Friday, 27 March 2009

The Gaslight

Here's one we can't blame the pub chains for (not even Wetherspoon's)!

The Gaslight, a venerable old pub in Jarrow, is being demolished to make way for the new Tyne Vehicle Tunnel.

Of course, it has only been The Gaslight for twenty years or so. Before that, in a previous lifetime, it was The Tunnel Tavern, a name which celebrated its proximity to the Tyne Pedestrian Tunnel, an institution which boasts the longest escalator in the world. During those bad old days of the 80's it became principally known as a hang-out for dropouts and drug addicts.

But painted on the rear of the building in bold Victorian signboard lettering was its TRUE identity - The Commercial.

Back in the 1890s, during its heyday, The Commercial was so named because it lay at the bottom of Commercial Road, just before the Tyne Ferry Landing, and was frequented by commercial travellers as they plied back and forwards across the Tyne (shades of Arthur from Pennies from Heaven).
The lettering remained for over a hundred years, finally disappearing sometime in the 1990s.
No matter, for now the whole pub is due to disappear.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Pub Management : The big British rip-off.

I see my son Stonch has been laying the blame for the rash of recent pub closures at Wetherspoon's door.
Actually, it's about time the whole issue of pub ownership and management was tackled in this country. The big pub chains have been ripping their publicans off for years.
Not content with charging enormous up-front sums for leases on the pubs they own, the big pub chains have the nerve to then charge rent for the premises on top of that. They also dictate that the lessor "keep the standard of the pub up to their specification", so that a publican is not even allowed to decorate his own pub without their approval.
Finally, and by far the worst imposition on the person foolish enough to lease a premises from them, they "tie" the pub to their own beer supplies, charging the lessor inflated prices for their stock and fining him/her if he/she buys elsewhere.
I understand that the E.U is looking into the whole question of pub ownership and management in the U.K.
About time! It's a wonder that these crooks have been allowed to get away with it for so long.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

The Lingering Aura

I gave up adding to this blog over 4 months ago. I decided that it was a waste of time as I was only getting 30 or 40 hits a day and the number was not growing. Since then, I have been amazed to see that I still get roughly the same number of hits each day, even though I have added nothing.
Is it a sort of "lingering aura" as I fade into the distance?
Or could it be that the "statcounter" device is untrue and gives a blog a "false floor" to sustain it?