As I’ve grown older I’ve also grown increasingly fond of a good pub. To a young me they were just places to ‘get drunk and pull birds’ and I was pretty hopeless at both. This means I didn’t really take to pubs until University, where many friendships were forged over unpleasantly warm pints that our skint selves often nursed just a bit too long.

The 2007 smoking ban made pubs a more pleasant place to spend time, this coincided with a new found interest in photography and in the years since I’ve travelled much of the country, primarily using pubs as accommodation of choice. Not only is it efficient having one place to park, eat, drink and sleep, they’re generally more homely and welcoming than hotels… plus getting involved with the locals has often been interesting, hilarious and rewarding.

During this same time frame I’ve mourned the decline and closure of many traditional boozers, including my own local. There’s an argument that the remaining pubs have risen to the challenges of a changing market, moved with the times and upped their offer. Certainly it appears modern publicans invest a lot of time, love and effort and in some of the smaller communities I’ve visited pubs are the beating heart of all that goes on.

The Prime Minister has now ordered closure of all pubs as part of sweeping measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 ‘coronavirus’ which is a danger to the population and our health services. Right now we are clueless as to how long restrictions will last and the effect this pandemic will ultimately have on our lives but I do hope that pubs, along with the people I enjoy sharing them with, can weather the storm.

If your local is still providing a takeout or delivery service, do what you sensibly can to support them. The same goes for other small businesses and independent traders on your doorstep. Seems we’re in for a long 2020 so knuckle down, follow the advice, stay safe and look out for each other.

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