outlying districts, the pub plays, or can play in any case, a much more significant social role than the bar / café in France even if this function of social / community cohesion is necessarily less marked “than before. ”(Disintegration of community cement, individualization of society, proliferation of more impersonal chain ads with high staff turnover, etc.). I know a lot of rural or neighborhood pubs that are not on these registers at all.
The pub is also a place of relaxation and socialization: darts, billiards, tournaments / championships. Quite a few pubs organize regular quizzes, charity events, various services for the neighborhood or community, live music, karaoke, etc. And in some areas of the regional games (a little co in the taverns of Hauts-de-France), “table skittles” style (table skittles) of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and also a little elsewhere (there are different types, eg link
Unfortunately very vintage, there are more masses, we find them more in traditional pubs like “real ale pubs”, pubs which seek to preserve the tradition under the aegis of CAMRA, link), as well as games of skill with a “quoits” type wavel (puck), link
Links with football too, many of them have teams in the famous “pub league”, officially Sunday League Football link, a bit like our corpo. Of course, with PL matches being broadcast on giant screens even if the Sky subscription is expensive for pubs (min. £ 1,000 / month), a lot of people make the effort to have Sky Sports.
Another difference between pub and bar: the pub is always open in the evening (but rarely in the morning, before 11 a.m.), generally until 11:30 p.m. / midnight but the opening hours are no longer rigid as in the past, before 2005, a breakthrough that we owe to New Labor since the relaxation of opening hours via the link, entered into force at the end of 2005. A revolution, controversial at the time.
Blair wanted the country to be “open 24/24 & 7/7, like on the Continent”. Flexibility measure seen as a “civilizing mission”: it was necessary to civilize these nags of British drinkers, to try to make them swallow their 10 pints not in 2 hours but over 4-5 hours, the idea being to reduce the harmful effects of the “binge drinking culture” and its procession of problems came with the sound of the famous “last orders” bell, which will close in 10-15 minutes. So there the guys, already braised, hearing the bell rushed to the zinc and ordered roughly twice as much as a normal tour, thus exacerbating the biture effect and the levels of aggressiveness.
And there, around 11:20 pm to 11:30 pm, somehow the staff kicked everyone out, creating cars of problems. I remember discussions at the end of the 1990s with an Emergency nurse in a hospital in Sheffield – a neighbor of mine in fact, I lived 500m from this hostel, the Northern General – telling me that I had to treat every Saturday night from around 11 p.m. to 1 hour in the morning up to 100 people injured as a result of violence, falls, intoxication, blood poisoning etc., (with little means, like 2 nurses and 1 doctor and more). The problem is that, according to the statistics in any case, these probs of violence linked to the closing of pubs have absolutely not decreased but even doubled since 2005 (exceeding the million recorded incidents of violence), according to some stats anyway but the methodology differs from one source to another.
In 2005, there were then around 60,000 pubs and 2,000 of them immediately asked (the police) for extensions to open until at least 2-3 a.m., and a few hundred took Blair at his word. and for a 24-hour license from Friday to Sunday evening. Strong wind of liberation felt in the country because many hated the time restrictions obviously.
It was also an electoral gimmick, Blair had promised (during the 2001 election campaign) to young people & students to break the codes and dynamise these archaic opening hours well backward compared to the rest of Europe (the status quo supported by the right, weak at the time, which feared an outbreak of violence and a mobilization of police resources, understaffed, on a possible increase in problems). Blair had even cracked down on texting in youth language (« cdnt give a xxxx 4 lst ordrs? Vote labor on thrsdy 4 xtra time » (with a pun as a bonus, the « XXXX » evoking a very known by the Australian beer brand, Castlemaine, “Australians wouldn’t give a Castlemain XXXX”, a brand that had been showing its ads on British channels since the 1980s so it spoke to everyone). link
Labor exploded the counters in these elections: 412 elected deputies – 61% of the seats -, against 165 for the Conservatives.
The pub is also a meeting place for the community, associations, groups, charities, choirs, musicians’ clubs, board game players, etc. They are sometimes called “community pubs”. Pubs often lend venues (free or against payment). I’ve seen it all come together in pubs, usually upstairs or outbuildings, or even the beer garden.
For example, I took language courses in a pub (German and Arabic, organized by private individuals) and when I lived in Sheffield in the second half of the 1990s, we often held our Amnesty International meetings in pubs which lent us a large room (it also arranged their business, 30 people consuming generously after a meeting was good for them, and it won loyalty, some have become regular customers). Worse around 1998 the Quakers lent us their Quaker Meeting House, nice the Trembleurs.
In the United Kingdom, there are fewer public places to meet or associations than in France, the municipalities are much less focused on this (no or very few subsidies for assos, society in general relies much more on it. private initiative and charities, big business) then the pub fills those gaps a bit.
Also, a lot of pubs are doing in B & B style accommodation, basic or luxury (rooms above transformed into bedrooms). For example this pub that I know well, the Red Lion link located in the village of Alnmouth (50 kms north of Newcastle, on the coast that goes up to the Scottish border, quite touristy village, the area is nice link), started to make B&B a few years ago to diversify because it was not making enough money with just the pub. The other 3-4 pubs in the village are also B & Bs. In non-tourist areas, some pubs also have a B&B activity and mainly host temporary workers.
Another development in recent years: the explosion of craft beer pubs and alternative pubs specializing in independent micro-breweries, as well as the tremendous growth of micropubs, link
I was talking about these micropubs here, in an article on Hartlepool United, link a great micropub there, the Rat Race Ale House, located on the station platform, also one of the pioneers of the micropub movement, a bit of an alternative movement in reaction to impersonal chains and pubs. From a handful of micropubs 15 years ago we have grown to around 750 today.
Not bad for a micro movement to be stuffed with the power of huge chains, standardization and big city center knockdown pubs (Stonegate style, and their pubs with stupid names such as “Slug & Lettuce”, the slug and Lettuce, which has 4,500 pubs in the UK, or the often huge n Wetherspoons, link, whose owner is the notorious Tim Martin, one of the most virulent Brexiters and who now chuckles that there should be « more immigration from the EU ». You couldn’t make it up, as they say here. link
These micropubs have also been created (almost always by non-earning people, given the nature & status of the micropub, £ 10,000-15,000 may be enough to set one up) to provide a community focal point, a place of communication. Also sometimes created with an ethical conception that tends towards the “social enterprise”, some make it a point of honor to employ excluded people, refugees, homeless people, disabled people, ex prisoners, etc. I highly recommend pub fans a visit to a micropub on their next trip to the UK, quirky and generally very friendly places. They are a little to the pubs (increasingly corporate because monopolized by chains, breweries and “pub companies”) what are or were the fanzines and sites “alternative” to mainstream and footixian football.