Saturday, January 16, 2021

The Death of The Boozer

Matthew Steeples visits the Belgravia pub The Plumbers Arms and decries the death of the traditional British boozer

 

Last Wednesday, I happened to have to meet someone in Lower Belgrave Street, SW1 and since I was early, I thought it appropriate – given the death the previous night of the Dowager Countess of Lucan – to pay my first ever visit to The Plumbers Arms – the very pub where said aristocrat fled after her husband allegedly killed the couple’s nanny on a fateful night in 1974.

 

Though I expected and anticipated entering a dirty old spit and sawdust joint – you likely know the kind: dirty, dark woodwork, sticky carpets and loos that stink of piss or bleach (or both) – all I actually found was another example of the ‘Tim Martin-ification’ of what was previously considered a great British institution.

 

Blandly decorated to target tourists with fanny-packs on visits to Buckingham Palace and Primark clad office workers from the soulless office towers of nearby Victoria Street, a space that was no doubt once a lively bar propped up by workmen and a couple of pontificating pub bores instead featured Peroni on tap and a menu that wouldn’t look out of place in KFC. I was disappointed in the extreme, but given that there are only a few proper public houses left in Britain, I probably shouldn’t have been.

 

With greedy landlords seeking permission to turn such buildings into houses, or, worse still, ‘gastropubs’, boozers are now a thing of the past. Cheap plonk at Tesco and Deliveroo have a lot to answer for also and one is simply left thinking: Where will the nation go to encounter the likes of Alf Garnett and Jack Duckworth?

 

Follow Matthew Steeples on Twitter at @M_Steeples.

 

 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Tim Martin is a tosser. He wants to ban European products in his pubs/bars — so there’ll be no champagne, no Belgian beers, etc, etc. He looks like an Australian so he should go and live Down Under with Rod!

    • Erm, surely you wouldn’t want to buy a Wetherspoon’s champagne ?
      And yes he’s an opinionated git who has some say in some pubs and believes that this somehow qualifies him to speak on the matters that he does.

  2. I am surprised at you Mr Steeples. You should be celebrating the 57th birthday of the great Goncalo Amaral who wanted to FIND MADELEINES KILLERS NOW!! As he said “What I know tells me that Madeleine Mcann died in the apartment 5a.” Dear Kate and Gerry welcome the “Truth of the Lie” finally emerging, and so ARREST THE KILLERS NOW!!!!

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