Last night was wet and windy but it was warm and cosy by the fire in The Pooch and Pullet. As is often the way, Mickey told us a yarn from olde and we gathered around to enjoy his tale.
"In the late 1800s - a long time ago - the Village Inn was often the centre of business - a place where the publican might sell insurance or where deals were struck between dealers and drovers, farmers or graziers, and where travellers could buy information with their ale. The Alehouse was very different - much lower down the social scale - a meeting place for labourers." Mickey pawsed and from underneath his woolly coat he pulled a faded pinky-brown piece of paper. The edges were curled and tatty and the paper was very thin, so he opened it slowly and carefully.
"This was written by Mr Richard Jeffries in 1880 - he was describing the local Alehouse:
'Beware that you do not knock your head against the smoke-blackened beams of the low ceiling, and do not put your elbow carelessly on the deal table, stained with spilled ale left uncleaned from last night, together with little heaps of ashes, tapped out from pipes, and spots of grease from the tallow candles. The old-fashioned settles which gave so cosy an air in the olden time to the inn room, and which still linger in some of the houses, are not here - merely forms and cheap chairs. A great pot hangs over the fire, for the family cooking is done in the public apartment; but do not ask to join in the meal, for though the food may be more savoury than is dreamed of in your philosophy, the two-grained forks have not been cleaned these many a day.' "
We looked at each other with screwed-up beaks and wrinkled brows - yuk! Gordon xxx