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Boak and Bailey recently referred here to meeting up in the pub for a drink immediately after work. There’s a long tradition of having a couple of drinks in the time between finishing work and your tea/dinner/evening meal/supper. It was celebrated by Bernard DeVoto in his classic book The Hour from 1948, described as “a paean to the restorative powers of a quiet drink at the end of the working day”. And the after-work trade is something that, historically, many pubs have thrived on.

But it’s something I’ve never taken to. I’m not averse to a lunchtime drink, but in the evenings I’ve always much preferred to come home, eat my tea, and then go out later. On the times I’ve done it, generally some work-related occasion, I’ve always felt it threw me off my stride for the rest of the evening. And I get the impression that, outside city centres, it’s a pattern of drinking that is now fast withering on vine.

I have known some people, though, for whom finishing work often tended to mean the start of a five and a half hour session through to closing time.