View Full Version : The Pub Curmudgeon - The past is a foreign country

Blog Tracker
17-01-2016, 16:20
Visit The Pub Curmudgeon site (http://pubcurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-past-is-foreign-country.html)

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gXXDU1ROMg0/VpvKCX_K8BI/AAAAAAAAEZw/IpLExyqbw3Y/s320/oldham1988.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gXXDU1ROMg0/VpvKCX_K8BI/AAAAAAAAEZw/IpLExyqbw3Y/s1600/oldham1988.jpg)
In May 1988, I went on a CAMRA-organised march to protest against the closure of Oldham Brewery by Boddingtons, who had taken it over in 1982. This moment was captured forever in the picture above, which appears in the 1989 Good Beer Guide. The gormless speccy twat second from the right is me, looking considerably more fresh-faced than now. The gnome-like fellow in the foreground is the late stalwart of North Manchester CAMRA Pete Cash.
I remember it being a fairly balmy Spring day in Manchester, but once the ancient diesel unit had climbed the five hundred feet to Oldham it was bitterly cold with intermittent snow showers. We eventually managed to find some of the remaining stocks of OB ales in a couple of pubs. To be honest, nobody imagined that the march would change Boddingtons’ mind – it was more a question of bearing witness to the cause and marking the passing of the brewery.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-d4YdsnAdoKg/VpvJjGW7z_I/AAAAAAAAEZg/uYiaH2rgkQs/s200/unicorn_oldham.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-d4YdsnAdoKg/VpvJjGW7z_I/AAAAAAAAEZg/uYiaH2rgkQs/s1600/unicorn_oldham.jpg)
Veteran pub-crawler Alan Winfield, who has contributed many photos and pub descriptions to Pubs Galore (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/), has recently started his own blog The Never Ending Pub Crawl (http://neverendingpubcrawl.blogspot.co.uk/) to record his various expeditions over the years. In February 1987 he undertook a pub crawl of Oldham (http://neverendingpubcrawl.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/oldham-crawl-21-february-1987.html) to experience Oldham Brewery pubs before being “Boddingtonised”. He covered 13 pubs in one lunchtime, accompanied by his long-suffering wife, to whom he is apparently still happily married. Why have I never found a woman like that?
These pubs were mostly basic inner-urban boozers, but most served real ale and had their own distinctive character. Today, most are probably closed, and those that remain are unlikely to have cask beer. I remember doing crawls like that in the 1980s in places such as Eccles and Stourbridge, but you couldn’t do it now. I don’t think I ever went to 13 pubs in one lunchtime, though. When you consider that kind of pub devastation, which is paralleled in many other areas, all these claims that “it has never been a better time to be a beer drinker in Britain” ring very hollow.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nHvfIJmjGhE/VpvJrj5cQwI/AAAAAAAAEZo/xzt-Nd7pKJM/s200/oldham_brewery_logo.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nHvfIJmjGhE/VpvJrj5cQwI/AAAAAAAAEZo/xzt-Nd7pKJM/s1600/oldham_brewery_logo.jpg)
Ironically, after the takeover, Boddingtons gave the OB pubs a much more stylish livery. But the brewery’s identity didn’t last, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that over half of the OB pubs in existence in 1987 have since closed. They had a very tight-knit estate, with few pubs more than five miles from the brewery in the town centre.

More... (http://pubcurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-past-is-foreign-country.html)