One of my photos

Two totally unconnected stories

April 10th, 2008 · Posted by Skuds in Life · 1 Comment · Life

It was with some dismay that I came across a story in my newspaper today about pub closures. Not that I am much of a pub-goer these days but, the story was illustrated by a photo of one of the pubs I particularly enjoyed when I did visit them more often – the Intrepid Fox in Soho – all boarded up.

The Intrepid Fox was always an amazing place, full of all sorts of rockers, punks and goths plus a few suited office workers having a quick pint on the way home. The interior was plastered with assorted posters for records and concerts and the music was a bit more ‘real; than the average pub jukebox. Back in the 80s a few of my friends were goths and they introduced me to the place. Long after they had all moved away from London I was still going there from time to time.

There are various reasons given for the decline in the pub trade. The most plausible seem to be increasing rent and other overheads and the absurd cheapness of supermarket beer. A good point: when a pint costs £2.50 or 58p in a supermarket, plenty of people will choose a take-out over an evening out. The smoking ban is also cited. Although a lot of people are tempted to go out to pubs more now that they are not smoke-filled, the Intrepid Fox was the sort of place suited to smokiness.

A few pages later there was an increasingly rare example of good news: Eurotunnel have announced their first ever profit and expect to be offering dividends next year.

I’m sure there is no connection at all between those two stories although… alcohol prices in supermarkets are extraordinarily cheap and it has been suggested that many offers are actually loss-making marketing ploys to get people through their doors, and the cheapness of drink must surely have an impact on the binge-drinking and underage drinking problems. If, somehow, prices were raised so they were not so cheap relative to pub prices I do wonder if we would see fewer pubs closing or higher profits for Eurotunnel.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • skud's sister

    I think our step-brother Steve had shares in Eurotunnel? He was meant to have a good feel for that kind of stuff so he probably got rid of them years ago….