Manchester and Salford City Centres
The state of the city pubs reflects very much what has happened to the city itself. The centre is being drained of residents, as it becomes one large complex of shops, offices and entertainment. "The local" which relies on a band of faithful regulars is therefore dying. Rarely can a single man go into a pub, knowing he will meet familiar company there.
What residents the central areas have are largely on the odd tower block housing estates, where new purpose-built pubs cater for mass entertainment. Many pubs find themselves in a no-mans-land between the busy city centre and residential areas, having to rely on stalwarts who once lived around there and just kept coming back.
If regular custom is to disappear then pubs must become attractive to casual visitors. And that does not mean adopting simple formulae, such as the theme or gimmick thought up by interior designers, or the installation of the latest coin-operated gadget.
Many pubs, indeed, provide fine food, but often only at lunchtime. There is a distinct lack of live entertainment - a trip around London pubs would confirm this. There is also some doubt as to the future of that fine institution, the free pub game - darts, cards, dominoes etc. Too often comfort is equated with fake opulence; pubs can be made comfortable unobtrusively. Finally , many owners are unaware, or at least appear to be, of their individual pubs' claim to fame. A gimmick based on that fact is that much more acceptable.
It is hoped that the criticisms made are constructive. It is also hoped that they show that the compilers do not subscribe to the view that the only way to maintain "the pub" is to preserve old ones, although it is notable that large amounts of money are spent in making new pubs look 50, 100 or 200 years old. Why not preserve the originals?
At the present time, Mancunians rarely turn to the city centre for a night out. In lieu of any improvement appearing, the compilers recommend what they did - tour four or five of the pubs one evening, sampling the incredible selection of beers, and find out what the pubs and people of Manchester and Salford are really like for yourself.
(c) Manchester Pub Surveys 1975
Published by Manchester Pub Surveys, Burnage.
Photoset and Printed by Hadfield Print Services Ltd, Glossop.
David G. Evans
Dave is a computer analyst who first dreamed up the idea of a Manchester Pub Guide. A "very level-headed fellow" (according to the Manchester Evening News), he has lead the weary team through endless pub doors for over eight months to produce this guide.
Richard J. Venes
Dick has a degree in Brewing Science and has provided the technical know-how on beers and their brewing. He claims to have visited over thirty English and European breweries. He works as a brewer in Manchester.
Steve is a research student in social history at Manchester University. As the historical contributor to the guide, he has unearthed many hitherto unknown facets of Manchester pub life.
James S. Varley
James is a science research student also the University. A wit and raconteur, he is pleasantly divided into four rooms offering a wide variety of interest and entertainment.
The authors would like to express their thanks to Ruth M. Evans - for her nimble handling of the computer and typewriter, David L. Stinton - for "putting it all together", and everybody else who contributed to this volume in one way or another.