Our Quaint English Pubs.... Can They Survive?

English Pub - A quaint old English Pub, but will it survive?
@Darkwing (21588)
July 22, 2009 4:17am CST
I love the British Pubs, and often visit, not because I drink in excess, but because of the atmosphere and social values. Most British Pubs are popular for maybe a chat with friends, business meetings, celebrations, or a mere, enjoyable game of darts, pool or bar billiards. They have an atmosphere better than any sports complex or village hall, and I love to spend time there. But alas, with the recession and the rising cost of a pint of our favourite beer or lager, people are staying away. First the smoking ban hit, followed by the recession, and pubs are struggling badly to remain a viable business. In fact, news has broken today of a record amount of closures and job losses. Those pubs who serve food are just about managing to survive better the tide of negatives coming their way. In the past year, since the onset of the smoking ban, a total of 2,377 pubs are said to have closed their doors for the last time, in Britain. The smoking ban and changes to the Licensing Act struck the initial blows with the "killer punch" being delivered by the current recession. In fact, for the first six months of this year, 52 pubs have closed each week, resulting in 24,000 job losses. It seems everywhere you go, there's at least one pub boarded up, waiting for a property developer to come along and buy it. What a shame, this is, to lose an age old tradition this way, but the fact is, the landlords are fighting for their livelihood, and we're unable to support them. I had to go to a meeting last night and on my way home, I dropped in the local just to unwind, hopefully, with some friends. There were four youngsters in the bar I went into, and just two others in the saloon bar. I just don't know how a business can be operated that way, and fear many more will close in the second half of the year. Is anybody else finding that their pubs are closing? Is there a pub you liked to use which is no longer there? Now the recession is on, I really do believe that smokers would offer at least a one hundred percent pick up in business. What do you think... where will it all end?
5 people like this
11 responses
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
22 Jul 09
Yes I saw this on the News this morning to and I think we all knew this was going to happen as soon as the smoking ban came in You know I don't care for Pubs and that but People like you who like the Social Events and that it is not fair as that is your Enjoyment, my Children go to the Pub at times to I just hope that some sort of Measures will be taken to stop this Problem or I really do not know where it will take it with the Pubs ( I do wish him over the road would go bust) I know it is nasty to say that, but he is a nasty Man, I told him if he approached me once more about this incident with the Nurse I would get him for Harassment Hugs to you always xxx
2 people like this
@Darkwing (21588)
22 Jul 09
I have a feeling he won't ever go bust, I'm afraid, Gabs. I say that merely because he now has a growing business in clamping! lol. Sorry... not funny, but I couldn't resist! We've had a lot of rain here over the past day or two, and there are pubs who should be enjoying great summer custom who don't provide a shelter for smoking. So, what happens? That's eighty per cent of their business gone for starters. I went to Burgess Hill Con Club last night for a meeting. It was chucking it down and quite windy, but they did have tables and benches out front on the patio with three, huge umbrellas covering them. So, before I went in for the meeting, I sat out and had a ciggy. It was a bit cold in the wind but at least there was shelter. Lots don't have anything because they're against smoking and they use the new law as an excuse. I'm afraid that could be a lot of the cause of their drop in trade. Nothing we can do about it though, I guess. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution. Love and hugs. xx
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
22 Jul 09
I guess he is but there was something on the News about private clamping so he might just get a shock
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@Darkwing (21588)
22 Jul 09
Yes, I saw something in the Yahoo news a week or two back. I think they're trying to control the private clamping of cars now. There have been too many problems caused by it.
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@ElicBxn (60895)
• United States
23 Jul 09
Well, Austin has had a smoking ban for about 20 years, and it has gotten progressively more strict over that time. From smoking sections to having to have separate air ventilation systems. Many of the bars in Austin have opened up their courtyard if they have them, or roofs if they don't so the smokers have a place to go - not that Texas really has a WHOLE lot in common weather wise to England. I don't know if the pubs there could open a patio or some other outside area for the smokers or not.
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@Darkwing (21588)
23 Jul 09
It sounds as though Austin have things well under control, my friend, but here... not so. Yes, some pubs do have a covered, heated patio, but not all can afford it with the drop in trade. I feel the government made the law, so they should subsidise the outside smoking areas, but that's a pie in the sky wish! Roofs would help, even in our climate. We have to have outside areas open on three sides, so a roof is about all it could be. It wouldn't stop the wind but it would keep the rain off one's head. Brightest Blessings, and thank you for your contribution, my friend.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60895)
• United States
23 Jul 09
yeah, and its not like the smokers will generally freeze, they might get heat exhaustion, but not frost bite - and seldom wet, the umbrellas they have are more to keep the sun off than the rain off
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@Darkwing (21588)
24 Jul 09
Brilliant... if only the government would financially help the landlords here to provide that sort of environment, then I'm sure smokers would accept it much better and frequent their pubs more.
