Hub on Pubs: Great Hub Pages Hubs on Great English Pubs

Hubs on Pubs

When I think of England, and "things English", one of the first that comes to mind is ye olde English pub. Almost every novel I have ever read, except for those of the Bronte sister's - I don't think they were big on pubs - from "The Pickwick Papers," "The Scarlet Pimpernel," and "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," to the wonderful, modern detective stories of Dorothy Sayers, Martha Grimes, and P.D. James, every one has included a colorful tavern, a local watering hole with a fascinating name, or a neighborhood pub that figured in the action somehow. What would England be without her amazing pubs, inns and taverns?

While perusing this week's HubMob for interesting reading material (there's a lot there - I recommend you check it out), I came across a HubMob hub by ethel smith - English Pubs. Her hub set me to musing on this question.

Quitessential English pub from www.andythornton.com
Quitessential English pub from www.andythornton.com
Image from www.victoriatravelguide.com
Image from www.victoriatravelguide.com

I decided I needed to write on it, but I quickly concluded it was much too worthy a topic to have been passed over in the past. Sure enough, many fine hubbers had already tackled their own hubs on pubs.

The idea intrigued me though, and "hubs on pubs" tickled my fancy. It sounds a bit like a Dr. Seuss book - for grown-ups, perhaps, but nonetheless, a Dr. Seuss book.

Once I started digging though, I was so impressed with these other hubs on pubs that I decided they should be included here, so that you can enjoy them enmasse, as it were.

To that end, this hub includes a compilation of some of the great "hubs on pubs", in tribute to all the great hubbers who wrote them.

Since the Highwayman first clattered into the old inn yard in search of the innkeepers "red-lipped daughter, plaiting a dark red love knot into her long black hair," English pubs and taverns have held a magical place in our imagination.

They are the last bastions of home and country, where brave men rallied before setting sail to rescue innocent folk from the terrible wrath of Madame de Guillotine.

They are the quaint rural haunts of colorful characters, replete with blackened beams and a canny barkeep who knows everyone business for miles around. These are the stuff of legend.

Martha Grimes, master of the detective genre, names her novels for English pubs.They are great names, too.

The first of her crime novels I read was called "The Dirty Duck". I was absolutely enchanted with the heady mixture of Shakespeare, Olde English public houses, and the sensitive, poetic, and intelligent hero, Inspector Richard Jury.

Image from www.thisislondon.co.uk
Image from www.thisislondon.co.uk
Image from www.igougo.com
Image from www.igougo.com

I have since seen him brilliantly portrayed by noted actor, Adam Dalgliesh, in the BBC miniseries of several of her Inspector Jury novels.

In a 1983 interview with Washington Post reporter, Sarah Booth Conroy, responding about why she chose pub names for her stories, Martha Grimes is quoted as saying:

"I remember vividly when I decided to write my first mystery. I had written a narrative poem and another novel, neither published. But in 1977, I was sitting in a Hot Shoppe in Bethesda [Maryland], looking at a book about English pub names, and I came across 'The Man With a Load of Mischief'. Suddenly I knew that's what I wanted to do: write books set in English pubs.... Now, unless I have the pub name first, I can't write the book."

Fictional detectives from the great Sherlock Holmes to Inspector Morse have relied on the corner pub as a source of information - I love John Thaw's portrayal of that complex and world-weary D.C.I., Chief Inspector Morse.

To be sure, Holmes almost always went out of his way to be well-disguised, so as to fit in with the locals, but any fan of the genre knows that the best place to dig up some dirt is "round t' pub", or "down t' boozer", as the local hostelry is known in some parts of the world.

Every good fan of the North American versions of the murder-mystery genre knows that the local watering hole can be a wonderful source of every conceivable atmosphere, from slick and sophisticated, to seedy, back street dives. More importantly, the local bar tender can be a top-notch source for information about a suspect or that suspect's movements and, best of all, the suspect's "connections".

So too, in English detective fiction, the local publican has a marvelous eye for who knows who, and who knows what, as well as being somewhat of an amateur psychologist - I'm sure from hearing so many tales of woe poured out over a pint.

From a source of information, to a source of repose and a cold pint after a long day pursuing "bad 'uns", and sifting fact from fiction, the local pubs, taverns, and ale houses have well served a long line of fictional English detectives and their reading public.


