Pubs allowed to turn car parks into beer gardens under plans to bolster hospitality industry
Is this something new? For it conjured up a vivid memory of visiting a large ivy-covered pub with my parents on the 1950s. and sitting in the car with our drinks, because my brother and I were too young to go inside, and so my father brought the drinks out to the car park. It was something we did quite frequently.
On the other hand, I don’t remember anyone else doing the same thing.
In fact I hardly remember any other cars in the car park. Back in the 1950s hardly anybody seemed to visit English pubs. My mother had something of a terror of alcohol. and regularly regaled me with tales of ancestors who had drunk themselves to death, frequently expressing the fear that I would do the same as soon as I got the opportunity to do so, and imploring me not to. My father had no such fears, and it was a source of regular bickering between my parents.
In the event I never got anywhere near drinking myself to death. And pub car parks are now full of cars. And so are the roads, which were largely empty in the 1950s. And cars were smaller back then, everyone crammed inside like sardines. My mother also had a terror of any speed above about 40 mph, and this was also a source of regular bickering between my parents. My father was far more adventurous than my mother – but he was a sailor, and sailors are naturally adventurous.
There was no terror of tobacco in 1950s Britain. Over the next 50 years, tobacco seems to have replaced alcohol as the principal cause for alarm. I don’t remember my mother ever recounting tales of relatives who had smoked themselves to death. And now alcohol is easy to buy, and tobacco far harder. The locus of terror has moved on.
And perhaps it has now moved on to coronavirus, and we will all start wearing masks and practising social distancing and washing our hands – until some brand new terror alights upon us.