This is very topical. At least if you have teenage sons and live in the Netherlands. Our new government has decided to raise the drinking age for beer and wine from the current sensible level of 16 to 18. For no good reason. Just a stupid, tabloid-driven, publicity-seeking attempt to find a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. One that won't even work, in fact is far more likely to have the opposite effect to that intended.
A fifteen-year-old youth, who admitted at Dundee Police Juvenile Court to-day, having on Saturday in the bar premises at 30 Seagate bought for his own consumption one bottle of lager beer, was fined 7s 6d. Thomas Garrity Kelly (19), coal carrier, 9 Craighill Place, was fined 7s 6d for buying a bottle of beer for the youth.
Later at the Sheriff Court, Kelly was fined for having, with intent to deceive, allowed his fifteen-year-old companion to use his identity card. The case against the companion who made false representation in respect of the card was continued for a week.
It was stated that police officers interviewed the accused in a public house where they were consuming beer and that the younger accused had a knuckle duster in his possession."
Evening Telegraph - Monday 27 November 1944, page 4.
Drinking amongst teenagers is declining in Holland. So why this move? I've no effing idea. Making both beer and spirits illegal for under 18's will, I suspect, encourage spirit-drinking in teenagers. Well done government. The bastards are also going to make me work until I'm 67. Yesterday I was due to pack in at 66. Who knows what age it will be by the time I get to 67. Bastards.
Using a dodgy id to get served sounds so modern. WW II is one of the few times when it was easy for pubs to check the age of customers. Everyone had to carry an id card. It's something recent British governments had contemplated re-introducing. Until they saw how much it would cost.
I'm surprised that there's no mention of the landlord being prosecuted. Maybe the id card fiddle got him off the hook. Not sure that would have helped him today.
Finally, there's the beer the boy drank: Lager. Teenage yobs (he was carrying a knuckle duster) and Lager. They seem to go together.
There's still a pub at 30 Seagate. It's called the Bush Bar. You can see it in the picture above.