Wednesday, 4 July 2012

When Pubs Had Mystery




When I was growing up pubs had mystery. Us kids weren't allowed inside, we had to sit in the beer garden with a bottle of Hoyes lemonade, sucking through a paper straw that collapsed before we'd even got half way through.


Walking past a pub I was captivated by the sweet pungent smell of spilt beer and cigarette smoke, the sound of noisy chatter. Windows were frosted or blurred with bullseyes so no one could see inside.


Going to private functions in rooms above pubs one would catch a quick glimpse of the bar, full of unrecognisable faces.


Frequent shopping trips to Burton upon Trent meant other smells associated with beer, the smell of hops in boiling wort came from clouds of steam hanging over the streets. The pubs here looked different, many stood at the end of rows of terraced houses, or so it seemed.


I was intrigued by this mystery and it was one of the reasons I couldn't wait to start drinking in pubs as soon as I could get away with it.


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