Saturday, 4 May 2013

Bye Bye Old George

Finally the Old George is finished, the old 'Trench of Despair' done in. Well it's a sad moment for some of us, although we were already tempted away. The Old George was one of the last Big Boozers of the East End, although latterly it seemed empty most of the time. When 'Kempy' retired to Spain it was always a big ask; punters are sensitive (as very well illustrated when Norman Balon left the Coach and Horses in Soho and a whole culture dissolved overnight). I guess while I personally didn't mind barmaids in overcoats and that terrible sound system that ground you out of the pub even on the gentlest of afternoons; I liked the whole ludicrous nature of it even as it died, a kind of inverted Las Vegas, it hung on, with the lovely Danni standing behind the bar if you were lucky. Danni was excellent at offering advice for my lectures. When I said I was doing the Renaissance that week she said:
'That's the geezer with the ceilings!'
And on the Industrial Revolution, she smartly chimed:
She was very reliable at cutting the wheat from the chaff. And I loved the cat (Patch) who came to put up with me in time, whilst I sneezed for whole afternoons after enjoying her cold stare.
I believe the Old George is to be resuscitated, I hope with elan, but I'm not sure how. It is a huge property, unwieldy, with a massive footprint, which for some recent pleasurable hours, featured just me, Patch and Danni.
Above a Christmas Day in the last century.

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