I spotted an interesting post on Paul Bailey's blog here about the resignation from the CAMRA (you've seen the CAMRA) of legendary unspoilt pub hunter Rodney Wolfe Coe.
It struck me that not only does the list he is renowned for compiling, the Classic, basic, unspoilt pubs of Great Britain, link together through its possession a wide range of unspoilt pub lovers over a huge area, but also that of those who have a copy, very few have thought to reprint them online. I think we (sic) are missing a trick.
Of course, there is the issue of whether RWC would mind. Given that his denouncement of CAMRA's dedication to the modern at the expense of the traditional, as its claimed he stated in a letter to Whats Brewing, it seems unlikely that he would have considered making his list an online tool, or that he would stumble across it via Google on a quiet evening. Its still his list though, irrespective of the level of perceived assistance he had in compiling it.
I picked my copy up in the Duke of York in Elton (above) years ago, and have carefully, erm, misplaced it since. I remember there were plenty of pubs I had never visited, but a version I discovered online last year lists plenty I had never even heard of, testimonies to the existence of which linger on only by virtue of the scantest of references in disparate bodies of text across the worldwide web.
More frustratingly, having found a copy of the 1994 list online, the address www.btinternet.com/~stannett/worth-a-visit/old_pubs.htm
no longer works. Having been known to me for a long time its particularly frustrating that I never thought to copy it.
A quick look around the Tinterweb shows a copy of Worcestershire CAMRA's Pint Taken magazine, which, on Page 13 of the Winter 2005 edition mentions a final 11th edition of the list, now featuring just 12 pubs! Since I don't have Word and this is a PDf I have saved what I hope is a "picture" of page 13 which, with any luck, will be shown below. Apologies to Worcester CAMRA if it does work. Apologies to everyone if it doesn't... (there is also a link here )
|I don't know how to make the text larger, sorry!|
I wonder therefore, given that the leaflet allegedly started out with over 160 pubs, if anyone would be willing to dig out the editions in their possession and copy them into the blog comments (or better still blog or host them and post the link), or, whether anyone out there knows RWC and would ask for his thoughts on such an idea? It would be fantastic, whatever the route taken, to arrive at having this invaluable picture of our fast disappearing pub heritage in one place.
It would certainly be interesting to find out whether potential inclusions that I also never got to, such as the Lodge at Shirland and Queen Adelaide on Snelston Common, both in Derbyshire, ever made the mark.
Finally, in response to the question posed at the end of Paul Bailey's blog :
of the pubs listed, the Welcome Stranger, Eagle at Skerne, Red Lion at Llandovery, Red Lion at Stoke Talmage, Horse and Trumpet at Medbourne and Seven Stars at Halfway House no longer trade, and the Bath in Cheltenham, Three Tuns in Hay on Wye (now a pub and restaurant, shudder...) and even the Sun at Leintwardine, have had varying levels of change that would or might disbar them from a 2012 list. Hope that helps.