Years ago, Uncle Tom Cobbley would take off down to the local public house after his supper to enjoy his pipe and a conversation with the other allotment holders without having to mind his language in front of the ladies.
The public house was the poor manâs version of the ladies âwithdrawing roomâ; a haven of strong drink, stronger language and thick smoke that âer indoorsâ didnât choose to host in her front parlour.
Feminism broke through this barrier and ensured that the ladies were just as likely to be found propping up the bar now that they had a dishwasher and an electric iron and an abortion instead of another four toddlers to watch over.
The public house became a sanitised âgastro-pubâ so that Madame no longer had to return home to prepare the supper. Then it added a âchildrenâs roomâ so that she didnât have to wait for the few children she had exercised her âuman rightâ to produce to grow up before she could enjoy her equal rights.
Before too long it was literally a home from home with a juke box, and a TV and comfy sofaâs to replace the bar stool. Now that it resembled Madameâs front parlour, she complained that she didnât like the thick smoke, nor the strong language.
Air conditioning was installed, but it wasnât enough, so the smoking was banned, and the strong language disproved of.
Unfortunately, this had removed two of the reasons for the public houseâs very existence, so they went out of business at a rate of knots, some 60 a week to be precise.
What do you do with an ex-public house? It used to be extremely hard to achieve a precious âchange of useâ certificate. The public house was the âheart of the communityâ or at least the heart of the smoking/drinking/chatting community.
How very fitting then, that the Colgrave Arms in Leytonstone, is to become the heart of the local righteous community.
In doing so, it will no longer be open to the ladies to sup their pint of equality beer, nor to discuss their latest abortion. Nor to have their supper cooked for them, nor to watch Eastenders on the wide screen TV. In future they will have to stay at home.
As Hilaire Belloc wroteâ¦ âWhen you have lost your inns drown your empty selves, for you will have lost the last of England!â
I can foresee the day when Britain will be famous for having a ârighteous community centreâ at the end of every street.
We will have âThe Shariaâs Closing Innâ, âThe Old Black Burqaâ, âThe Jolly Jack Strawâ, âThe Mustapha Almsâ, and âThe Crusaderâs Headâ.
So many pubs to renameâ¦â¦see what suggestions you can come up with.
(Try not to make them libellous, I donât want to have to delete any!)