22 October 2011

Pubs

The very symbol of English civilisation is not parliament, the monarchy or even the works of Mr Shakespeare himself, no it is the public house or pub for short. This bastion of our culture is threatened by corporatism, competition from supermarkets, the smoking ban, excessive alcohol taxes and the impact of home entertainment in the form of DVDs, home computers, LED and HD television. Many pubs have already died. Some have been demolished. Some have become curry restaurants or have suffered the indignity of being turned into apartments.
In my world travels, I have found no social facility or venue that is as democratic, welcoming and pressure-releasing as the English pub. Other countries have tried to imitate it but it never seems to work out the same. A pub is something other than a glorified restaurant. It is a meeting place. A place to relax, to laugh, to read a newspaper quietly, to get completely sozzled if you wish. A place for quizzes and darts, a home from home.

Sheffield and its environs can boast any number of wonderful pubs. Expelled former residents like Mr Gray and Mr Booth should seek out their hankies now.

Here's "The Yorkshire Terrier" at Brinsworth:-
A marvellous and thriving real ale pub at Nether Green - "The Rising Sun":-
Sheffield's foremost Irish pub, "The Dog and Partridge" on Trippet Lane:-
CAMRA 's regular national pub of the year, "The Kelham Island Tavern":-
And finally, here's "The Norfolk Arms" at Ringinglow. Sadly this is one that has succumbed to the "gastro-pub" plague and is not the pub it once was. The round house you can see on the left was once a tollhouse for travellers and herdsmen moving over the hills from South Yorkshire into Derbyshire and onwards to the mysterious land of nightmares they call Lancashire:-

8 comments:

  1. Yes, you're right again YP. English pubs- I would extend that to pubs all over the UK - are something special and unique. We love them and when you find a good one they are really special.
    Our local in the little village of Polruan in Cornwall was a place to go after dinner for a coffee or hot chocolate as well as a meal if you wanted it, where greetings were shouted as you walked through the door and conversations were often carried out from one end to the other and included all.
    Aussie pubs are places of social gatherings too but are often very noisy, crowded with young people trying their best to consume a lot of alcohol very quickly - and never a dog asleep by the fire or at his owners feet in sight!
    Just thinking about those lovely pubs makes me want to pack my bags and hop on a plane again.
    Cheers

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  2. HELEN Cheers indeed my good lady.

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  3. You should do a monthly feature on pubs in Sheffield.

    Visiting first for market research of course...

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  4. And with a barmaid saying at the end of the night some local dialect version of 'Hantcha got no 'ome to go to?'

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  5. The one next door to Kathy has now opened again and is a 'real ale' pub but I can't remember the name. Top of Blake Street and then you can pop in and say hello to Kathy. :)

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  6. BANGOOK BOOBS Good idea but will you sponsor me? £25 a week should do it.
    KATHERINE Hantcha? I thought that was a sheep farming town in darkest NZ. By the way - congratulations on overcoming the frogs in the World Cup Final. I was watching out for you in the crowd but you were nowhere to be seen.
    JENNY The name of the pub at the top of Blake Street is - wait for it - The Blake! I have been in there. I hope it continues to thrive.

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  7. When I was a student nurse and junior staff nurse, THE DOG AND PARTRIDGE was my local.....

    ah the singalongs in the back room!
    lovely memories

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  8. Well it would have to be something obvious seeing that it's Yorkshire! ;) Kathy and Mark will be pleased to see you any time.

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