Tuesday 5 December 2023

Pubs and work in the 1970s

Two things which nowadays may have little connection – unless you work in hospitality – but back in the 1970s were often quite closely entwined. Especially on Fridays.

Even when I worked in the brewery, I nipped out for a pint a couple of times. Even though I had free beer on tap in the “cellar”. Why? To meet up with my mate Henry and have a couple of pints in the Wing Tavern. Oh, why pay for beer? Because it was Barnsley Bitter. Nectar of the gods.

Obviously, most days I got stuck into the free Mild. But not too enthusiastically. No more than a couple of pints. I was so responsible back then. And wasn’t too keen on crippling myself with the heavy machinery I was operating.

While I was briefly working in an arms factory close to Old Street in London, there were some excellent lunchtime boozing options. Like the George and Vulture, a Fullers pub. For a few pints of London Pride. Before getting back to the heavy machinery.

Oddly enough, one of my best memories, is of a Fullers beer, but not in one of their pubs. But in the Carpenter’s Arms, a real ale pub. Where one lunchtime, they had Fullers Hock in amazing condition. So good, I knocked back five pints. But it was only Mild. And the machinery wasn’t that heavy.

Next job, sweeping the floor of a bus garage in Leeds, had one pub moment: straight after we were handed our pay packets on midday Friday. Over the Kirkstall Road to the Highland Laddie. A little, lovely Tetley pub. With a more than decent pint of Mild. I gained the grudging respect of my colleagues by knocking back four pints in half an hour.

Overtime was always on offer. Two hours. Which delayed knocking off time until 18:00. Meaning that the Cardigan Arms, only a few hundred yards away, was open. For a few resuscitating pints of Mild.

1 comment:

  1. I’m similar but once or twice a week I have a pint or two of a 5% ruby mild called Sullivans red.