Disappearing Pub Culture
In the last ten years pubs in the United Kingdom have been closing at an alarming rate- sixteen per week on average. This is concerning because pubs often serve a critical political, cultural, and historical place in communities that goes far beyond the social aspect. There is one pub that has been continuously operating since 1148 AD. They are more than merely businesses that serve alcohol. Many community pubs are hosts for important public services, like post offices, general stores, and public internet access. They can serve as a bridge between the fifteenth and twenty-first centuries, building on tradition and authenticity while striving to survive in a changing world. Many are evolving from community centers to tourist destinations, but this transition comes at a cost as locals can find themselves crowded and priced out of their favorite gathering spots.
In 2001, Prince Charles has founded an initiative called The Pub is the Hub dedicated to assisting rural establishments and helping ensure their survival. Community involvement is an important element in this drive as the Prince advises on collective ownership partnerships and awareness campaigns. His organization is helping develop innovative and flexible business approaches.
British pubs serve a very different purpose from the common American “corner bar”. Disappearing Pub Culture examines pubs in an attempt to record their eccentricities and uniqueness before they are gone.
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