When I was a girl . . .pubs closed at 10.00pm. There weren't many bottle shops around and Keiser Stuh Rose in a goon box (cask) was the drink of choice. I remember sneaking into the Brewers Elbow in Gordon, which had a supper license so that they could actually serve massive jugs of cider after 10.00pm as long as you had a toastie or a plate of nachos. Needless to say these were pre-random breath test days and I often drove home with one eye opoen.
The first Sandwich Maker I ever saw was at my Nana's "Bleak House Hotel", Sandy Lane, Stretford because it allowed her to permit the Manchester Constabulory to drink beyond normal opening hours.
Today, pubs, clubs are open until 3-5 am. Kids don't go out until 10.00pm because the space is empty if they arrive any earlier and the following, usually Sunday, is recovery day . . get out of bed at midday . .eat a greasy breakfast or better still takeaway Portuguese chicken from El Porto and vegetate in front of a video for the rest of the afternoon. It seems to me that the solution is simple. Get home, get the gladrags on . .go party at 8, finish at 12 and feel human the next morning.
I remember travelling in England at 21 years of age and looking for a cheap room in Stratford on Avon. We were summarily dismissed from the posh hotel by the concierge because we had backpacks and jeans . . (we were a little insulted because we were cashed up and judged purely on our appearance). He politely suggested that we might find The Unicorn, over the bridge and in a less fashionable part of town more to our liking. Clearly didn't want Australian riff raff in his establishment.
To the Unicorn we trudged. I knocked on the door. It was during those crazy times when pubs were closed from 2pm - whatever . . and lots of west country jokes about"what we do about six" - "why we av our tay about sex". It felt like we were trying to intrude on some clandestine mafia meeting only the accents were strange. A voice on the other side of the door asked us what we wanted. "A room for the night please!" we replied. We were let in to a darkened bar full, and I mean chocka block full, of tradies. They all eyed us (two Aussie 21 year olds in our backpack booty). Seriously, all we wanted was bed and breakfast, we'd walked for miles and were tired and in need of one of those huge baths that they have in old pubs. We just wanted to clean up and wash our hair and enjoy a quiet rum and black over the bar. The bar was in pitch black apart from a neon light along the back where the reflections of booze reflected psychedelically from the mirror behind.
We were ushered up the stairs in a whiz, like refugees fleeing from some oppressive regime and shown our rooms. It was then that we learned of the weird closing times in England. With much secrecy we were ushered to a clean plain room that reeked of fresh paint and promptly told that we could go to the bar but must utter nothing until opening at 6.00pm. (forgive me, it was a long time ago and I can't remember the exact hours.) Quite clearly, our publican was in fear of being busted. pwned, caught!
Bottom line, we had a blast drinking with painters and thatchers and concreters in the dark . . them fully overalled in their work gear, us looking like something the cat dragged in with wild hair and foreign accents it was fantastic.
Come 6.00pm . . we'd had plenty to drink but we weren't violent . . we weren't obnoxious. The tradies went home to their families and the younglings filed in from about 7.00pm. The band cranked up and we had a fantastic impromptu night in Shakespeare's town. We hit the sack at midnight and felt fine about the whole ordeal. None of this 'wondering what time the last Citybus leaves' and the prospect of walking 5 kms home because mum is defo not going to pick me up at 5 am! Or getting the kit off so the local police will drop you at the next crossroad (a ploy that DrumerBoy has used on warm summer nights) We were definitely 'well oiled' but not pissed, not violent . . it's one of my enduring memories.
Wanna stop idiot hoons behaving like crash test dummies. Close at 1am . . five hours in a pub or club is plenty . . Who needs to party at 2, 3, 4 am? Get ready earlier . . do your best and be in bed by midnight!