The pub is a British institution. In fact a good 'local' is as important to some as a post office, supermarket or place of worship. The image of a warming fire and a jovial landlord, chatting to a core of regulars is certainly enough to entice me out for a pint of 'Old Bob' and a bag of pork scratchings! While such a romantic image is still a reality in many public houses, others have had to react to changing times.
In the 1950s and 60s, pubs tended to be working-class male establishments, but as restaurants flourished and supermarkets increased their off licence capabilities, pub attendances fell. When brewery giant Bass Carrington bought up many of the 3,000 UK smaller breweries in the early 60s, change was inescapable. But for the campaigning of the real ale groups (Camra), many of our traditional ales would also have disappeared in favour of the more profitable designer beers.
Kate Thomas' programme, narrated by Arthur Smith, looks at the transformation of the British pub over the past 50 years. «
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