Saturday, 2 April 2011

Cross Guns


The watercolour sketch above is of “The Cross Guns” as I remember it. This was the Pub next to the Tram and later bus garage in Washwood Heath. It was my nearest Pub as I grew up and I would go there with my best friend for a quiet pint. It was quiet as you can see. The place hadn’t changed from the time it was built and probably had the same customers. A few locals, bus drivers and clippies having finished work. It was pretty dark with yellow wall paper a tile floor and a few tables and chairs mostly unoccupied. There was nothing in the way of decoration other than an old disconnected gas lamp on the wall and a few beer mats.


A pint of bitter then was about 1 shilling and 10 pence about 7p in today’s money.

There was no décor, no music no crisps, just beer and a fire. It was a place to talk and enjoy a couple of pints I don’t even think there was a dartboard. The beer was draught came from a wooden barrel and was warm. There is no other way to drink beer, is there? There was a Saloon and a Lounge. The only difference between the two was that women were allowed in the lounge although I never saw one in there.

Of course times change and the pub was knocked down and turned into an eighties pub. I believe even that is closed now.

The “clippies”, bus conductors were real characters men and women. It is funny how these days the use of words like “love” and “darling” are viewed as sexist yet in my day the clippies all used lovely words of endearment. What is wrong with a sixty-year-old women calling a schoolboy “love”, "darling", or “sweetheart”?
I am not sure but I obviously belong to a different, more innocent era. It wasn't what you said. It was how you said it that mattered.

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