Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Woolpack packs in.

I remember Emmerdale when Seth the poacher was in it. That was back when Mother owned the TV and there were only four channels, so there were rarely arguments. Arguing with Mother was never a clever idea anyway. Nobody ever won.

Most of the show took place in the pub, a spit-and-sawdust affair called the Woolpack. I hadn't realised it was a real, actual pub. You would think that capitalising on years of TV fame and free advertising a couple of times a week would do wonders for such a place. All those soap addicts would love to be able to say they'd had a drink in there.

Apparently not. It is closing down.

Nichola McGrath, who ran the pub with her husband, said: "In summer, it’s very busy here but in winter it’s deadly quiet and the two just don’t make up for each other."

In a spectacular display of evading the obvious, commenters blame cheap supermarket booze for the closure of this and all pubs. Because, as everyone is aware, supermarkets only sell cheap booze in winter. In summer, pub prices are more attractive.

That must be the reason, surely. I mean, what other aspect of the pub trade could be affected so dramatically by the seasons?

In the words of Rolf Harris - "Can you see what it is yet?"

Sadly, our government cannot. Even when the last pub has closed, they still won't see it. Even when there's a Smoky-Drinky on every street, fuelled by imported, duty-free booze and tobacco (all legal and as long as we are in the EU, there is nothing the Puritans can do about it), they won't see it. Even when their tax take on booze and tobacco has gone, they won't understand why.

They can't stop us smoking and drinking. The EU won't let them. They can shut down the pubs and clubs but they cannot stop Smoky-Drinky no matter what they try. It doesn't even have a fixed location. If we leave the EU, there'll be no funding for those idiotic pressure groups so the government will finally have to leave us alone.

Either way, light up and raise a glass. We cannot lose.

Oh, and if any of those officials who like to know everything we do happens by, think about this. You can eavesdrop in a pub. You can infiltrate a club. You can't in a Smoky-Drinky. If you're not known to us and trusted, you won't get in.

So, now you can't know what we're discussing in there.

I don't know what it is about the new Nazis, but they can't seem to get anything right. They can't even make the trains run on time.


Paul said...

Can we revive the trend of public drinking or is that a bit too daring and in-your-face for the Righteous? Smells a bit too much like freedom, perhaps?

timbone said...

Absolutely. Trying to explain to a never smoker that the ban is the main reason for a dying pub industry (and I am not talking about family cafes which sell booze) is like trying to explain to me something about football and why such and such a team are in trouble.

Maybe we are returning to what a public house actually was - someone in the community who got the booze in (brewed his own more like) and opened his barn to all the locals.

Leg-iron said...

Paul - there have been instances of people pounced on by Pseudoplod for having a bottle of wine with a picnic.

The same Pseudoplod won't go near a gang of hooded spotty youths with a case of Stella.

The answer? Look psychotic. They won't bother you.

Leg-iron said...

Timbone - it's not just about pubs. Local cafes with no outside seating are suffering too. I'm not going to pay high street prices for a coffee unless there is a seat and an ashtray attached.

The old ale houses needed no licence. The licence was only for places selling spirits so places that sold only beer were exempt. I think now, the licensing also covers beer but maybe somewhere in the small print, it might not.

Smoky-Drinky is 'bring a bottle' at the moment but the deeper they push us into illegal, the less we'll care about observing the law.

They are herding cats and they will not see it.

JJ said...

What elephant in the room?

Our mentality in this country has always been the same...if it doesn't affect me then why should I care.

You're right of course LI, even if every pub in the land closed down these spiteful cretins would blame anything or anyone else except the smoking ban, and of course not just pubs have been decimated but the whole of the hospitality industry.

Isn't that how Herr Hitler rose to power?

JuliaM said...

"Can we revive the trend of public drinking or is that a bit too daring and in-your-face for the Righteous? "

Thanks to the proliferation of local councils enforcing public drink control areas, probably not...

Anonymous said...

The Cuban government has been giving cut price tobacco to 55+ citizens as part of their monthly rations. Because of the state of the economy this has just been stopped. The non-smokers are furious because they supplement their pension by selling their ration to smokers!

The Beeb, on which I heard this, just couldn't help squealing in horror that health didn't play any part.


Anonymous said...

