Sunday, 26 May 2013
Oh dear God, he's on about old pubs again...
I know, I know.
however, I have something to reflect, about how an overheard conversation about a lost boozer (that's a building, not a sot) can stand out strikingly in the hub-ub of bar room noise.
The other night in the Closed Shop I overheard a bloke who seemed to be describing his impending move into or ongoing conversion of, the former Old Heavygate Inn, at nearby Crookes. A subtle nod from a member of staff that perhaps former customers may be in this pub and not share in his weird self congratulatory pleasure made no odds, and instead elicited the response "perhaps if some of those customers had gone to the pub it would still be open".
I can't really tell you how I felt about that blithe remark.
Because I hadn't ever expected to encounter someone not only taking joy in destroying hundreds of years of history, but even admitting to converting a pub intro a house, (or worse still developing the property into flats for profit). Yet here was a man who as well as having the dubious honour of confirming the above, also combined a glaringly simplistic assessment of the malaise affecting the urban pub, with a distasteful lack of awareness of the magnitude of the act he was talking about performing.
I cut short my conversation with Dave to hear the rest of the raconteur's musings but alas he slipped away with his drink and I never saw him again.
Maybe I can be prone to a slight case of over romanticising when it comes to old buildings, pubs especially, and the role they play. But in my defence, I really think it's rare to find someone not even slightly sympathetic toward those whose memories he, even in a small way, has played a part in trampling over, or that isn't attuned to the feelings that they might have. Especially when I find myself being one of that group of people.
Its a curious sensation. And quite frankly, one I'd rather not experience again.
How strange our race, who love bricks and mortar,
Near as much as hops and malt, and water.