Posted by on Jan 14, 2013 in Pubs | No Comments


*jaunty opening music*

“Gooood evening everybody, and welcome to PubWatch, and for the next three nights, we are live on BBC2. I’m Bill Oddie, and alongside me is Kate Humble.”

“Hi Bill – I’m really looking forward to this!”

“Me too, Kate, me too. We’re here – live – to observe, at first hand, one of Britain’s most threatened habitats – the public house. Over the next three live shows, we will be tracking the progress of a number of pubs, as they struggle to survive in these increasingly trying times – isn’t that right Kate?”

“It is indeed Bill. Yes, we’ve got a number of feeds…

“…these are live feeds, are they not, Kate?”

“…yes Bill. We have cameras following several of our most critically endangered public houses, and will be cheking how they get on. We can, in fact, begin right now and go straight over to Chris Packham, who is standing by in the first of our locations – Chris!”

“…he is live, isn’t h…?”

“Goood evening Kate! Yes Bill, I am live here at one of Britain’s most threatened ale-based habitats – the tied pub. More specifically, I’m at the Toad & Trouserleg in the small community of Lower Spratley. As we know, tied pubs exist in a symbiotic relationship with their PubCo, but often the balance is unfairly weighted away from the landlord. The situation here in Lower Spratley is especially poignant, Bill and Kate, as licensee Bob Crinkle is fighting what he considers to be a losing battle against the financial constraints imposed by FlashBang Taverns.”

“Thanks Chris. Also – be quiet Bill – we have Simon King, who is on location for us in the Highlands of Scotland. Over to you, Simon.”

“Yes, good evening. I’m really having to whisper here, as I’ve set my hide up very close to another of Britain’s most threatened pubs – the village local. Before PubWatch went to air, I installed a series of small cameras directly inside the Kilted Trout, here in the crofter’s hamlet of Auchterbandy. On these monitors I can see everything that happens inside, including – for the first time – a pioneering pickled Scotch egg-cam. We have to wonder how many of Auchterbandy’s cash-strapped citizens will be choosing these delicacies, when just up the road was recently opened the largest pickled Scotch egg supermarket in Western Europe.”

“Thanks Simon – live, for us, in Scotland. Our final live report…STOP TALKING IN MY EAR!…is from Michaela Strachan, who we have sent to keep an eye on one of the newest threats to our pubs – Michaela.”

“Thanks Bill – yes, I’m here in the city-centre location of Craft Direction – which, with thirty-five kegged beers is just one of the latest craft bars to aggressively stake a claim to our pub culture. For example, the only food it offers are a selection of boutique nuts, each chosen to pair specifically with one of the high-gravity iced pale ales on offer. ‘cD’ – as the moustachioed barstaff refer to the bar – has a single handpull, which dispenses barrel-aged imperial saisons to match the season, served in glass teacups. Over the next three nights we’ll be assessing these new craft bars, and investigating the impact these types of invaders from overseas are truly having on our native British pubs. There’s even been talk as to whether culling is an option.”

“Michaela, many thanks. As a lover of all creatures, I really hope it doesn’t come to that… “

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