4 January 2016

Table


My local pub, "The Banner Cross Hotel" closed for refurbishment today. In a month's time a new pub will emerge like a butterfly from the chrysalis of history. I hope that it is not too flash for it is in my nature to be drawn to derelict or run down places and "The Banner" certainly has been run down for a good long while. Doses of  t.l.c. and financial investment are admittedly long overdue.

Anyway, I was standing in the men's lavatory on Friday night when new landlord Dave also walked in to stare at the tiled wall. It was Niagara versus Hardraw Force and it seemed the perfect moment to pop the question I had been forming in my mind for a couple of weeks. "Dave, I've been wanting to ask this for a  while..."
No folks, it's not what you think. I asked him about the pub tables in the tap room and whether or not I could buy one off him for fifty quid. Finishing his fireman duties and zipping up, Dave paused for a moment and then said, "Aye. Bring your car up tomorrow dinner and I'll sort you out."

Whoopee! I had been wanting a cast iron pub table in good condition for ages. It's to go out on the top part of our decking. But I wanted an original  Victorian "Britannia" design table. It had to be that.

Saturday came and I duly pulled up outside the pub with fifty pounds in my pocket. Now I am the proud owner of a cast iron pub table and even better - it has come from my local - somewhere I have spent many an hour and many a pound.

It's not going outside right away. First of all I am going to strip the wooden surface of the table top, sand it down and apply a good weathershield finish. Let's say it's my late Christmas present to myself and I am most delighted with it. Some guys like designer clothing, fast cars, cocaine or super hi-fi equipment but my boat is well and truly floated by an old pub table. Do you think I'm weird?
Karl - our Indian elephant standing on the table.

39 comments:

  1. No it's wonderful but far too good to be outside.

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    1. Perhaps you are right. Maybe I should have picked a crap one.

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    2. It will, I fear, be ruined outside.

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  2. I think the table is wonderful. It's a beautiful table.

    What is even more wonderful was your detailed description leading up to posing the question to said new publican. I was pleased to learn both of you had zipped up before getting down to the serious business of trading!

    For a moment I became nervous as I read further but then I realised you'd arrived back at the pub....

    I think you've gotten yourself a very good bargain there. Fifty quid!!! Great deal!

    And, at the fear of incriminating myself, I plead the 10th and refuse to answer your last question!!!

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    1. Thank you Lee. I think I might have preferred it if you had just come out and answered the question - "Yes. Bloody weird!"

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  3. It's a good sturdy little table that has undoubtedly served you and many others very well for a lont time at your local. I think it's a great idea for a Christmas gift to yourself! My gift to myself was a new toilet brush from Aldi's. It cost 1,69 €.

    Some of the furniture at my local (Ludwigsburg's Irish Pub, "Towers") is originally from an Irish church, some benches, the wooden back walls and some beautiful carving. Chris, the landlord, insists that he bought it legally when the church became an ex-church.

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    1. Oooo! One euro sixty nine on a new toilet brush! What colour is it and what have you done with your old one. If you have still got it please mail it to me as we need a new one.

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  4. I'm not sure who thought those faces on the legs were a good idea - they must spend the whole time staring at the beer drinker's crotch.

    Having said that, it is a very fine table and I must confess to being more than a little bit jealous.

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    1. You are jealous? Good! That is nice to hear SP.
      Loved your comment about crotch watching!

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  5. That is a GREAT table, and as you said, even more meaningful since you know the pub involved. (Why are they getting rid of it?!) But I agree with Adrian -- I think you should keep it inside!

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    1. They are getting rid of it because they are modernising the pub... that sounds ominous to me!

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  6. Well that is a great buy and so good to know it's provenance....I look forward to seeing it post renovation.

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    1. Oh God! The pressure is now on Libby!

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  7. What a beautiful piece of history and fun. My first thought was that it definitely should not go outside. Then I read the other posts and see that I am not the only one that thinks so.

    Picture it, Mr. Pudding. You are 90 years young, sitting in your favorite recliner with Mrs. Pudding opposite the room in hers. Having fallen asleep while reading your favorite newspaper with your cuppa and your reading glasses on the top of your now-famous pub table. Divine!

