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-   -   Last Call for British Pub Hours (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/last-call-for-british-pub-hours-572505/)

PalenqueBob Nov 23rd, 2005 07:26 AM

Last Call for British Pub Hours
 
As of midnight tonight (Nov 24) Britain has abolished its mandatory pub closing hours of 11pm and pubs will now be allowed to be open 24 hours.
As told on BBC - some aspects:

1/3 of pubs are actually expected to remain open after 11pm

winners and losers: winners large pubs owned by corporations - losers mom and pop pubs, what few remain and mini-cab drivers who currently gear up to the 11:20pm (the time often burly men empty the pub after the 'drinking up' time ends) and Indian and Chinese restaurants that currently have a rush of inebriated customers to wolf down the take out food after being booted out of the pubs.
currently pubs ring a bell at 10:50pm and bar staff shouts out 'last orders please' and many people storm the bar and order one or two or three last drinks that they then have 30 minutes to gulp down (which some say leads to binge drinking the young Brits are famous for)
then shortly before 11:20pm it's a yell of drink up ladies and gentlemen
The story goes that the restrictive pub laws were instituted during WWI to make sure workers would be in good shape the next morning to go to war plants - don't know if this is true or not but that's what i heard - maybe some Brit would confirm or not confirm this?
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE NEW PUB LAWS?
Personally i could care less as i don't plan to be in a pub later than 11pm - but in my younger days touring UK there were many times i would have. I guess i think it's a good thing and let folks drink when they want. Some experts think the new hours would lessen binge drinking??? Don't know about this.
So tonight the last orders call will come at 10:50pm, every will get the boot at 11:20pm and then the pubs that want to will reopen at midnight and never have to close.

bardo1 Nov 23rd, 2005 07:33 AM

The 11pm last call is a bizarre concept to me.

In my younger days, we often wouldn't even leave the house to go out until after 11pm. The headliners at bars/clubs usually didn't start playing until after midnight.

Pausanias Nov 23rd, 2005 07:39 AM

I hope it frees up the tables at lunch. Many times I've stopped at a pub a few minutes after twelve and found every table taken -- and held against all comers until the afternoon closing. Got pretty hungry. I don't know if I was correct in blaming this on the need to drink while the drinking was good, but I hope more liberal hours lessens the effect.

david_west Nov 23rd, 2005 07:45 AM

Speaking personally Ė itís about time. I thoroughly resent being told when I can and canít have a beer. I also think it will help with the binge drinking.

At present there is a race against the clock in the pub Ė and this leads to both drinking fast and also people opting for strong drinks as opposed to beers etc.

I think it will help with the tourist trade, as it is simply farcical that you canít have a relaxing drink after a show or concert. Foreigners are just plain baffled by this.

I also think it will take a little while to calm down and that the government has been a bit daft in introducing it a month before Christmas, so that all the office party crowd (amateur drinkers the lot of Ďem) will cause mayhem. It would IMHO have been sensible to wait until the new year.

However the government seems to have a habit of making laws that I would have loved twenty years ago now that I have no interest in doing the previously illegal things (late night drinking, smoking dope etc etc).

Kate Nov 23rd, 2005 08:02 AM

"The story goes that the restrictive pub laws were instituted during WWI to make sure workers would be in good shape the next morning to go to war plants - don't know if this is true or not but that's what i heard - maybe some Brit would confirm or not confirm this?"

'Tis true

"I hope it frees up the tables at lunch. Many times I've stopped at a pub a few minutes after twelve and found every table taken -- and held against all comers until the afternoon closing. Got pretty hungry. I don't know if I was correct in blaming this on the need to drink while the drinking was good, but I hope more liberal hours lessens the effect."

This has nothing to do with pub opening hours and everything to do with it being lunchtime.

My view? The media is getting truly hysterical about this and forecasts blood running in the streets as a result of a couple of pubs opening an extra hour or 2. A few younguns will get overexcited about it for a few weeks and then all the fuss will die down. We've always been able to drink beyond 11 anyway (e.g. clubs, bars serving food), and this law by no means means that all pubs are leaving their doors open 24 hours a day. Most pubs seem to be content to stick to current opening hours, some have taken the opportunity to extend their opening hours by an hour or so and a teeny handful have applied for 24 hour licences. Whether they'll actually make full use of these licences, we'll see.

Storm in a beer glass I say.

flanneruk Nov 23rd, 2005 08:17 AM

You're all describing PRECISELY what B Liar, the brewery industry and the next leader of the Conservative party insist isn't going to happen.

In their fantasy world (oddly, Cameron is a sensible bloke in every other respect except that he's still in hock to the bar business) virtually no pubs are going to open any differently from the way they operate today. They'll just find it a bit easier to extend their hours on New Year's Eve, or whatever, our masters and the politicians they manipulate tell us.

And those pink things where the pigeons usually fly are all Gloucester Old Spots.

Politicians never stop promising us the latest round of pub hour extensions will finally kill binge drinking. And booze consumption (growing faster in Britain than in any other affluent country) grows every time our gullible legislators do as their beerage sponsors tell them.

Meanwhile just about every main street in the country gets close to becoming a no-go zone for honest citizens every Friday and Saturday night.
I'm not talking Anal Street, Manchester. The Chipping Slaughter Market Streets are awash with vomit by 2200 practically every weekend of the year.

The good news about this nonsense is that it'll be B Liar's Poll Tax. The bad news is that it'll be egg all over Cameron's face from the moment he wins his new job (nowhere typifies the Chipping Slaughter problem better than his constituency, Witney).

The problem's very stark. Britons can't hold their drink, and British politicians are too frit to admit it. And tourists will regret these silly new laws almost as much as we will.