I used to live in the village where this pub is situated. The name of the village is Esholt, and the pub used to be called The Commercial Inn before changing it's name to The Woolpack to capitalise on the Emmerdale connection. You can Google Esholt for some information.

I'm not surprised the pub is in difficulties. Esholt is a tiny village and the population will not be enough to support the pub in the winter. You need a car to get there, (drink driving problems), and the filming of Emmerdale no longer takes part in Esholt, but on a purpose built site elsewhere, so the link is broken.

There used to be 11 pubs on the Town Street where I have now lived for the past 27 yrs, now there are 5. I no longer go to them and drink at home. The smoking ban is just another nail in the coffin of pub drinking along with prices and the driving problem.

I am Stan said...

Yo Leggy,

Youve got me a thinkin,(dangerous thing to do),I have a mind to create my own smoky-drinky,The Stan Inn.

Anonymous said...

Anon 09:11: Apart from the pub thing, I bet the people of Esholt are very glad the filming has moved away.

I have a relative who used to live there, and they moved away because they were fed up with the film people behaving as if they owned the place; apparently more than once they'd come home to find their windows all covered over with sheets "because of the filming", and quite often complete strangers on "tours" would wander into the house through any door left unlocked - seems they thought the entire place was a theme-park.

Soap culture is a weird thing, inexplicable to me as I never watch any of them.

Anonymous said...

The Emmerdale soap is now filmed on a purpose-built set on the Harewood estate, north of Leeds. I actually remember the place before the set was built; a pleasant field with a stream down the bottom of it, very nice for a surreptitious stroll with a dog, provided the gamekeeper there didn't spot you!

Anyway, the filming people put another access track in, CCTV all over the place and these days the estate is quite heavily patrolled by heavies in landrovers (though they absolutely hate getting out of the landie unless they have to. The commercial shooting on the estate has ceased now, and the local hunt never get a look-in now; a pity because it was quite a good venue on occasion (especially if the RSPCA had recently dumped a few "rescued" foxes nearby, and the gamekeeprs hadn't shot them all by then).

If you fancy a wander round the set, there's bridle paths on two sides, though I suspect the estate security would start taking an interest if you lingered. Finally, if they actually are filming there, watch out for vehicles. Actors are lazy buggers and never seem to walk anywhere, but use minibusses instead and these seem to reckon they've got default right of way (except with tractors; they learned that one the hard way I hear).

Anonymous said...

Hey Stan,

If it gets really popular you might have to re-christen it "The Stan Inn Room Only"

OK, maybe I won't give up the day job just yet .....

I am Stan said...


Corrugated Soundbite said...

"Youve got me a thinkin,(dangerous thing to do),I have a mind to create my own smoky-drinky,The Stan Inn."

Do it Stan. Regain control of your law-abiding social life. I have. Combined with a bit of (albeit "spreadable") home brew it can be good fun ;-)

Simon Cooke said...

I too lived in Esholt - about three doors from the Commercial. It was always a bit hit and miss but picked up a load of business from the visiting gawkers in coaches. The name change was an understandable bit of cashing in and worked for a bit. Agree that the village is small but still very sad to see it go. And the smoking ban is probably the biggest of the many nails in this pub's coffin

Anonymous said...

Fewston Here.

A long time ago when I was a kid, I used to pick blackberries near Esholt.

But really, why is anyone surprised? CamoClegg will only cry crocodile tears for the fading institution of the pub.

The pub is where the awkward squad go. You know: Non linear thinkers, renegades, hereticus, deviants, difficult bastards, Mann Made Global Warming Deniers...

Ideas get exchanged and developed in pubs...

And if not ideas, then uncontrolled trade: ' you fix my roof, and I will plumb your loo'.

No tax, stamp or vat...

The nearest the righteous ever get to a pub is a christmas card with an eighteenth century image of a coaching inn with snow.

I have never been a great fan of the traditional working mens club, but I understand that they are truly hard hit by the smoking ban. Well, they voted it in by proxy. But everybody gets one mistake. And I feel truly sorry for them.

Sad. As the song smith Madonna said:

'Poor is the man who needs permission for his pleasures from another'.

They will not stop. CAMRA,coarse fishermen, drivers,meat eaters etc are all in the queue for the showers.

Dorme Bien

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