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    1. You paint a lovely picture MT but I shall never make ninety. It's not in my genes. Oh, and I have managed without reading glasses for sixty two years!

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    2. All right then!! No reading glasses, just the paper and a pint!

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  8. Heee hee hee. Ha ha. Snicker. Are you weird???? Now that I'm done sniggering, I'll answer. YES. ABSOLUTELY. YOU BETCHA.

    But all the best sort are.

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    1. I shall take that as a compliment Mistress Hilly - albeit a weird one!

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  9. p.s. I thank you for the mention in honor (honour?) of the Laughing Horse Awards. I have dutifully gone directly to my blog in an effort to do better this year and have made a new post!

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    1. I will be reading it soon Mistress and will alert other members of The Awards Committee too.

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    2. Me too, Hilly. I resolve to try harder this year !

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  10. Great purchase, it is handsome and has sentimental value. I would be tempted to not refinish it and leave the nicks, etc. which show its history.

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    1. I know what you mean Terra but as it is going to live outside I need to protect it as much as possible.

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  11. Of course I think you're weird, but what has that to do with your acquiring a new/old table? Nothing. Nothing at all.

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    1. You are also weird Bob. We weirdos need to stick together.

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  12. Neil, it is a beautiful table, showing the craftsmanship of a bygone age and its personal history to you is something very special. I totally agree with Adrian - it deserves a lovely corner in your beautiful home, but also I have a practical concern about putting it outside; cast iron is quite brittle, can be easily knocked and is susceptible to frost damage.

    Like Ian, I'm a tad jealous - look at these examples on ebay and see what a bargain you struck; http://www.ebay.co.uk/bhp/cast-iron-pub-table

    Perhaps you ought to tell David you can shift another couple for him...

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    1. They will all have been removed today Elizabeth. My table is a rescued table - like a rescued puppy. I am patting it now - there, there boy! Thanks for the warning about cast iron. I might have to paint it with black "Hammerite".

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  13. I can see that your mind is set, Neil. You have visualised and in your mind's eye already placed your lovely table and that is the right choice for you. Enjoy every moment of the process of restoring it, pouring your talents into it and as you and Shirley sit around it I know that it will bring much happiness and many memories of the folk you've met and supped with; the ones who were good at the quizzes and the ones who gave memorably wrong answers, the ones who have died and the ones you had deep conversations with. Like your butter dish it will become cherished and uniquely precious to you, so breathe deep the gratitude of every recall, thoroughly squeeze every ounce of satisfaction from your gift to yourself and don't forget to show us pictures when it is finished and in situ. x

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    1. Your heart is so big Elizabeth and you have imagined it all so well. I hope it does turn out that way.

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  14. That is a fancy looking table. Yes it's a good idea to put a coating or two of outdoor finish.

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  15. YP - you really should moderate your blog comments. When I read the last comment I wondered whether I was on another planet.

    Maybe you could put that lovely table outside in the summer and bring inside through the winter.

    Karl the elephant seems to approve of the table purchase too.

    Ms Soup

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    1. Your comment reminds me that The Awards Committee should at least have acknowledged your positive contributions to our noble profession Alphie. On their behalf I extend our heartfelt apologies for the oversight. Doris in the office is going to get more than a flea in her ear! The stupid woman!...Re. Moderation - comments are now disallowed after fourteen days and are diverted to my e-mail account.

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  16. Look! Look! They've done it again! What you have to do Doris is just make their life difficult for a short time by herding these offenders, and the rest of us by default, into comment moderation.

    When they get tired of being booted then maybe you can do away with the moderation. See, Doris I need no encouragement to butt in and say my piece.

    Mr Pudding of course will have to work a bit harder, so this idea might not be approved.

    Ms Soup

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    1. Doris says that the intrusion of the morons isn't sufficiently troublesome to warrant strengthening moderation but she thanks you for your very thoughtful concern.

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  17. I love your little table YP. It will be great out on the deck. What sort of chair will you sit on ?

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    1. We will be using this cunning new invention called "The Chair". One day it may even reach Australia.

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  18. So...is " the Chair" a special sort of chair or just all weather deck chair or a common garden variety black stump.

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    1. The two chairs that will go with the table are tubular bistro type chairs with a rattan weave covering.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.