Tens of thousands of lives will be lost, once great airlines may never fly again, and countries who prided themselves on high employment rates could soon be amongst the worst.
There is no question that life as we knew it will never completely reappear.
But I have one great fear above all others for the UK; the demise of the good old British 'boozer'.
If there's one thing that the Brits revere more than anything (other, possibly, than their Football teams) it's the traditional English Pub' (whether they frequent them or not!).
The Pub' is often the centre of a community. It's where we all meet, discuss matters of importance, and solve every current international dispute. It's also where we consume our favourite tipples; usually pints of beer. We play games, form quiz teams, and occasionally watch Morris Men dancing in the car park. The Pub' is a bastion of tradition. When The Queen's Head plays The Dog and Duck at Cricket, it's the most important day of the year. Such is the importance of the English boozer.
These days the Pub' is also where one goes to eat good hearty English fare. It's almost the only place these days where you'll find a good Ploughman's Lunch, Shepherd's Pie, or Steak and Kidney Pudding. That sign outside that uncouthly announces 'Pub Grub' is not to be ignored.
Sadly a good percentage of our old Pubs will never re-open, and many villages will never be the same again without them. No doubt people will find alternatives, but that essential part of our culture will be gone forever.
Many Fish-n- Chip shops may also follow the same route, as will many small independent foreign restaurants. All very sad, and all part of the inevitable post-COVID world.
Hope this is just your scenario and not reality. I bet pubs do a roaring trade when they reopen though social distancing might be difficult. Lots more tables outside, when the sun shines?ReplyDelete
People need somewhere to gather and gather they will.
At the moment they're gathering on the beaches here, and on the streets
I fear many will have been left in such debt that it will be better simply to close down. Some may be sold, and eventually re-open, but with the current 'social distancing' the ones that do open are hardly going to do a roaring trade. A terrible shame.Delete
Many many villages already have lost their pubs because they have been closing at a steady rate for years. Social habits have changed a lot in Britain. Young people are not pub goers. Yes, the culture will no doubt change again after lockdown. Fish and chip shops are still open and they will survive much better.ReplyDelete
I think it's the village pubs that are most at risk, especially those that don't serve food. I do hope the fish shops will be OK, life would be awful without them; although I hardly ever had fish-n-chips myself.Delete
Fish and chip shops will be fine.Delete
Most pubs have long gone anyway.ReplyDelete
and most Fish and chip shops have still been open.
So things are not quite as you write.
I do hope not too many more Pubs will close.Delete
I think you may well be right about the pubs, Cro.... but the chippy on the corner will stay... it is fairly simple to control the distance between people and only allow people in to collect their food.... but the sit-in restaurant attached to many will close... or become a socially distanced waiting room... the same with many catering establishments... we will become take-awayers.ReplyDelete
I can also see the old fashioned shop awning returning... not to keep the sun off the produce, but to keep the "inclements" off the queueing customers.
Glaziers and joiners will be busy, too... the former glazing speakthrough windows made by the latter....
And our bag of fisionchipz will be passed to us via a pull-out drawer that will be electronically sterilized in and out!!
New times calls for new approaches.
And clever pubs are offering takeaway... as are many microbreweries... and if a chippy offered some growlers of the local micro offering, all well and good.
Far worse in my book will be the loss of the Promenade Concerts and similar concerts and stage shows... be they pop, classical, alternative.... or whatever.Delete
It's all quite worrying. Everything that involves people congregating will be at risk somewhere along the line.Delete
I agree with both Rachel and Sue in Suffolk. You ain't with the times, Cro. Things change, nothing to do with the Virus. You may be, though probably aren't, aware of Craft Beer places (cask and all that) have sprung up all over towns and cities in the last couple of years or so. Small - one might say, boutique style. Sure, they too suffer at the moment - though the one down our street offers a click and collect/delivery service. And, as long as there is football (a different demographic) there will be pubs - though, yes, not in villages, but in towns and cities. I'd recommend less gloom, Cro, more boom. Have some faith in the future. Otherwise we wouldn't have made it out of the cave.ReplyDelete
Still, your rose tinted nostalgia is touching.
I don't know if you've ever lived in a smallish village where the Pub' was the centre of activity. These small Pubs that are usually tied to a brewer are the ones mostly at risk.Delete
The off-licence opportunity is always there... even for country pubs.Delete
Here is an opportunity to for the "beer float" making door to door deliveries of beer in the evening... or even a horse-drawn brewery or pubchain waggon serving bright beer directly into your container... look out for Wethertrotters!
