Thanks to Deborah Roberts for the above photos.
A pub-crawl is something I associate
With my youth – indeed, I have never ever
Typed ‘pub crawl’, before, but I am surprised
To find a green line advising me to
Hyphenate and create a compound noun.
The word was never hyphenated
When I used to go on a pub crawl:
There was a noun and there was a verb,
The noun was a sort of synecdoche,
Whilst the verb ‘crawl’ said it all:
The evening started vertical
And ended with a slow, meandering
Horizontal, hands and feet slowly,
Gradually, inching along pavement.
And that was a pub crawl, sampling lots of
Different pints, and different pubs,
Different prices, and atmospheres,
Collecting and clocking the pub names,
The different tastes, strengths and breweries,
In a sort of localised and active
Sociological nuanced survey:
It made you observant through the smoke.
But it’s back to the future, this afternoon,
Our inaugural Stroud Loomsday pub crawl:
The day might well turn out to be a dream
Of modernist stream of consciousness,
A right, regular James Joyce Bloomsday,
An odyssey through space, time and language,
Avant-garde as well as avant-bard,
A cyclical Finnegans Wake of a
Self-referential, post-modernist pub crawl,
A Stroud Loomsday interweaving of tales,
Homespun yarns, birthdays, anniversaries:
John Clare Day, Bastille Day, St Swithin’s Day,
Edward Thomas enlisting, and writing
‘For These’: his justificatory poem –
Or we might just chew the cud and ruminate,
Silently studying the life and times,
The sociology and semiology
Of Stroud town pubs on a Thursday in July:
The Fountain, the Greyhound, the Imperial,
The Lord John and the SVA,
Slad Road, Gloucester Street, Russell Street,
Lansdowne, John Street, George Street, King Street,
Reading and reciting, drinking and inciting,
Or we might, I dunno, just have a drink,
And follow Wikepedia’s definition:
A pub crawl (sometimes called a bar tour, bar crawl or bar-hopping) is the act of drinking in multiple pubs or bars in a single night, normally travelling by foot or public transport to each destination and occasionally by cycle …
In the UK, pub crawls are generally unstructured and spontaneous nights-out, in which the participants arrange to meet in a particular location and decide over drinks on where to drink next. Structured routes with regular stops are rare. Most drinking sessions based around a special occasion such as a birthday or a leaving celebration will involve a pub-crawl, often with the group splitting up but agreeing on meeting at the next location. It is a common sight in UK towns to see several groups orbiting the various drinking locations with little apparent coherence or structure …
1. Sitting outside in the garden at the Fountain is a delight: late Victorian/Edwardian red brick and Cotswold stone surroundings and views. Very atmospheric. Recommended.
2. You can get a beer called Odyssey at the Vic: most suitable indeed for a James Joycean pub crawl. Again, sitting outside is recommended.
3. The Greyhound has astonishing Edwardian urinals – adamantine, as it were.
4. Sitting outside at the Imperial is a great prompt for railway reflections, and ruminations on Stroud’s architectural heritage (See below*). Recommended.
5. The Lord John is enormous and a bit of a theatre of dreams. Again, sitting outside is recommended. You can fit in 10,000 steps just walking around the pub.
6. The SVA is another recommended outside watering hole.
Holloway House and the discovery of the fasces:
I can’t believe no one has noticed this before. We stared at it, noted it, then questioned it, on our inaugural Loomsday pub crawl: the Vic, the Fountain, the Greyhound, the Imperial, Lord John, and finally, the SVA.
Sorry couldn’y join you today. Is it technically a fascisti if no axe?
Mmm. I think you may be right in the sober light of dawn, Paul. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so fascism is in the eye of the pub crawler. We had a great time! Hope you had a great birthday. No hangover!
A little light research on wikkipodium thing reveals that the bundle of sticks symbol (symbolizing strength through unity) does not always contain an axe. However, it is used far more widely than in a fascist context. See attached pic of Lincoln memorial for example. A very popular symbol…
* Fasces as an architectural device have a number of nuanced significations. Here it possibly alludes to the collective qualities of Mid-Gloucestershire Working Men’s Benefit Society? Fasces also appear frequently in America’s iconography including on Washington’s memorial. George W had his flaws I believe but was not predominantly fascist.
I’m trying to maintain a generous view of Mr Holloway against the day that I may be asked to declaim his socio/economic thoughts with sincerity and conviction for dramatic purposes. As Stan might have said, you have to wear the character. Of course, you can also wear out a character, besides life is short.
* Thank you Mr Hicks. A little sober research this morning has revealed that the fasces do indeed have a wide use as you say. Have included a pic of the Lincoln Memorial to illustrate.
* You’re right to correct me (implicitly) Bob. I’m conflating Lincoln’s memorial with Washington’s statue. Both have fasces, if anything Washington’s is proportionately bigglier. Probably the biggliest till Trump proves, beyond doubt, he’s mortal.
*Gosh! That’s a big one!
* All good stuff. Thanks Bill and Bob. But after a couple of pints, there’s a distinct Il Duce vibe about it all. What’s the moral?
* Not a moral issue old chum. Delusional insobriety is like a runner’s stitch, you have to drink your way through it. Il Duce was an old hand at the technique.
NEXT LOOMSDAY CRAWL WILL START AT THE LITTLE GEORGE. DATE TO BE CONFIRMED.