Friday, 19 June 2009

One reason for the public-house

Another wartime piece from the Brewers' Journal today. I know. I'm a lazy git. This one is a quite philosophical exposition of the function of a pub.

"Early in the war mass observation revealed that when outstanding war events protruded the number of patrons in licensed houses increased. This wa determined by viviting a cross-section of licensed premises and recording the number of people present at identical times on specified days of the week. The reason assigned by mass observation was that at such times people had more to talk about. The organising secretary of the Alliance News - the principal organ of teetotal thought - has been finding out the same thing, although we suspect that his purpose in setting out his findings was to disparage the public-house. He records:-

"Two passengers in a train entered into conversation concerning the public-house where it was their custom to meet; and presently the younger of the two said that he really did not go for the beer, but for the company. At this I entered into the discussion, and suggested that the same thing was not quite true of a teashop. People only went into a teashop when they wanted a cup of tea."
Not so the public-house, where they not only go to slake their thirst, but to play games and, above all, to talk, as in a true democracy people should. Yes the teashop is no match for the public-house. One doesn't go into the teashop "for the company"; but we are gald at this point - the human atmosphere of the inn - which we have stressed so often, is now emphasised from a quite unexpected source."
"Brewers' Journal 1940" page 806.

I'll go along with that. If I want a beer and to watch telly, I'll sit at home. A chat and the odd glass with friends works much better in a pub.


Oblivious said...

Man Walks into a Pub: A Sociable History of Beer, also has some good information to the role of the pub in WW2

Ron Pattinson said...

Oblivious, I've got a copy, but have never got around to reading it. Sounds like I should.