Friday, April 3, 2009

Pub Signs of the Times by the Landless Landlord
Don't want to moan, but got to be realistic. 
It's late to start saving these images up. Mine's not the only pub to have gone. Might run a series 'Pub Signs of the Times'.
Where would I start? In the '70's, it was, we set out. Not a happy time at all, you'll recall, which was great for bitter. I started pulling pints on various places on Mile End Road popular with students - St Mary's up the road.
What a bunch. Love them or hate them, beat 'em or join 'em, was the general attitude, and my tactic varied with my mood. My first defense against their unbounded enthusiasm was a wall of moroseness, but they simply failed to notice and I got bored. Next I tried embarrassment, encouraging them with freebies in the hope their discourse would descend to such depths of incoherence that even they would notice, but, of course, their ability to spot nonsense decreased at exactly the same rate as that to produce sense, so only I noticed the decline of reason. In the end, you have to admire them - or I did, at any rate, fell for them and joined them, got philosophy, indulged an urge to compete with the best of them, lock-up bouts of psychobabble lasting into the early hours, smoking out the last vestiges of sense not washed from the cranial nooks by beers with weed before shooting them down with powder and tabs. A time, it felt, of great possibility, which is when I met the wife to be that never was. Here's one I used to work, gone the way of all flesh.
One of the most recent changes has been a tendency of the places to turn into what they call now gentlemen's entertainment venues, which is actually a much more pleasant name than they used to have, implying a much more egalitarian attitude to ladies in the City furnishing them with punters.
But what I find interesting about this one you only see looking closely. What the landlords hadn't reckoned with was the concern of the locals. Must be great if you're a local woman to know that there are people out there willing to protect your right to be respected as you walk veiled behind the head of the household. 
Still, life must go on, and enterprise is its means, even at the price of a cut-throat competitiveness amongst glaziers.

While on the subject, this one interested me, too in the same sign of the times way. 

Why someone lets their sign get to that state it was hard to think. 

Although on the sign itself now you can only just make out the battle axe, the faience shows the place was once proud. 

The simple explanation for the decline of signage is visible on the side wall: change of use.


  1. je crois que le landless landlord a trouvé sa vitesse de croisière et son style !