The Demise of the Pub

I am old enough to remember when pubs were virtually the only place you wanted to be with your friends on a Friday and Saturday night.

Back in the seventies there were three basic forms of leisure and entertainment ( other than the three channels on television-BBC1, BBC2  and ITV). You could go out for a meal, go to the cinema or go to the pub.

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My favourite menswear shop in the 70’s!


I grew up in the south east suburb of Handsworth in Sheffield and like all teenagers, started a little earlier than the law states  when it comes to drinking beer in a public house! My mum was testament to the Friday nights when I would roll in just before midnight struggling to stay still from inebriation having consumed around five pints of Skol and five barley wines. Not exactly a binge culture or even a great deal by today’s standards but enough to give me a grin as big as the Joker in Batman, well at least until I awoke the next morning! The Norfolk at Handsworth was my local. It is now a children’s nursery.


The fashion back in the 70’s and 80’s was to spend the evening in your local on a Friday night and ‘do the rounds’ on a Saturday night with your friends or partner, having a couple of drinks in almost every pub on your patch. To me that resulted in visiting at least five of the eight pubs that were around then, though the Angler’s Rest on Richmond Park Road was really within Richmond and not Handsworth, despite its proximity. Depending on which part of Handsworth you lived in you might venture into the Everest on the Ballifield Estate or The White Rose on The Triangle. No trouble or at least very, very rarely. If someone spilt your beer by inadvertently bumping into you, they would offer to buy you another drink after apologising profusely and then spending five minutes chatting about everything and nothing. Happy days!


Weekends in Handsworth, probably like many areas in Sheffield back then involved having a good time, with a few drinks and a few friends. The night would be finished off with fish and chips in newspaper whilst walking home.The print added extra flavour to be fair! With most of the pubs having at least two or three bar areas you could act swanky and pose with your wife or girlfriend in the lounge bar (exhibiting the most recent decoration of flock wallpaper and best carpet), play a relaxed game of of darts with your mates in the public bar (no carpet and full of cigarette smoke!) or take a risk and play a game of fives and threes in the Tap Room with the over 70’s. The risk was that despite their advancing years they seemed to have the sharpest of minds when it came to playing dominoes for money! Young lads of 18 -20 years were their favourite target. Many a night resulted in me being fleeced of a few quid. It’s amazing how practised some septuagenarians are in the art of offering insincere apologies following my loss. I believed it! Retrospectively I also believed that they invented hustling too though by that time I was in my late twenties and I enjoyed watching the OAP’s do to the latest young drinkers what they had done to me ten years earlier! This was obviously a legitimate and relatively easy way of topping up your pension in those days….

Sheffield Fargate opposite the Peace Gardens
Fargate opposite the Peace Gardens


More very soon……………….


Tour de Yorkshire 2016: full route and timings unveiled | Calendar – ITV News

The start and finish times for the Tour de Yorkshire have been revealed, along with the ceremonial start routes.

Millions of spectators are expected to line the route of the three day men’s race and one day women’s race which run between Friday 29th April and Sunday 1st May.

Stage One will begin at 11.50am in the Saturday Market square in Beverley on Friday 29th April. The riders will head out towards the railway station via Toll Gavel and past County Hall on Cross Street. Then it’s on to Armstrong Way, past Flemingate Shopping Centre, before heading towards the spectacular Beverley Minster. Riders will then head out of the town on Lairgate, passing St Mary’s Church before heading towards the racecourse to the official start line.

Key points along the route include:

Bubwith at 1.06pm – the first sprint point along the route
Tadcaster at 1.50pm
Knaresborough at 2.22pm
Greenhow Hill at 3.02pm – the first King of the Mountain
Grassington at 3.20pm
Settle at 4.06pm – crossing the finish line for the first time

Crowds came out for the Tour de Yorkshire 2015 Credit: Press Association

Stage Two marks an important milestone for the Tour de Yorkshire as spectators will be treated to not one but two hugely significant races.

The Women’s Tour de Yorkshire will begin in Otley, home of women’s road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead, at 8.15am. Starting from Boroughgate in the town centre, the teams will head up Westgate before turning left onto West Chevin Road and Burras Lane. They will then head back towards town, passing All Saints Parish Church, before travelling down Bondgate and Crossgate. Then it’s on to Nelson Street before heading towards Pool Road, where the racing will begin in earnest.

The men’s race will tackle exactly the same stage from Otley to Doncaster in the afternoon, starting at 2.20pm.

Key points along the route include:

Harewood Bank, near Harewood House – King of the Mountain.
East Rigton at 8.56am
Pontefract at 10.02am
Conisbrough Castle at 11.03am (4:37pm for men) – climb
Doncaster at 11.59am (5:23pm for men) – finish line

The start line in Bridlington last year Credit: Press Association

Stage Three will begin at 11.10am on Sunday in Captain Cook’s hometown of Middlesbrough.

From the start point at Centre Square and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), the riders will ride past the historic Gazette newspaper building on Borough Road before heading into Teesside University’s new Campus Heart. They will then head down Linthorpe Road to

via Tour de Yorkshire 2016: full route and timings unveiled | Calendar – ITV News.