Wednesday, 31 May 2017


There comes a time in a lot of people's life where they they try to visit every pub in their home town.  For most people it happens by accident.  Somebody knows somebody who drinks there.  There's someone there who you want to meet. Or maybe, god help you, you're curious and want to see what it's like.

Me, well, one day I was drunk and thought "Oh, I've never been to Ye Olde Blue Bell.". I was with my sister that day, and she'd never been either.  My sister has been in some of the most godawful dumps in Preston.  I mean, places that rats wouldn't go to because they're too dark and unsanitary,  But no, she'd never been to Preston's only Samuel Smith's Pub.

So I announced we were going there. To be honest, I was scared of going in on my own. I heard there was someone with "mental issues" on the end of the bar who shouted at everyone who came in.  But I was emboldened by 4 pints, so we went there.

I did warn her beforehand "Look, don't swear.  Sam Smith's has a no-swearing policy. And don't expect to find Fosters there. Sam's has also has a no-brand policy.  But it's CHEAP."

When we got there, she agreed it was cheap (her pint of lager cost £2.10), but in true millennial style she was disconcerted by the place.  It wasn't the cheapness, the old codgers populating the bar, or even the lack of swearing.  No.  It was the lack of "brands".

"I don't see anything I recognise" she said.  I explained Humphrey Smith's modus operandi and his lack of outside brands. But no, she was actually scared by being in a pub and not seeing anything she knew.  She approved of the prices, but was upset by the fact she had no frame of reference about what it was like.  "I'm not coming here again." she said.

Well, Humph's old codger clientele will keep him going for a few years, but what then?


  1. But there's an inexhaustible supply of codgers - a once-cool person turns into one every second of the day.

  2. Back in the golden era of cheap lager, before national brands discounted, a cheap can of lager was Sainsburys own brand dutch lager. You had to go own brand. These days we are spoiled by 50p cans of Fosters.

  3. Ha! I love watching the befuddlement on peoples faces as they scan the bar in a Smith's.
    The decision to stop here and try one...
    The tentativeness as they choose a beer...
    Then the surprised delight when they learn the price! ☺

  4. I'd forgotten about the facelift of the belle , and it's not cheap , merely differently priced ๐Ÿ˜‚!!