Lydia Johnson on: Pubs - as rich in history as they are in flavour

Hereford Times: Lydia enjoying a pint in Dublin. Picture by Lorna Morris. Lydia enjoying a pint in Dublin. Picture by Lorna Morris.

THIS week I spoke to Ledbury couple John and Hilda Tye who have recently completed the enviable feat of visiting every Herefordshire pub in just six weeks.

But this was no binge-drinking marathon they were embarking on. They were looking to help document some of the history and heritage of each pub, and the county with it.

We seem to be losing more and more pubs all the time.

Many won't agree but to me, pubs are an important part of our culture.

My friends and I always gather in pubs, whether we're celebrating a birthday, planning a trip or just having a general catch-up.

Many pubs have stood for hundreds of years - just think of the history and stories that are trapped inside the walls of your local.

Many will have interesting stories to tell, often documented by the sign outside the pub.

I visited The Skirrid Mountain Inn, near Abergavenny, last year - the pub that is reportedly the oldest pub in Wales, dating back to 1110.

The stories that one bar man, John Smith, had to tell were incredible - they range from experiences of ghostly apparitions to tales of the 180 people who were hanged in the pub when it was used as a court house.

The sign that hangs outside The Skirrid tells yet another story - the inn stands in the shadow of the Skirrid Mountain, sometimes called the Holy Mountain, which, according to legend , broke in two at the time of the crucifixion of Christ during a violent storm.

So whether you appreciate your local for its history, its fine selection of ales or ciders or the feeling of community you find inside, I think many would agree that our landscape would be much duller without them.

Comments (2)

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12:10pm Fri 10 Jan 14

ArmadilloSackRace says...

All of the first three options, plus being a great place to socialise.
All of the first three options, plus being a great place to socialise. ArmadilloSackRace

2:55pm Fri 10 Jan 14

mizza21 says...

I bloomin love pubs.
I like to go in and drink lots of different sorts of beverages but almost always Guinness.
I lke Bitter and Lager too though.

When I drink I like to go to the toilets too. This gives me the opportunity to sample the architectural features you encounter in privvies in public houses. I do so love the effect of polished brass and copper.

The only disspointment for me these days is that I cannot enjoy a nice big hand rolled cigarette with a pint. I do so love a fag. Of course many pubs have a lovely smoking area outside, some even with a patio heater which is really wonderful, enabling smoking and drinking as a simultaneous activity without contravening the smoking fags at work act or whatever.

Of course the real joy of pubs is the Pub Quiz.
I like to enter pub quizzes and suchlike when I have enjoyed the wares and become quite considerably refreshed. Then I can shout out the answers during the quiz, much to my own amusement, but apparently not anyone elses.

Of course, one can enjoy pubs too much. Only last week I enjoyed one of Hereford's best pubs a little too much and became as refreshed as a ****.
I spent the night in the park under a bush and felt right as rain the next day.
I bloomin love pubs. I like to go in and drink lots of different sorts of beverages but almost always Guinness. I lke Bitter and Lager too though. When I drink I like to go to the toilets too. This gives me the opportunity to sample the architectural features you encounter in privvies in public houses. I do so love the effect of polished brass and copper. The only disspointment for me these days is that I cannot enjoy a nice big hand rolled cigarette with a pint. I do so love a fag. Of course many pubs have a lovely smoking area outside, some even with a patio heater which is really wonderful, enabling smoking and drinking as a simultaneous activity without contravening the smoking fags at work act or whatever. Of course the real joy of pubs is the Pub Quiz. I like to enter pub quizzes and suchlike when I have enjoyed the wares and become quite considerably refreshed. Then I can shout out the answers during the quiz, much to my own amusement, but apparently not anyone elses. Of course, one can enjoy pubs too much. Only last week I enjoyed one of Hereford's best pubs a little too much and became as refreshed as a ****. I spent the night in the park under a bush and felt right as rain the next day. mizza21

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