“The British pub was once a mainstay of working-class morality:”
All over Britain, in town and village, in the suburbs and in the countryside, you will come across public houses, some still named from the animals—hare, hound, deer and fox; horse, cow, pig and cockerel—through which the leisure and labour of the countryside were once defined, some sporting local coats of arms and noble titles.
More and more of these buildings are being boarded up and festooned with “for sale” signs. Some of them will find other uses as offices, restaurants or flats. Some will be preserved as listed buildings, lingering on in hope of a use. Many will be demolished. And their demise signifies the passing of a culture and a way of life. In our village there are still two pubs. They survive as restaurants, frequented by people who drive out from Swindon, or by locals with something to celebrate. They still have their core of regulars, who will drink in the pub out of a rooted sense that this is how drinking should be done; but the regulars cling to the pub as sailors cling to a stricken ship, conscious that the refuge is temporary.