14 June 2008

Google Con

Anyone wishing to earn money through Google AdShare, please be aware that they can take you in and spit you out without warning. Although there was nothing untoward with the MyPubguide account, they decided not to pay us for advertising. Unfortunately, the Yahoo scheme does not operate without a United States social security number. Therefore, it is not an option to non-Americians.

Nonetheless, we do not depend upon scruffy banners to fund our great website. We might seek other sources of advertising income. In no way does this affect prices or policy.

7 June 2008

Most Common Pub Names

The actual counts for pub names are in brackets. Of course, counts include derivatives. So, it might be likely that some pubs have 'Inn', 'Arms', etc., after:

1 Red Lion (482)
2 Royal Oak (439)
3 Crown (431)
4 Rose and Crown (317)
5 White Hart (293)
6 White Horse (257)
7 New (244)
8 Plough (230)
9 Swan (223)
10 Queens Head (223)
11 Kings Head (214)
12 Prince of Wales (197)
13 Wheatsheaf (191)
14 Black Horse (180)
15 Bell (174)
16 Coach and Horses (173)
17 George (164)
18 Fox and Hounds (152)
19 Ship (146)
20 Railway (146)
21 Rising Sun (144)
22 White Lion (142)
23 George and Dragon (139)
24 Hare and Hounds (138)
25 Kings (134)

Interview with John Clarke, CAMRA

An exclusive interview with a spokesman for CAMRA:

Damien Crowley said...

On CAMRA’s website, we see their position on pub houses. It states as its first aim that CAMRA is committed “Conservation of our existing pubs”. It then continues: “While planning permission is needed to convert pubs into homes, full planning permission is not normally required to demolish a pub or convert a pub into a shop or restaurant. CAMRA wants to prevent pubs being demolished or converted to another use without planning permission. It is after all only right that local people are given a chance to object to the loss of their local pub.” Why do CAMRA have unconditional support for "local" pubs?

John Clarke said...

Indeed I helped formulate the proposal, adopted a few years ago, that campaigning for pubs should be put on an equal footing as campaigning for real ale. I'm not sure whether you think this is a good thing or a bad thing. I would say that we generally support good local pubs - I'm sure that we could both list some local pubs that leave a great deal to be desired. And of course, our remit is real ale, we won't be banging the drum for pubs that don't sell it - although we will, were appropriate, encourage them to do so.

I don't know about CAMRA nationally but all I can say locally is that we certainly do not have unconditional support for all local public houses (see some of the less than kind comments in the Stagger articles for example).

I think I should just mention that we do sometimes mention less than ideal (or even keg-only) pubs if we are trying to prevent, say, the unnecessary alteration or demolition of an important heritage pub.

Damien Crowley said...

There can be good reason for the demolition or conversion of a building, especially with jarring housing issues. However, I fear that conversation would take us well outside the remit of real ale.

John Clarke said...

There is of course often a good reason for pubs closing. However on the other hand, particularly in rural areas, many perfectly viable pubs have been the subject to sudden and arbitrary change of use applications by people who have bought them not with a view to running them as pubs but to convert them into housing. Sometimes this can be the last pub in a community and I see nothing wrong with trying to prevent such losses where it is appropriate.

Just because we have a policy of general support for "the pub" it does not mean that we will actively campaign for the retention of every pub everywhere - there are many local examples of pubs closing where we haven't made any sort of fuss at all. I think it's fair to say though that almost any pub closure must be a cause for some regret - a poor pub can always improve but a closed pub is (usually) gone for ever. On the other hand though, there are some area that are clearly overpubbed and the winnowing out of the weaker ones may boost the chances of the remaining, usually better run, establishments. It's not always a black and white issue.

Damien Crowley said...

You hit upon the idea of a ‘Good Pub’. There are other factors that need to be taken into consideration, such as, whether the bar staff act reasonably or responsibly. I grant that it is necessary that a pub must sell real ale for it to be good pub. A good pub also has a lot to do with bar staff customer interaction and, say, family friendly policies. Incidentally, why does Opening Times award "pub of the month" to public houses that do not have family friendly policies?

John Clarke said...

Pub of the Month is awarded locally to licensees who we consider are working hard to run a good pub. The award is discussed and voted on at our monthly branch meeting (that's Stockport & South Manchester branch). Some will have family friendly policies and some won't. Pubs, good and bad, come in all shapes and sizes.

Damien Crowley said...

I agree; however, I have also noticed a tendency for the best pubs to be family friendly. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, Porter’s Railway is an exceptional pub but it has a no children policy. This is an aspect that I find to displeasing but other than that, the pub is flawless.

John Clarke said...

Generally speaking I don't think anyone locally who would disagree with anything you say here - I certainly don't.

Damien Crowley said...

The Stockport Opening Times for Stockport & South Manchester branch of CAMRA is rumoured to have Robinson's bias. Surely, this cannot be true?

John Clarke said...

That statement does not match the facts. There is no Robinson’s bias; taking the two years from January 2006, Pub of the Month awards have gone to the following:

Hydes - 6
Pub Cos (various) - 7
Robinsons - 3
Marstons - 1
Cains - 1
Porters - 1
Holts - 2
Free Houses - 2
Wetherspoons - 1
There are in fact only three cask Sam Smith pubs in the branch area. The last time one of those was Pub of the Month was November 2005. (In fact we only have four Wetherspoon too; one of those was Pub of the Month in August)

Robinson’s is one of our local family brewers and it produces large amounts of cask beer which is sold in some excellent community locals. I am quite happy to plead guilty in promoting all of that.

Damien Crowley said...

Thank you, interesting statistics – Those distributions show no Robinson’s bias.