Month: May 2011

Do you watch sport down the pub?

TV down the pubIn February this year (2011) The Morning Advertiser reported that only 9.8% of pubs questioned in their Pub Market Report had a Sky TV subscription, with live sport being less important to a licensee than food, beer, other events such as live music, even tea & coffee.  There is quite a large monthly cost to the licensee who wants to show live sport via subscription, this could be a main contributor to it’s absence in so many pubs.  43% of those pubs who do pay for a live sport subscription from Sky pay between £1000 and £1500 per month.  But do BITE users seek out pubs that show live sport? Perhaps you routinely visit the pub to watch sport with your friends, perhaps you do just for national events such as the World Cup, maybe it doesn’t even matter to you at all?

Let us know in our poll below;

[poll id=”5″]

If you have any comments you can add them to our comments section below, or let us know your thoughts on our Facebook page.

View 1 Comment

BITE Best Pub Gardens

Pub gardenSo the rumours were wrong, we’re not going to get a two week heatwave just yet.  We Britain’s do love to talk about the weather, we spend most of our days under grey skies which leaves us with  a sense of poetic melancholy.  The moment the sun breaks through the clouds, students and hipsters don their flip flops, women wear lower neck lines,  men start experimenting with fire and meat and most importantly everyone looks for a reason to get down the pub and sit outside.

Summer 2011 is set to be a scorcher, June and the start of July could be sprinkled with stormy weather but the clouds will lift – giving way to a scorching August and early September.  Britain’s Pub gardens will be blooming, and we’d like to call on our BITE users – sat in your favourite pub gardens, to get taking some photos or comment on those pub gardens that you think go the extra mile to trim their bushes, light their barbecues or provide adequate space for dogs and children…

If you’ve got a picture, add it to the pub page on BITE, we’ll be watching all submissions like Alan Titchmarsh in a police helicopter.
(We’ll be posting the results on our blog later this summer with credit to each user of course.)

How to add pictures to BITE;
1. Login to your BITE account, or if you are not a member complete the  BITE registration form.
2. Once logged in, find the pub you think has a great pub garden by using BITE pub search.
3. Look for the pink on eachpub page that says “Upload a photo”
4. Browse to the photos location on your computer, (remember to click the terms & conditions checkbox) – then click the “upload now” button.

If you want to leave a comment about your favourite Pub Garden you can do so  in our comments section below, or on our Facebook page.



Booze Britain

Booze BritainImagine yourself strolling down the Tottenham Court Road, you notice a young lady, bedraggled, slumped down against a wall, she smells of alcohol, her skirt is hitched up, she’s wiping vomit out of her hair, as you pass her by she offers to keep you company for the night, as you decline – her demeanour alters into a torrent of abuse.  It’s 1792, and you’re experiencing ‘Booze Britain’ as it was then.  The popularity of London’s Gin Palaces caused them to blossom like dandelions through the captial, the greed of landowners selling their grain to make the gin – pushed London’s lower classes into a frenzy of drinking, cheap, super strength alcohol from penny drams.  Life had become so seemingly tragic, intolerable and impoverished for the unfortunate and forgotten souls of London’s streets during the 18th Century, drinking was all they had to look forward to. In fact it was probably all they lived for, a daily abyssal blackout under the slogan “get drunk for a penny, dead drunk for tuppence, straw is free” (straw bed to pass out on).

Booze BritainOn the high street of Cardiff (imagine you are once again strolling), from a pile of rubbish a man soaked in his own urine and vomit waves a pathetic limp hand at you beckoning you to engage in a fight with him, staggering women pass by flashing their underwear and cursing like sailors.  It’s 2011 and you’re in one of the visions of Booze Britain as it is today.  Up and down the country the image is the same, the weekend sees A&E wards, often policed, overflowing with revellers so drunk they lose all inhibition, anything goes which usually concludes in abusive behaviour, or even worse – extreme violence.

Britain has again shifted into an epidemic of drunkenness, and supposedly for the same silly reasons as the 18th Century, cheap, strong booze, made readily available, pushed onto the consumers by greedy profit hunters.
But, if we’re not blaming supermarkets, we’re blaming the lack of family structure, absence of adequate piers, social pressures such as unemployment, poverty, ladette culture, 24 hour drinking laws, … and when those reasons are disregarded no doubt other equivocal reasons would be pushed upon us as fact.

