Monday, 12 February 2018

Closing pubs in Carlisle again

It's weird the stuff you can find on the internet. Like the annual report of the Carlisle State Management Scheme.

The manager was dead proud of how many pubs he had closed. Though he still clearly would have preferred to close more:

"When the Board commenced operations there were in Carlisle City 119 licences, and in the remainder of the area as then denned, 82, a total of 201. These were reduced in 1916 to 172—94 in the City and 78 in the remainder of the area.

At the beginning of 1917 is did not seem possible for the moment to close any further houses in the City. The houses were uncomfortably crowded at night, especially on Saturdays, and the result of further-closing would have been to increase congestion. For a time, therefore, the suppression of licences in the City was brought to a standstill. Later in the year, however, the restriction on the output of intoxicating jiquors and the gradual diminution in the numbers of the constructional workers at Gretna made it not only possible, but desirable, to close further houses. The available supplies were not sufficient for the number of houses open, and in consequence of this 18 houses were closed in or about April, 1917. Two further licences were suppressed at a later date, while 3 more were cloesd before the end of the year, making a total of 23 for t he City during 1917."
"Report of the District Manager for the year ending December 31st 1917", Carlisle, 1918, page 2.
I suppose at least he was giving drinkers some consideration with regard to overcrowded pubs. But it sould like he was glad of an excuse to close more.

Pub closures weren't limited urban areas:

"As far as possible all houses have been closed which, from their structure or position, were undesirable. In the older parts of the City many of the public-houses were situated in passages or narrow lanes. In other parts, the licenses were congested, with the result that the requirements of the public were fully met by those which were continued. The accompanying map of Carlisle shows how the licences were formerly distributed, and which premises have now been dislicensed.

In the country district, redundant houses are being closed from time to time according as it is found possible to serve the necessary notices of acquisition. Altogether 23 of such houses have been closed, and, in addition, no application has been made for the renewal of two licences by the owners. The aim of the Board in country districts has been to limit the number of licensed premises to the reasonable requirements of the villages, and of travellers on the main roads. It has usually been found that one house is sufficient for a village, provided it is of a structure suitable for the different classes who are likely to frequent it."
"Report of the District Manager for the year ending December 31st 1917", Carlisle, 1918, page 2.
I love the last bit about one pub being enough if "suitable for the different classes", i'e' there were different rooms so the knobs didn't have to mingle with the plebs.

They manager was inordinately smug about how many pubs he had closed.

"All the houses in that part of the Longtown Division which has been placed under the Board's control have now been dealt with, and are either closed or under direct management. There are still however a number in the Cumberland Ward Division in which the Maryport Brewery, Ltd., had an interest, whether as owners, lessees, or tenants, which have not yet been taken over.   It is expected that they will be dealt with early in the year.

Thus, at the end of 1917, the numbers of licensed premises in Carlisle City, Cumberland Ward Division, and the Southern part of the Longtown Division, were 71, 46, and 9; as against 119, 68, and 14 respectively in July, 1916—a total of 126 as against 201, being a reduction of 37.3%.

Commenting on this result, the - Carlisle Journal," in its issue of the 5th February 1918 says:- "Drinking habits are largely influenced by the facilities offered for indulgence, and if the Control Board had done nothing more than accomplish what the Licensing Justices would probably have taken more than a quarter of a century to do in the wav of closing redundant and undesirable houses, it might fairly lay claim to credit for a valuable contribution to the promotion of temperance."
"Report of the District Manager for the year ending December 31st 1917", Carlisle, 1918, page 2.

That's a bit off, printing a favourable review of yourself. More than a third of pubs closed in two years. And people think pub closure numbers are bad now.

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