Pubs have long been a staple part of society, particularly in these parts in the world, and has undergone countless changes over the centuries. However, even in war time – where pubs were forced to operate on restricted hours to both keep the streets dark during blackouts or by keeping workers sober and hangover free, there was still opportunity to frequent the local.
Fast Forward to the 21st century and the world is fighting an altogether different kind of war.
Pubs and hospitality have no doubt been the fall-guy during the coronavirus pandemic. There have been stats from the office for national statistics that show that hospitality businesses have seen fewer transmission rates than schools and workplaces.
But the sad fact is that wherever people gather indoors there is the potential to pick up and pass on this coronavirus that could lead to someone’s untimely death.
There are no easy answers here. And, without government intervention that is fair to everyone – not just to certain chains that offer ‘substantial meals’ to accompany a pint – many of our humble pubs will simply remain boarded up when restrictions are gradually eased.
CAMRA – the Campaign for Real Ale – have been one of the many groups increasingly lobbying the government for further support to the industry. Their approach, as you’ll hear, isn’t gunho, firing through the air with two guns shouting, ‘Ahhh!!!’.
It’s measured, well-thought through, nuanced and approached with care and diligence… not qualities that often shine through these days over social media where eye space is usually reserved for who can shout the loudest and angriest.
In this conversation with Nick Boley, CAMRA’s Campaigns Director, we discuss how pubs need ongoing support to weather this storm and try to unpick some of the long term prognosis for pubs post pandemic, as well as looking at how people will feel about attending mass gatherings such as the GBBF.
There’s a lot to be said on the subject… and I could certainly talk for hours on end about this topic alone. I’m hoping to be able to do just that with some of you down the local pub as soon as their open, a thick pint of scrumptious cask ale in hand sat in a warm breezy beer garden.
Ode to the Pub is an excerpt from Remember the Time.
Words & Music by Nick Law © 2020 Splendid Songs. All rights reserved.