Alan Kelly is a member of tenantspin, in particular our North Liverpool Digital Stories Group. We recently held a webcast to celebrate the launch of Kevin Casey’s recent publication ‘Closing Time’ which documents the decline of the Liverpool Pub over the last 3 years.
As a response to the book Alan has written the below review from the perspective of a citizen who has seen the decline of the pub over his life.
“A picture speaks a thousand words. The saying could not be more appropriate to explain the subject matter of this book. The photography is a stunning reminder of days long gone.
The sad thing for me is that at 75 I can recall a number of the pubs personally. The Gregsons Well (both of them) bring back memories of my younger days of Family Get togethers, My Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents all lived in the Low Hill area. Weddings, Funerals, Christenings and the like all celebrated in ‘the local’.
The ‘Cradoe’ amongst others on the Dock Road recalled my time in the Merchant Navy with many a mad rush to rejoin the ship before she sailed.
The words of the author unfortunately rings true, apart from slum clearance, industrial decline etc he makes no bones about the early days abuse, of the menfolk drinking their wages away and later the criminal element, including drugs and violence and anti-social behaviour that came with it, also contributed to the closure of a number of pubs.
The chapter that really brings it home is ‘Confessions of a Landlady’ May Grocott brings it all back like it was yesterday, nostalgia ‘aint innit’ Football was a big thing in the 50′s/60′s with pub teams being a member of a the local Saturday/Sunday leagues. Looking back it seems that the pub was the community centre of the time. Music also played a big part especially at weekends, the guitar gradually replaced the piano for a saturday night sing song. Quite a few Liverpool Groups emerged from the skiffle group era but life moves on. Now its juke boxes, gaming machines and maybe a quiz night.”
Thank you to Alan for his insightful review. Closing Time is available for sale in the shop @ FACT, 88 Wood Street, Waterstones and News from Nowhere.