A month in to the new GBG, and Duncan, Si and myself have now all had the joy of tipping up at an unexpectedly closed Guide pub.

Not just micros, either; in fact there’s a minor trend for micros to open longer as the trade builds.

No, I’ve had tickers lament in two proper pubs 200 miles apart this week.

2 pubs

Despite lots of advertising boards on the side roads, the landlady at the Woodman in Burneston only stopped to tell me they’d moved to winter hours (on 24 Sep) as “There’s no  people about” i.e.no-one popping to their village pub that will no doubt be described as a popular village pub by the Richmond Recorder in due course.

I wasn’t really surprised; it’s harder to find an open pub in North Yorkshire at lunchtime than a cheerful Yorkshireman.

Equally surprising was the locked door at the Black Lion in Bourne End, in an area of Bucks normally reliable for all-day openers.  Signs outside advertising lunchtime carveries, GBG sticker, lights off at 3pm.


Two things to set the record straight;

  1. Pubs can open whenever they like, as long as they stick to published hours
  2.  Occasionally WhatPub and the Guide lag behind pubs in updating hours and I’m not having a go at CAMRA volunteers who need all the help they can get.

What I’m really sad about is the slow death of the village local, with all sales pushed towards the weekend.  And you’ll never get good cask from 3 days sales in a week.





  1. There’s also the weekend Premier League effect.
    When I first started coming to Ireland regularly with Mrs PP-T to see her folks 30 years ago everyone went to the pub at lunchtime then headed off home for some grub before heading out again for the evening session.
    Sunday lunch was always 2pm.
    Now drinking is centred around the late kick-off ( 5.30 on Saturday which segues nicely into the evening session before home with a take-away and mid-afternoon for the 4.30 kick-off on a Sunday before home for the Sunday dinner sometime after six )
    Except for the older generation hardly anyone heads out at lunchtime any more.
    I’m not surprised you’re finding more pubs closing at lunchtime – apart from pensioners and the unemployed who would drink in them ?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. In the cities, those US-style employment contracts are becoming endemic with their no-alcohol-during-the-working-day clauses.

        That doesn’t help either.

        Ya can’t blame you-know-what for that, sugar plums.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. P P-T,
      Yes, pubs should be thankful for us older generation still heading out by lunchtime.
      Yesterday I was in Wolverhampton, the Abbot drinking superbly in the Sunbeam at 10.10am and not so well in Tim’s Moon Under Water at 10,40am.
      We were thankful for having seats in the Lych Gate Tavern by 5pm when it filled up with football supporters but they only stopped for one pint each.
      Imagine my disappointment at 7.20pm in finding that the Great Western had sold out of pork baps. I blame all those football supporters.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your final paragraph underlines the point I have often made on my blog, that pubgoing has moved from being part of the fabric of everyday life to an occasional treat, generally at the weekends.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. T’other Mudgie,
      Many years ago hadn’t that occasional treat generally at the weekends got something to do with going to the barbers ?


  3. The decline in lunchtime drinking hasn’t, so far, impinged too much on our canal holidays…but it does need more careful planning than in the ‘old days’ when you could turn up at a pub almost anywhere and find it open.
    Definitely a change in the attitudes to lunchtime drinking if you’re working, which only leaves pensioners and the unemployed (as Prof P-T notes!)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. In my Civil Service days, which weren’t THAT long ago, a couple of lunchtime pints was a normal part of the working day, although as the years went by, it tended to be us dinosaurs in their 40s and 50s rather than the kidz.

    Liked by 3 people

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