Portraits of the Public House

You know, some people have a real knack for capturing what it is that makes pubs great.

That thought occured to us when we read this marvellous post by one of our favourite bloggers, Ten Inch Wheeler:

Now you’re in the Harp. First friday after payday. Five deep at the bar, shouting your conversation over your shoulder as you order. Two pints of Brewers Gold. First gulp. The best part of any nights beer. Fresh and hoppy. What happened to your hand? Fell off the roof. Lucky. Could have been brown bread.

Which reminded us that Simon ‘Reluctant Scooper’ Johnson has written more than one post which we’d include in an anthology, should anyone ever ask us to edit one:

A long afternoon in the Sheffield Tap. Tickers pass through, holidaymakers hit the Bernard before the Manchester Airport train, football fans with their team shirts threatening to poke out of tightly-buttoned jackets. Rowdy student rendevous. A couple’s last drinks dallied over, a whispered goodbye, a faint tear.

And we tend to think of Adrian Tierney-Jones as the pub world’s Poet Laureate.

By studying, capturing and communicating the pub’s elusive wonder, these writers walk in the footsteps of Orwell.

7 thoughts on “Portraits of the Public House”

  1. In addition to all of the above, I’d add Pete Green of gettothepub.com who also writes about pubs eloquently and with love.

  2. Adrian Tierney-Jones is a fine writer but I wish he’d drop the stream-of-consciousness style and put in a few paragraph breaks. All too often when I’m reading Adrian Tierney-Jones, who is a fine writer, I find myself wishing that he’d break his writing up into paragraphs and maybe even, why not?, give up on the stream of consciousness style. I can’t help thinking how difficult it is to get to grips – and some things are difficult to get to grips with, this may well be one of those things – with the subjects that Adrian Tierney-Jones writes about, in his writing style which is fine in its own way but tends towards the stream of consciousness and rarely features paragraph breaks. Rarely or never. Never, ever. Break, those paragraphs, they don’t. Not hardly. Interspersed though they may be with sentences of two or three words and no main verb, Tierney-Jones’s habitual long sentences sprawl across the screen extensively, lengthily, longly, faithfully tracking the shifts in the writer’s stream of consciousness with indubitable skill but never, or hardly ever, pausing for a paragraph break. And if there is no end to the paragraph, then the paragraph will never end. It will just stop.

  3. I’d second Barm on his point about Pete Green. When I decided to start taking my Sheffield based blog seriously last year I decided to look at the competition, and was wigged out by just how good his observations were, and how poignantly they were conveyed.

    One comment I remember (unq) was along the ines of “there’s nothing more sad than the sight of unwatched Sky TV screens”. It so brilliantly encapsulated the pub he was writing about.

    Worthy of any anthology I’d venture.

  4. Tandleman — oh, look, there’s me commenting on that piece, too! Very nice.

    TIW — you’re welcome — look forward to reading more. (No pressure.)

    Beefy and Barm — hadn’t come across Pete’s site before — will keep an eye on it from now on.

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