1 person likes this
• China
23 Jul 09
Hi Darkwing, I can understand what you feel now though I never been UK and never been to a British pub. In China, with the rapid development of economy, we also are going through the pain that many beautiful things which have accompanied people for very very long a time have to be replaced or have to stop business because of the recession. For example, the dubbers. I still can recall the days when I was little, I always like to see dubbed overseas movies, some are really masterpieces because of the good translation and perfect dubbings, some good ones like the Sound of Music, Yesenia, Gone with the Wind, Zorro, they are remembered as masterpieces together with the vivid voices full of emotion. But now people, especially the young prefer to see overseas movies with original dubbing, because they think it's more natural and they can learn English better. I love movies with original dubbing too, but what a shame, I also love Chinese-dubbed overseas movies,and I'm also sorry for those dubbers who are going to lose their job because less and less people tend to see Chinese-dubbed movies.
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21588)
23 Jul 09
Funny you should mention the dubbing and subtitles. When I was in Germany, I learned a good part of the German language from subtitles and dubbing. I was there for three years, and when I went over there, I only knew school things, and common, everyday stuff, but the television helped me to further my knowledge much more. As for the pubs, it's a shame that this is happening because British pubs are an age-old tradition. Ours, for instance, has been there since the 14th century. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution.
1 person likes this
• China
24 Jul 09
From the British movies, I can always see British pubs with little doors and people drink there, talking some stuff. In China, we also used to have tea house, something like a pub. But, from the 14th century? Wow, that's really a long history for Britain!
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@Darkwing (21588)
24 Jul 09
A lot of our churches, schools and pubs date back a long, long way, my friend. I love British History. We have the stone circles and burial grounds still, and a lot of historic places are preserved, as heritage. Sure, the pubs are traditionally like you said. There are some more modern bars around these days, which are run by chains, but there are some beautiful old ones still surviving. Our local used to be the hostelry for the monks who used the church way back. There are steps down from the church to the pub, and even an old tunnel between the old church house, the church and the pub. Of course, it's disused now, as it would be dangerous, but it's still there, by all accounts. I think I've seen a Chinese tea house or two on films, as well. I love tradition, don't you?
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• United States
22 Jul 09
There is a rule to live by, when times are good people drink, when times are bad people drink twice as much. I'm sure that it will pick up, people will find a way to get soused again. If it isn't a a pub it will be at home. The recession is only for those who participate in it.
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@nancyrowina (3850)
22 Jul 09
Many pubs near me are closing a lot more than they are open, no one is going out to drink regularly any more as they can't afford it it seems. As a result it costs to much to pay staff to stand in an empty pub so they just don't open every night. Sadly I think local pubs are going to all end up being bought out by franchises like Weatherspoons and Yates's and the only ones that will survive with their own names will be out of town gastro pubs that are all owned by breweries.
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@jazzsue58 (2672)
22 Jul 09
I'm not well off, so a night at the boozer to me means live entertainment. I can drink myself stupid at home, if that's all I intend to do. No pub is going to last if all they offer is the chance to get ratted.
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@jazzsue58 (2672)
22 Jul 09
The Greyhound in Redhill was once home to up and coming live bands like, er ... The Kinks, The Who, David Bowie and the Strolling Bones - sorry, Rolling Stones. Come the 1990s and beyond, one law after another caused its demise. The last time they held an open mic sesh there, 5 of us turned up - and the neighbours (in the new flats just built) complained. Still, now they've got a nice "exclusive developement" site to look at instead. Complete with mobile phone mast on top. Serves the b@rstards right.
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
22 Jul 09
I do beleive if they would lift the smoking ban more people would go tto htem and that would save them from closing. Even with the smoking ban hree some say they welcome smokers and these are just bars where no kid is to go into! I could walk to one here not to far from the house but I dont havent been in a bar in years and years since they put out getting tickets havening an open container in the car . So we quitse going way back in think it was around 1985. That really put a damper on things now I have driver and can drink in the casinos but that isnt like a pub or a bar.