Collected here, some Hubs on Pubs -

For fun and reading pleasure;

But Hubs on Pubs, though fun to write,

Are dry as Temperance treasure;


No - Hubs on Pubs contain no beer,

No spirits, ale, nor stout;

For such as those, to pubs we goes,

Not hubs, though some might doubt -


Now, raise a glass to Hubs on Pubs,

To hubbers fine who penned 'em,

So drink we now, "Good Health, too all!"

And England's best, we send 'em!


© 2010 RedElf

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28 comments

TattooVirgin profile image

TattooVirgin 6 years ago

Now thems some nice Pubs. Great Pub Hub... Peace :)


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much - I thought they were kinda fun ;) Nice to meet you!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

It was a lovely institution but with that smoking ban it seems to go. Thank you for your great hub.


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California'

I concur! A most excellent rendition of Dr. Seuss too :P


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

I like the idea so much, of pub-hopping in England.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America

It's an entire culture, isn't it? Great photos and thumbs up!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Now that's a great idea for a new tour for tourists. Combine it with shopping and you've got something for the men and the ladies: the Pub-Hopping-Shopping Tour in jolly olde London.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Hi there, Hh! Yes, there are fewer and fewer places that allow smoking. Glad you enjoyed the hub!

Thanks, Enelle. I am a big fan of the Dr. ;)

I would love to do that sometime, Paradise7!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

It is indeed! It was great fun to research. Thanks so much, Patty.

drbj, that's another great hub! Pub-Hopping-Shopping Tour! Too fun!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

This is great and thanks for the link. I shall reciprocate.


revybaby profile image

revybaby 6 years ago from On the Road

One of my best memories of an English Pub was not of drinking -- except the lime and lager is good. I guess it is about drinking -- but of a lovely cream tea that we had one day. Now, when my daughter was doing a Summer Abroad -- I doubt she ever had a cream tea at a pub...


TnFlash profile image

TnFlash 6 years ago from Tampa, Florida

Excellent Hub, except I couldn't get the video to play.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Most welcome, ethel! Thanks for the link, and for the great hub that gave me the idea!

Oh, how lovely - a cream tea! She may have gone more for the lime 'n' lager ;), but you never know...

Thanks so much for commenting, Tn - I'll have a look at the video - thanks!


Internetwriter62 profile image

Internetwriter62 6 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

Very nice, Pubs and England often go hand and hand. After all pubs are social centers in England. I have seen pubs featured in many British sitcoms. Excellent Hub.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much, Internet writer62! When I was at school (not in England) we had a favorite watering hole. It was a nice little lounge that catered to coffee-addicted grad students. We loved to hang out and exchange "deep thoughts" - definitely the center of our social lives ;)


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

Great photos and great hub. Pubs-what a wonderful place to spend a bit of time.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

The pubs in England sound good to me. Good hub.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much, Gals! Nice of you to stop by! I've always been fond of pubs.

Pamela99, I'd love to visit one or two (or three or...) one of these days ;)


Justine76 6 years ago

I live in New England. Our pubs aren't nearly as cool as Old England's sound. We do have a couple nice ones that I like to visit. Maybe one day I'll get to go visit and try out a REAl pub.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks, Justine76. Maybe I'll see you there... ;)


hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 6 years ago from Italy

I love pubs, as much as I love the habit of giving almost every house a name. So British, so wonderful. Thumbs up! :)


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

'dude! Great to see you! Yes, too bad we all don't follow that trend here (well, some do).


arthurchappell profile image

arthurchappell 5 years ago from Manchester, England

Just joined and starting to add my pub sign hub postings too - hood feature this. Cheers.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much, arthurchappell! So nice to meet you, and welcome to HubPages.


bethinau 4 years ago

Just read about the pub names--specifically the Martha Grimes titles and HAD to respond.

Roy Marsden played Adam Dalgliesh in the BBC adaptations of P.D. James's mysteries. Dalgleish is just as fictional as Richard Jury.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 4 years ago from Canada Author

Yes, thanks, I am well-aware that Inspector Dalgleish is a fictional charater. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi RedElf, I have spent many a happy hour in the 'Dirty Duck' in Stratford on Avon!

We have some fabulous traditional pubs in the UK and some great names!

I enjoyed reading thank you and voted up!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 4 years ago from Canada Author

We have some pretty nice genuine-fake "English" pubs over here. They're not the real thing, but they try hard, bless them, and some are nice, cozy family-style places. I would love to "cross the pond" and visit the real thing some day!

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