So typical of the English – they sail all the way to exotic European capitals and the first thing they do is to look for a typical English parish church. Our 1925 visitors to the northern capitals found St Albans Church in Copenhagen – they might as well have stayed in St Albans, Hertfordshire.
I was in Manchester last week with a group of friends – the famous Old Gits Luncheon Club – and we were walking along the Rochdale Canal en-route to a splendid public house called The Briton’s Protection, when I spotted two buildings, separated by a few hundred yards and a few hundred years in economic history. My first reaction was to praise the old and condemn the new, but on mature old git reflection I shall admire both. Manchester has changed, but the new Manchester is just as vibrant, striking and picturesque as the old; and with a shiny glass surface.
The Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street, London (1987)
I have just realised that I have got to number eight in this ten part series on pubs and all I have shown is buildings. Buildings in themselves – whatever their architectural merit, however much their timbers have absorbed centuries of malt and hops – are not pubs. Pubs need people – drinking, talking, laughing, enjoying life. I took this photograph in the 1980s whilst on a trip to London with a group of trade union students from Doncaster. I can still feel the glow of their friendship thirty years later.