290. The Dead And The Dying

  • Posted Oct. 17, 2010 by Jon Laysell Viewed 1350 times

893 British pubs closed last year. Here are some of the recent victims of this trend which are all within a few miles of where I live.

Many different reasons have been given for the demise of the British pub including:

- High tax rates for ??on-premises? beer sales
- Unfair competition from supermarkets who sell alcohol as a loss leader
- Smoking ban
- Decreased spending due to recession
- Demand for land to build apartment blocks or fast food outlets ?? it's cheaper to sell up
- Drink driving laws
- Cappuccino culture
- Loss of culture of using pubs at lunchtimes
- Excessive rents charged by breweries
- General poor management by brewery chains
- Loss of differentiation between pubs and restaurants

I don't suppose that every pub closure has exactly the same reasons, but do expect that some combination of the above is to blame in most cases. What is clear is that if we keep losing them at this rate, it won't be long before there aren't any left. Something needs to be done. I'm personally doing my bit to keep our local pubs afloat, but I think it needs more sustained effort from those who have genuine power.

The Golden Lion, Southend.

The Grand Hotel, Leigh.

The Carlton, Leigh.

The “Shoe” Shoeburyness Hotel, Shoeburyness. My friend lived here as a boy as his parents ran it. He claims that it is haunted. Witness the door flying out of the window!

The Rusty Bucket (formerly Golden Goblet), Southend. Now, just another rotten drive-through.

The Cork & Cheese, Southend. More of this in the last Mass Observation [photoblog.com].

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    There are 11 comments, add yours!

    • # Helen

      It's a very sad state of affairs, although two of the pubs round here which closed last year have now re-opened which is wonderful news.

      2010.10.18 Reply Cancel

    • # Stefan Fletcher

      At least one article in a recent Economist mentioned how pubs had adapted to café culture to become "il pub" trattorias of a sort. The best things never really die; they adapt.

      You can add to your list of woes a bizarre tied house system which prevents individual initiatives and keeps all the pubs in the system hostage to the breweries' bottom line.

      As a parent, I'm sure you're relieved to know it's much harder to light up a fag when pissed doing 60 in reverse in front of a school. (Americans might need some help translating that remark.)

      2010.10.17 Reply Cancel

    • # Ricardo

      it is sad :/
      Although my friend that is in london till February is loving the British pubs! they are a bit different than ours!

      2010.10.17 Reply Cancel

    • # Agnes Felber

      Oh, this truly would be disasterous to the English culture and identity! 24 hour-Hamburger joints instead of the pubs with their weird hours of operations...that was the first thing, by the way, what they taught us, international EFL students when I first went to England, back in the 70-ies... pubs were flourishing back then!

      2010.10.17 Reply Cancel

    • # Marsha

      Shepherd and Dog....that's the pub we used to visit occasionally when we lived in Hollesley. Very sad to see so many are closing....we have nothing like that here really. A pub turned into a McDonald's? How distasteful!

      2010.10.17 Reply Cancel

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