To wrap up my observation of this recent trip and as this a pub driven journal I will list a few of thoughts about pubs in general and in particular pubs in the country so far visited
I think pubs are their own worst enemies.
Pubs appear to be closing down in large numbers all over the state. People are staying away
And yet if you are planning a trip, just try and find information about the pubs in the area you are visiting.
Most pubs have no internet site; for those that do the information contained is either out of date or incomplete.
Most pubs are not part of the local tourist associations; Why?
Therefore a visit to the local Information Centre will tell you little or nothing about pubs in the area
More than one pub owner complained that families don’t use pubs for overnight stays
Well! judging by all bar one of the pubs I stayed in, who could blame them, if I was travelling with a family I wouldn’t stay in them either and I am a pubophile.
The accommodation provided by almost all pubs is not up to a standard families want and in most of the very few occasions when it might be, the pubs starts to price themselves out of the range of people who uses pubs now.
I fail to understand why pubs allow their places to deteriorate to level they do when I wouldn’t have thought that it would cost a vast amount to carry out basic regular maintenance and cleaning.
For some reason pub operators seem to be completely indifferent to the state of disrepair their toilets and bathrooms fall into and I am not talking about major work, rather regular overall cleaning, regular painting and regular maintenance of plumbing.
It is common to encounter cobwebs, window ledges other flat surfaces and cobwebs covered in dust, windows broken, window frames rotten or in need of painting, missing tiles, broken tiles, filthy tiles, dirty toilets, basins and showers and cubicles, filthy torn or missing shower curtains, slivers of old soap and wrappers and other rubbish left for at least the length of ones stay and probably longer, bins irregularly emptied, door locks and catches not working, lights not working, no hooks in cubicles or benches or shelves upon which to put clothes, towels and toiletries.
Not all pubs are guilty of all the above (though I could, but wont, mention one which was)
Everything on the above list could be attended to, at minimal cost if done over a short period of time.
For some reason even when the rooms are not bad in pubs, the bathrooms are more often than not poor to say the least.
In quite a few instances the rooms are in need of work as they often have carpets so badly stained they look filthy, there is little or no hanging space sometimes the only place to sit is on the bed, and the rooms are often extremely hot and poorly ventilated . I accept that we are probably getting into a more expensive area of renovation but if the pubs want to be more accessible to a different clientele then this should be addressed even if done over a period of time.
I wonder why the AHA and other like bodies don’t have a register, kept up to date, of pubs in this state, which can be readily accessed by the travelling pub utilising public.
This register should detail at the very least if accommodation is available, if and when food is available, if secure parking is available, whether the bathrooms are shared or en suite.
As I motor back rider I came to appreciate the biker friendliness of some of the pubs I have stayed at lately though this was more by accident than design as I usually had no way of knowing if the pub has secure parking arrangements prior to arrival.
If this information was available then it would be easier to plan a trip and make advance booking arrangements
Just as I wonder why pubs that might rely on the traveller for their existence don’t have some connection with the local area Information Centres, and also why they are not more active in selling themselves by using the internet and other social media.
Another outcome of the lack of a “pub register” is that there is no avenue for comment or review of the pubs and therefore the lack of feedback removes any pressure for the pubs to self regulate.
While it is a great shame, deeply saddening, that pubs are closing down in the numbers they are I believe that their future, to a large extent, is in their own hands, and a significant amount of the blame is theirs.
It is claimed that there is no, or at least not much to be gained by running a pub, that it is a hard and thankless job, but that is no excuse for everything or for not doing anything.