Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Flooded Devon pub shows true mettle

On the TV news tonight, a report on the King of Prussia in Kingsbridge, Devon. After the heavy rain and snow that has lashed the west in the last 24 hours, the pub was flooded to a depth of a foot or so, but instead of shutting up shop the landlord carried on serving to his regulars. They then helped to clear out the place so that they could have their regular card night this evening. Now I know nothing about this pub and what the people drank (it could be rough cider the colour of cellophane for all I know), but its regulars’ resilient nature and the landlord’s desire to keep trading shows how important the pub is in the fabric of our national life. Yet, dozens of these establishments are closing every week and the handcuffs of bureaucracy and high prices are hampering other— time to remember that the pub is more than just a place for a beer (or glass of Chardonnay if you want, I won’t hold it against you), it is a public house, a refuge from the storm, a meeting place, a convention of like-minded souls and of course it does help if it’s got a splendid drop of beer at the bar.

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