Letters – November 2019

All readers – not just CAMRA members – are invited to submit letters for publication to London Drinker but please remember that the letters column is intended for debate and constructive criticism. The editor reserves the right not to print any contributions that are otherwise. Please e-mail letters to bere. If you do not have e-mail, hard-copy letters may be sent to the same address given for subscriptions on page 3, addressed to London Drinker Letters. In both cases, please state ‘letter for publication’ so as to avoid any mis-understandings.

LONDON PUB GOER
London Drinker – always a great read under the fine, long-standing editorship of Tony Hedger – is surely deserving of a wider readership in the current difficult climate for our precious pubs. But the word ‘drinker’ is being tarnished by the anti-alcohol lobby and lent the unpleasant connotation of addiction: vis. heavy drinker, problem drinker etc. Its audience are pub goers and they should be referred to as such and not as drinkers. The food offer of course is the reason why many prospective readers visit pubs.
The magazine should drop the word ‘Drinker’ in the title and move to ‘Pub Goer’ or something similar. The change would greatly widen the magazine’s appeal, encourage greater readership and surely widen advertising support. It would of course continue its coverage for beer drinkers as now, but under a more attractive title. It may immediately be felt that a change of name would be damaging to the familiar brand that has been created over so many years. But I believe the change, carefully managed, would ultimately be of great benefit and I urge CAMRA to consider this suggestion seriously.
The best way to accomplish the change would not be sudden, but gradual. For example, first add ‘and Pub Goer’ to the title in small type. Over the next year or more, increase the size of ‘Pub Goer’ and reduce ‘Drinker’ in successive editions until it disappears and the change is accomplished.
Ray Palin

MEMORIES OF THE BREWERY TAP, BRENTFORD
The substation part way down the road states ‘Catherine Wheel Yard’. When it changed to ‘Road’ I do not know. I was told that many years ago it had an arch at the main road end. Look at the steps in front of the pub; you will see two curved kerb stones. It looks like the pub was built over a road going into the William Gomm’s Beehive Brewery. In the book Brentford and Chiswick Pubs, by Gillian Clegg, on page 18 you will see a drawing of Catherine Wheel Yard/Road. The pub is known as The Tap by the regulars, some local and some from many miles away. In 1997 or 1998 I first went to the Tap for the music. I could be there three nights a week. The blue paint on the building, I was told, is the flood level from January 1841, a hundred years before I was born. May it continue as a pub as it was and how I know it.
Gus Ellis
Stop press! As we go to print it has been announced that the Brewery Tap will reopen under new management some time in December, after a ‘sympathetic refurbishment’. It is promised that the music will be back

THE BLYTHE HILL TAVERN
I have noticed a change to the pub from about ten years ago. Unfortunately the glass in the windows at ground floor level has been replaced. The old glass had beautiful stanchions in it. Once old glass is lost it simply can’t be replaced.
Just one more thing. Re the 10% reduction for CAMRA members. Some of us who are not CAMRA members are of the opinion that everyone else is paying 10% too much!
Mick McAndrew