Could it be that British people simply like to get drunk?  The French and Spanish have their love of wine, the Germans and Belgians their love of beer, but we British seemed to love the poisonous merriment. Saturday night in any town is like a festival in honour of Dionysus, but it’s just one image of what Booze Britain really is, behind closed doors many thousands more are drinking to get drunk. The extent of Britain’s boozing is not just limited to the youth who publicly humiliate themselves on our streets, mature drinkers tend to consume harder alcohol, super strength lager and neat spirits. Business professionals drink bottles and bottles of wine each day to relieve stress, underage drinkers seem to be simply bored of life, or following in their parent(s) footsteps.  Our coalition government has recently banned the sale of cheap alcohol, a can of lager can be sold for no less than 38p, a bottle of wine for no less than £2.03, a litre of vodka for no less than £10.21, but is this clamp down enough?

What more could be done? “Booze Britain” it’s a tough subject that is not necessarily solved by one action. If you’ve any thoughts on Booze Britain, how it’s effecting you or your local area do let us know in our comments section below or by leaving a reply on our Facebook page.  We do really appreciate all of your comments and we will be using them in our future posts.

View 3 Comments

How do you let friends know you are down the pub?

Down the pubAs the post title says we’d like to find out “how you let your friends know that you’ve gone down the pub?”.
We’re in a modern age now of gadgets and communication, for many people it’s a simple text (SMS) message informing your friends of your location, but for some people it could still be a traditional phone call, …or even smoke signals.  For our busy London users it could be an mass email sent out, a note on the office fridge, a smart phone application or a Facebook wall post.  For our rural village users it could be carrier pigeon or just that the pub is where everyone gravitates to anyway.

It may seem like just another poll, but the data we collect is important to us, as we develop BITE we’d like to get a clearer picture of the people that use the site, how you all interact with one another.  Please help us find out more about you, and, if you have any friends who would be interested in answering the question – give them a nudge, cheers!

Quick Note: In this poll, it’s slightly different to our other polls, you can select all the options that apply to you.

[poll id=”4″]


View 2 Comments

Raise your glass to ‘The Few’

The PloughIt was early morning on this day (17 May) in 1943 that The Möhne and Eder dams had the stuffing knocked out of them by experimental barrel shaped bombs dropped from Lancaster bombers flown by 617 Squadron. The mission (Operation Chastise) led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson would go down in British history earning 617 squadron the iconic nickname “The Dambusters“.    21 bomber crews were hand picked from British Commonwealth men to complete the mission, the ‘bouncing bombs’ developed my Barnes Wallace were to be dropped at such low altitude – 60ft  (18m), and at such high speed 240mph, under the cover of night and with repelling anti aircraft fire the mission was chalked up as complete suicide.   Despite the loss of aircraft on the journey to the targets, the mission was indeed a success and showed the world just how resourceful and formidable the British Commonwealth could be when there was a need.  We’ve obviously compacted the entire Dambusters story into a BITE sized chunk, but if you are interested in reading up on your British history and those men who gave their lives for our freedom then do visit the Dambusters 617 Squadron website.

It is though, with some sadness that we do end this blog post by bringing your attention to possibly another piece of British history that could be lost, The Plough in Shepreth is to be turned into housing if developers get their way.  Local 97 year old Teddy Handscombe is urging planners and residents to remember the significance of The Plough, close to RAF Duxford it was the pub that many brave RAF pilots visited to drown their sorrows over lost comrades.  It was from RAF Duxford that most of the Spitfires and Hurricanes took off to defend our nations capital during the Battle of Britain.  This is not just the loss of a pub, it’s the loss of another piece of our heritage. It’s important that we continue to remind ourselves and our future generations in every way that we can – our freedom is the result of so many brave actions by Britons and Commonwealth citizens who gave their lives often without question.
Local residents have started a petition to save the venue, and local Richard Handford has started the Save The Plough Action Group.  Last week district councilor for Shepreth Surinder Soond uncovered a document that could indeed save The Plough, signed in 1984, the document states that the venue cannot be used for anything other than a public house or similar, it could be that this building, steeped in memory is indeed saved (source The Royston Crow). But the developers may appeal, fellow BITE users, don’t let that stop you showing your support, we all have our differences, we may not necessarily agree on things, but when it comes to another Great British pub closing, we are all on the same side. “Cheers!”

If you would like to read more about this story you can by visiting the British Forces News website or The Royston Crow.  If you’d like to leave a comment, please do so by using our comments section below, or by visiting our Facebook page.

View 2 Comments