I’ve always been a pub person, I guess because my dad Donald was; he had been brought up in a pub, the Portland Arms Hotel, and for him pubs were a place to meet friends and socialise. As we grew up as children, his local was not the Portland; his parents no longer had the pub after 1950, and Donald went to the New Spring on the banks of the River Cam. I suppose, although I never went in it, that was in a sense, my first local.
We moved to Weston-super-Mare and our local became The Walnut Tree run by a lovely man called George with the best Somerset accent I have ever heard! I went away to Manchester to study, and lived in a variety of places over the three years of being a student, The Old House At home, The Red Lion, The White Lion, The Princess… and then we moved to Chorlton-cum-Hardy and for the next few years our local was The Trevor Arms, run by Mona and Stan.
I moved to Oldham and had a few unhappy years where the nearest pub was The Church, although it was never really my local, because a local is not just the pub which is nearest to you, it is like a second home; not because you are in there all the time, but because it is where you get everything you get at home, companionship, warmth, comfort, and good times! (Oh and good beer, let’s not forget the beer!) Then luckily Bari came into my life and I adopted or was adopted by his local, The Navigation, owned by his best friends Ian and Sandra.
We had many happy times and happy years; The Navi saw us through our marriage, our children and it was something we really missed when we moved from Oldham. Luckily we have kept the friendship of Ian and Sandra and had a memorable holiday with them in Spain.
We were so fortunate not only to move to Uphill, but to move within spitting distance of our current local…
Long live locals!