Pausanias Nov 23rd, 2005 08:22 AM

"This has nothing to do with pub opening hours and everything to do with it being lunchtime."

I think I allowed for "the lunchtime. effect," but sorry to hear I'm probably wrong.

Kate Nov 23rd, 2005 08:38 AM

Actually, you mentioned afternoon closing - which was dispensed with many many years ago, so if you've struggled to get a seat at lunchtime then it'll certainly be because it's lunch, and not because the people are panicking that the pub's about to close.

oldie Nov 23rd, 2005 08:42 AM

I get the impression that at least for a short time, the police are going to employ zero tolerance.
This might not be a bad thing.
As to whether we are going to become all civilised and European, that's another thing.

julia_t Nov 23rd, 2005 09:04 AM

I feel really sorry for all the wives who already regularly have drunk husbands rolling home at 11pm. Now who knows when those drunken husbands will get home, so much more the worse for wear, and what anguish and horrors await those wives, and maybe their children too.

I also think of those who are already struggling financially - with men spending more in the pubs just because they can, due to longer opening hours, there are going to be many more problems with finding the money for food, rent, heating, and the basic necessities of life. I wonder what sort of Christmas some people are going to have...

I suspect that women's refuges are going to be busier than ever from now on.

Pausanias Nov 23rd, 2005 09:17 AM

"Actually, you mentioned afternoon closing - which was dispensed with many many years ago,"

Ah! That explains it. I was thinking about my experiences in the late Eighties. Haven't lived there since, and my short visits haven't included country pub lunches.

janisj Nov 23rd, 2005 10:43 AM

Some country pubs still close in the afternoons. But only because there is a business reason - few customers about.

Way back when my ex and I discovered afternoon teas in the posh London hotels. He reluctantly joined me for tea but soon noticed all the gin/tonics and whiskys being served. Never had a problem dragging him to tea after that.

I remember the first time I went back to the UK after pubs started staying open all day - it was a culture shock.


walkinaround Nov 23rd, 2005 11:03 AM

is it just me or do plenty of pubs already stay open until 1:00? i realise that some pubs still close at 11:00 but many currently have late licences. most yates and the like stay open well past 11:00. therefore, i do not think that there will be a big cultural shock. my guess is that most people will not notice any difference. i do agree with flanner that something needs to be done...drink related problems are out of hand and have become much worse over the last several years.

PalenqueBob Nov 23rd, 2005 11:21 AM

I agree with the lager lout problem even though i'm a casual tourist - i go regularly to many European countries where the drinking age for beer is often 16 and that is not really enforced. My French son was buying beer at Carrefour since he was 14 and never got carded. And not to say that binge drinking isn't a problem in France but in UK like Flanner says after 11pm it's a drunken scene in many towns i've been in.
Q - why do British youths seem to get drunker than they Continental counterparts - at least in public and raise havoc - the streets of some towns the next day look like a war zone.
I was especially struck in Berwick-on-Tweed last summer at the number of young girls staggering around - also struck by the extremely short mini skirts they were flaunting themselves in. Something i also never see on the Continent.
And when Brit football fans go abroad why do they get so pissed and cause so much violence due to booze. Again i know Dutch fans, etc. can also be exuberant but Brits seem much more so.
What's the sociological take on this?

willit Nov 23rd, 2005 11:44 AM

A couple of points, mostly rehasings of some already made. In my local area, I don't think there is one pub that has opted for 24 hour licencing. Most have extended their weekend times from 11pm until 12:30 or 1pm.

The all day opening faded away in all but town centre pubs near where I live. On a weekday, nearly all the pubs in scenic locations are closed until 5:30 or 6pm.

British football fans - I have no idea at all, despite being a season ticket holder. It seems as a nation, as supporters, wee cannot resist being clannish, little englanders singing "no surrender to the IRA".

There are some double standards in thjat English fans are judged differently because of the known problems. A disturbance among a few bars on the south coast of Portugal during the last european championship appeared to result in deportation for any british male within a half kilometre radius. wheres a riot of an estimated 3000 Turkish fans in which several stores were looted was surprisingly described as "high spirits. There have been incidents of violence with Germans and Dutch fans, some leading to deaths. I make no apologies for my fellow England supporters, on the whole, the behaviour of some at overseas games leaves a lot to be desired.

Tallulah Nov 23rd, 2005 12:20 PM

About bl**dy time.

Mind you, I do think that it's handy to be told when to go home.... :-)

Mucky Nov 23rd, 2005 12:30 PM

Personally I believe that the law change makes sense.
It simply gives the landlords flexibility to open when they want to, it doesn't mean every pub will now stay open all the time.
My local has applied for the new licence but will only use it on certain days christmas new years and times when they would normally apply for an extension to their existing licence.

City center pubs will no doubt be affected most and there is provision to take away licences from those landlords who are not responsible in their operation.Believe me this subject has been blown out of all proportion by the media as usual and I suspect that in a couple of months, after christmas all this fuss will be forgotten about.

The people I feel for are the staff who may be expected to stay later than they might like to.

The main thing to consider is that brits are so set in their ways that you will find most of them leave the pub at 11pm as usual.

For many pubs of course the 'lock in' was a way of life I guess that little bit of rebelliousness will now be gone.

Interesting subject and one we will follow closely.

Muck

The_Pixies Nov 23rd, 2005 12:41 PM

What a positive image you have of men Julia (husbands in particular).........

Mucky Nov 23rd, 2005 01:01 PM

Just found this on BBC news.
Puts the fuss into perspective, I think.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/4463182.stm

Muck

Barbara Nov 23rd, 2005 01:19 PM

This new law applies only to England and Wales, not "Britain".


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