Thursday, 29 December 2016

A landlord’s week in the 1950’s (part two)

Here’s the rest of a landlord’s week, starting with Monday.

“Monday night being dart match night, when we are hosts to another pub's team, I spend in the public bar. My wife makes stacks of sandwiches — which disappear with an alacrity only surpassed by the dishes of pickled onions.”
"Beer in Britain", 1960, page 116.

Monday has always been a typical day for things like darts matches and pub quizzes. A simple way of drumming up custom on a slow day. In Leeds I remember it being sandwiches and slices of black pudding that were passed around.

“Tuesday is a comparatively quiet day, so I give the full-time barmaid the day off, and spend the whole day in the pub, with only three hours break in the afternoon.”
"Beer in Britain", 1960, page 116.

Clearly the full-time barmaid was the one in charge during the landlord’s absence.

I’m sure this piece of advice still applies:

“Wednesday is delivery day, and the day I give the cellar a thorough clean out. I check my supplies and out-going "empties" keenly, but not suspiciously. Draymen are the wrong men to offend.”
"Beer in Britain", 1960, page 116.

We’ve already heard that draymen could be rather light-handed. Doubtless why the landlord checked what was going in and out of his cellar.

Pubs were important social centres, and often the base of sporting clubs:

“Thursday is a busy day; Friday is busier. Thursday night I preside over the football club meeting, doing the same for the dart club on Friday evening. I am the chairman, treasurer, and assistant-secretary of both clubs. I like to know what goes on.”
"Beer in Britain", 1960, page 116.

And here we are all the way around to Saturday:

“So we come to Saturday—in many ways the fullest and happiest day of the week: when I have to be at the bank early to make sure of getting plenty of change; when I have to complete the wages sheet and expenses account; serve in the bars and look out for bookies' runners; stoup and change the barrels as required; go to the football match; agree or dispute in the evening that Portsmouth must buy a centre-half; enjoy the sing-song, drink my own draught beer, and do my pleasant utmost when tired out to get the customers out of the doors in reasonable time after I have called "Time!"
"Beer in Britain", 1960, page 116.

Interesting that he went to the football. Though the games did fit in nicely with afternoon closing. It was probably so he can discuss the game with his customers. Though he couldn’t have gone every week, as they’d only play at home once a fortnight. Portsmouth were a decent team in the 1950’s, winning the First Division one year.

Gambling in pubs was – with the exception of a few pennies on darts or dominoes – strictly forbidden and could get a landlord into a lot of trouble. This was also before betting shops, when off-course betting on horses was also illegal. A bookie’s runner would surreptitiously collect bets from drinkers.

1 comment:

Martyn Cornell said...

Betting slips would be filled in under a pseudonym, in case the police nabbed the runner: my grandfather once had to flush a load of betting slips down the pub loo when he spotted a couple of plain-clothes policemen eyeing him up in the bar of a pub in Willesden pre-Second World War. They arrested him outside the pub as he left and took him down the nick, but of course he was clean, and he insisted they provide a squad car to drive him home for his Sunday lunch ...