Saturday, 6 August 2016

Public information about public houses

You might not be aware of this but there's a couple of areas of Leeds 'history' that I'm fascinated by. Architecture, obviously, and the changing streetscape, cinemas and theatres, and the evolving public spaces. One of the really big fascinations I have are public houses. I've heard so many tales about them, descriptions and locations, clientele and staff, and I find them creatively inspiring. It might be a long way off though a project about these places is a distinct possibility. Public houses often serve multiple functions, meeting rooms, folk clubs, a liaison for the evening or long term companionship, and are often located in places that link communities. However, I often hear these tales in other public houses, so have no notes to reference. I know someone told me about a Roxy, though am I getting confused with similar public houses in Nottingham, London, Norwich? I've been in market taverns in London, you know the ones that open at 5/6am for the porters, and I think someone else told me about the Leeds ones, but I can't recall. In an effort to start collecting this information I'm going to start carrying a small notebook. In this I will jot down the things people tell me, any tales I get about the current and lost pubs of Leeds, their locations and the location in which I get the research. I might spend a bit of time explaining what I'm doing but think most people I've met in public houses, friends and strangers alike, would probably be happy imparting their stories.

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