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02-07-2014, 13:51
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I recently spotted this blogpost (http://masonjust.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/children-in-pubs-guide-for-parents-and.html) on the perennial issue of children in pubs. It’s basically a parents’ user-guide for how to go about introducing children into the world of pubs and, as I said in the comments, if every parent was as thoughtful and responsible as the author, there really wouldn’t be much of a problem.
However, unfortunately all too often that is not the case. Irresponsible parents allow their children to cause a nuisance and licensees are extremely reluctant to confront bad behaviour by children for fear of coming across as, well, curmudgeonly. It needs to be stressed that the problem is not children themselves, but irresponsible and thoughtless parents who take them to inappropriate places and fail to control them.
Plus, some parents take affront at the idea of their little darlings being barred from any part of any pub at any time, and refuse to accept that it is a legitimate desire for adults to want to enjoy a quiet drink in the company of other adults.
As I’ve said before, the pub trade is best served by having a variety of offers so people can make a choice – some serve food, some don’t, some have Sky Sports, some don’t, some admit children, some don’t, some allow dogs, some don’t, some allow smoking, some don’t. Oops, did I cross a line there? But too many people seem to think that their own preferred model should be imposed everywhere.
It reminds me of this blogpost (http://pubcurmudgeon.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/pint-size.html) and the subsequent lively comment thread from last year.
Actually, I get the impression that, as just going to the pub for a drink during the day and early evening becomes less and less popular, it is starting to become less likely to encounter young children outside the obvious dining pubs.
And it always baffles me why those who are so keen to encourage children in pubs are strangely reluctant to campaign to allow them into betting shops. After all, far from there being nothing for them there, surely it would be an excellent way to habituate them into the adult world of drinking gambling.

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