Saturday, 16 August 2008

No smoking, no pubs?

I am becoming a bit disturbed about how many pubs are being forced out of business in my local area. Recently, ALL four pubs which once served the Boldon Lane area of South Shields have closed down.

One has already been demolished and is being replaced by residential units. The other three are pictured here, one having been converted to a Fast Food Takeaway and the other two being up for grabs at any price. All boarded up and silent, they make a pathetic sight.

Now some would say good riddance, the pubs were seedy and served a run-down area of the town. But variety is the spice of life, say I, and I used to occasionally enjoy going back to my disreputable roots and visiting again the haunts of my youth when I was an under-age drinker.

It's very sad for me to see them gone, like a part of my life disappearing forever.

Now I know that there have been tremendous pressures on the pub trade in recent years which have led to a steady shrinkage in the business. But it can hardly be a coincidence that the rate of pub closures has accelerated since the no-smoking ban came into force.

At the time, I was greatly in favour of the legislation. It was marvellous to come home after a night out and to be able to actually hang up your clothes in the wardrobe rather than the back garden, but now I'm not so sure.

I'm beginning to wonder which is better - no smoking or no pubs?


Stonch said...

The smoking ban has hit a certain type of pub, serving a certain demographic, very hard. Likewise rising beer prices due to increases in duty.

papastonch said...

Yes, I know that this type of pub was mainly frequented by the baseball-cap brigade, but they have their rights too.

Auckland Mackem said...

I'm not sure I make the link to the smoking ban.

I spent a lot of time around Boldon Lane as a child, and time has not been kind on that part of Shields - its not just the pubs.

On the other hand its great to see an area like Mill Dam having such a good range of places to drink.

If you ever feel the need to do any research on my behalf, I'd love to hear what the Dolly Peel is like these days. The Dolly Peel always used to be a terrific place for a beer, but I suspect it may have been mainly down to a good landlord - a point you make elsewhere on your blog.

papastonch said...

Some day soon, I will go to the Dolly Peel and report.

papastonch said...

Oh, by the way, a lot of "regeneration" money has been poured into the Boldon Lane area in the last few years.
Among the "improvements" are a new "Lidl" supermarket, a Community Centre, euphemistically called "The Action Station" and much new housing on the former Harton Colliery Welfare land.
But the pubs have been neglected, as you can see from my article.