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@Darkwing (21588)
23 Jul 09
I'm sure you're right my friend. Pubs are not the same without the smokers in them. I can't quite put my finger on it but they've become kind of "clinical". No, not the same in the casinos, my friend. That's a long time to go without visiting a bar too. I would miss it too much... the friendliness and the fun of being with people and taking part in a few games of darts or whatever, that is. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution. xx
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
23 Jul 09
I really missed going to them to dance in.
@celticeagle (119857)
• Boise, Idaho
22 Jul 09
Think about it. How long have these quaint little pubs been around? I think they may take it in the groin for awhile but they will come back from this. Men left to go to war and came back. Now the smoking thing. But it will all come back. And killer punchs heal and rejuvenate themselves. Make take a while and might be hard for awhile. Areas all over the world are seeing a decline but things go in cycles and it will all come back around. Maybe not as well as it was but it will.
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@Darkwing (21588)
22 Jul 09
Oh, I agree that things go in cycles, but by the time it goes around, the pubs will have lost their best trade and the smokers will have found somewhere else to have their fun. I don't rely on pubs for anything other than a social meeting place, or not the local anyway. But, when I go on holiday, I like to have an evening drink. Unfortunately, a lot of the men who left to go to war didn't come back, so there's no guarantee that the governments will back down on this, especially with the French and Europe calling all the shots. I wish I was as optimistic as you, but I feel we have lost a part of our tradition of popping down the pub for a pint, a packet of crisps and a smoke. Woe betide us if the Government have to lose face with Europe! The fact remains that over 50 pubs are closing down every single week and it makes me sad to see it. Brightest Blessings, and thank you for your contribution.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (119857)
• Boise, Idaho
22 Jul 09
Well, I think you have to stay as positive as you can and help out where you can. I am a believer that you have to take care of your own little circle of the world and hope for the best. Sometimes that is all we can do. Things change and never really stay the same for long. It is a part of life. And who knows, maybe something good will come out of the change. Such is the adventure of life!
@MsTickle (24993)
• Australia
24 Jul 09
The shame of it is that the recession will eventually be in the past and so many things will be lost. The English pub is iconic and it's a damn shame to read the statistics you provide. Here in Australia, we are not doing too badly although there have been many job losses and and a significant number of small business closures. This however was happening before the recession as a result of larger companies putting the little guy out of business. I wonder where it will all end and what will be the state of things when the world comes out the other side of this recession.
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21588)
24 Jul 09
I don't know where it will all end my friend, but I saw a report today which said the recession is worse than they'd ever predicted, so go figure! It would help if our politicians didn't keep "milking" the country's money for their own, personal expenses, or what they said was personal expenses. I suppose you've heard the news. The Conservatives shot themselves in the foot there, for sure, and now, most of Britain is voting for the Nationalists. lol. I'd hate to lose a lot of pubs, because as a nation, we traditionally use them often, and especially when on holiday. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution, my friend.
• United States
23 Jul 09
I think that some will inevitably die simply because of the economic meltdown, but that they will certainly survive in the long run. There is nowhere else you can go to get that kind of atmosphere, and the people who frequent British pubs are some of the most loyal contingents anywhere. Think about it, where would you rather hang out with your friends and have a pint and chat?
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10882)
• Canada
22 Jul 09
I don't know much about how things are now, but I have great memories of a small pub when I was in London. I have never been back and this was over 20 years ago, but I would hate to know that it had closed - which maybe it did already. WHile I was there I found those pubs to be a great place to meet friends and enjoy a very nice time. Apparently many people felt the same way because that specific one was always full. Oh .. the memories...
@jazzsue58 (2672)
22 Jul 09
My local, the Farmhouse at Horley, is surviving and doing a roaring trade - because it is so not just for boozing. Every other weekend they have live outdoor jazz. Inside, they alternate weds nights between live bands and a resident pianist who does a "karaoke" session (without mics!) They do their own homecooked food, have an outdoor play area and are heavily involved with the local community. The drinks are highly priced, but not astronomical. And it's packed 7/7. They survive because people don't say, "I'm going for a drink" but "I'm going to the Farmhouse." Sure, we've got a Ditchwater Sump ... Sorry, Weatherspoons, as well. Both pubs do a roaring trade, but for different reasons. I'll leave you to decide where the police head for Saturday nights. A lot of good pubs shut down, not because of the ciggie law but our government's hostile approach to live music. The "two in a bar" rule killed off many decent live music pubs, who couldn't afford the new entertainment licence fees. This government stinks.