A Warm Gin and a Stale Whelk


Following my trip down memory lane yesterday, a friend asks if my local pub was ever visited by the seafood man? Well of course it was. A rather dishevelled and smelly man (for obvious reasons) in a white coat and carrying a wicker basket who would announce his arrival in the bar with a hearty “SEAFOOD!”. We’d then queue up and by prawns (shrimps), or crabsticks (mulched shrimp) winkles, whelks or whatever, which he’d hand over in individual portions in polystyrene trays . “Pepper and vinegar, guv?” he’d ask. Now for ten points, what was the name of the bloody company he worked for? He had a blue logo on the back of his jacket. I know one of you out there will remember.

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At the risk of dwelling too much on the past (again), it warms the cockles (geddit???) of the heart thinking back to that sort of thing. Remember when you could go for your Sunday lunchtime sharpener and the bar would be laden with Roast potatoes and sometimes drumsticks—to persuade you from going home for lunch? One pub I know (The British Sailor, Greenwich—now demolished) had the revolutionary idea that a treat need merely be a whole, raw onion chopped up and served on a ‘silver’ salver. And we stood there and ate it !!

We were thrown out of a pub on a Sunday at 2 o’clock and kicked our heels til they opened again at 7. One Sunday afternoon 6 of us went into a Pizza parlour and ordered a medium Four Seasons and 3 bottles of Mateus Rose, just to pass the time before pub opening hours.

But the seafood man and the raw onions have long gone, along with free school milk and rickets. It was a time when Twitter was what your mum did during The Big Match, Neil Kinnock was gonna be the next PM and no-one had heard of (or believed) in peanut-allergies or RSI (so not everything’s changed)

Happy days.

And now, an advert:

If you find this blog is far too tame or pub-based for your liking, please check out my mate’s blog. Want a real rant? He’s your man (and he kindly plugged me on his! So there.)

spitfire32

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