I like the sound of that.... maybe they could do the same for wine.Delete
Round here Cro ... some are!Delete
Pubs were already closing at an alarming rate before so this will be the end for many more. So sad and for many other businesses as well. XXXXReplyDelete
Yes, the last time I checked they were closing at about 18 per week, and that was before the epidemic.Delete
English pubs and the culture are too important to lose but I am sure many that were borderline anyway won't reopen. The Sunday pub roasts are wonderful. Some are very historic buildings and I hope they can find another use.ReplyDelete
Pubs are a very important institution in England; much more than just a place to drink beer. My fingers are crossed for them.Delete
A lot of pubs have gone 'Gastro'and up-market so the days of ploughmans lunches, shepherd's pie and steak and kidney pud and, dare I say, chicken in a basket are long gone - it's all Masterchef now and enough to feed a sparrow for exhorbitant prices. What happened to the dart board as well?ReplyDelete
Those Pubs that do good food at good prices will probably survive. 'Gastro' is a nice word, as long as it doesn't mean 'exhorbitant'.Delete
Rural pubs in Wales have been steadily closing since the days of the breathalyzer, Cro. I too fear you have an idealised vision, perhaps not helped by watching too many episodes of Escape to the Country, where they seem to find the only village for miles that actually has a pub.ReplyDelete
But wouldn't it be dreadful if all villages were like that. No Pub', no village.Delete
And often now only a part-time church, with a very part-time vicar as well. I'm afraid times have changed, Cro.Delete
We have one of those in our village; they can't get the staff!Delete
Our village pub has been struggling for years, it's tied to a brewery so there is nowhere for it to go. They have tried their best to keep it going, changed hands several times, but I'm not sure how much longer it will last.ReplyDelete
Our second pub is faring much better. The building is owned by the family who have run it for years. They only open for three days at the weekend and for special events. They buy their beer where they like, the guest beers are enjoyed by regulars. They have a garden and outdoor facilities. They have contract caterers who run the restaurant and do really nice lunches. This will carry on as normal I think.
Free houses will fare much better. It's the old fashioned tied Pubs that will go; the brewers won't pay. Maybe the government should reduce tax on beer drastically. I was last a regular in a Pub' when beer was 50p a pint.Delete
Free houses are rarely owned by those running them, but the premises are rented off greedy landlords with large books of properties. The free houses are currently pleading with owners to stop the rent during lockdown. Many freehouses will disapppear after this.Delete
I thought it would be the opposite, of course I was thinking of Pubs owned freehold by the publican, and not paying rent. But I suppose those are quite rare these days.Delete
Long before Covid quite a few pubs round here were in danger of closing and were eventually taken over by a village conglomerate - this seems to work very successfully.ReplyDelete
I think that might happen more often now; if the villages can get enough participants.Delete
Pubs have been losing ground here also. The young people flock to craft beer places where the vibe is cool and modern while the older pubs are empty and cater to the older generation. This virus has closed them all, but when and if they reopen in the next year, I think the only ones that will be able to make it back are those that appeal to the millennials.ReplyDelete
Pubs are always evolving, but there's nothing to compare with an old village Pub' that always seems to stay the same. Not many left now.Delete
We don't really have pubs (as such) here, as you will know. They sound wonderful, like the heart of a small village, and it would be a shame if they went away. Where I live there are fancy craft beer breweries where the oh-so-hip millennials like to flock. Every one of our local breweries could close and I wouldn't care. Likewise the "sports bars" which have never held any appeal to me whatsoever.ReplyDelete
The old Pubs in England are wonderful. Often in ancient buildings, they have cosy fires in winter, a friendly barmaid, and of course very interesting names. They are so very English, and much copied around the world; unsuccessfully!Delete
Our village pub has been shut ever since we arrived here. Sadly I doubt it will re-open.ReplyDelete
Oh dear, you never got to be a 'regular'.Delete
The pubs I used to drink in and which were as you fondly described central to a certain part of the community have, so far as I can see from re-visiting all my old haunts (where we used to go after bell-ringing for example) are no longer pubs in that way and haven't been for decades. They were turned into eateries and whilst it may be possible in some to still walk up to the bar and order a pint in the rest it is table service and usually with food. I mourn the demise of the pub but I have hardly been in one for 45 years.ReplyDelete
The last time I was a 'regular' in a Pub' was in Shropshire in the early 80's. It became my refuge, and I used to go almost every evening just to relax after the stress of the day. When beer reached 50p a pint, my work was over, and I returned to Sussex/France.Delete
Well, this post has confirmed my darkest suspicion.ReplyDelete
You are Colonel Blimp! An idealized vision of a country you emigrated from decades ago.
Nostalgia isn't reality.
They've just been discussing the exact same thing on LBC Radio this morning, with the same worries. A lot of Blimps out there (whatever they are).Delete
I see the Hare and Hounds closed in 2015. It then reopened for a short while as an Italian restaurant. I knew it was closed and just checked how long ago.ReplyDelete
Some time ago I looked at Lingfield's profile on the net, and it said there were THREE Italian restaurants (as well as others). What a difference to pre-1960.Delete