Killing Pub Culture In The UK?


Victoria Henshaw worries:

Now that tobacco legislation has moved all the smokers outside, pubs have started to smell of body odour, urine, stale beer — all those sorts of things, instead. A lot of people on my smell walks really mourned the smell of the traditional English pub. Smoke was a large part of it, but really all those odours combined together to create this unique mix — the smell of the English pub — which people perceived as a comforting odour. And now it’s gone. It’s not that people don’t perceive the health benefits, but they do miss that smell.

What was interesting was that a lot of my smell walkers talked to me about how they are actually more annoyed now by experiencing cigarette smoke in the street than they were by it in the pubs, because in the pubs it was expected to be in there and it belonged, and they don’t think it belongs in the street in the same way. That seems to be part of the current mindset: we’ve sanitized our urban environments to such a degree that any experience that’s out of our control, we automatically react negatively to it.

William Murphy explains the above scene:

One of the results of the smoking ban in Ireland is that many people now go outside to smoke and during good weather they bring their drinks with them. This photograph was taken outside a Dublin Pub at mid day on a Saturday. Dublin is dirty enough without having glasses and beer bottles on the streets.