December 26, 2017 at 6:36 pm #3470
I’ve always followed the advice given to Sean Locke by his dad, “Never go in a pub with a flat roof”, but I’ve still been in some absolute stinkers. Two that spring to mind are:
The Prince of Wales, Lower Broughton, Salford. On one of my first wanders from my student halls I, and some first-week acquaintances, mistakenly walked in to this absolute shithole and ordered a round. Looking round at the regulars we instantaneously decided to only stay for the one until we clocked the guy with his hand down the front of his tracksuit bottoms holding, best case, a bat or iron bar or, worst case, a sawn-off shotgun. We probably had one or two sups of our pints before leaving in silence.
The Criterion, St Paul’s, Bristol. Quite notorious as being rough-as-f*ck, I only went in looking for a friend but as soon as I got through the first set of doors a huge rasta asked “Green, white or brown?”. I don’t think he was after decorating tips.December 26, 2017 at 6:36 pm #3471
For me it has to be the Traveller’s Rest in Rochdale would be up there. Part of the same 70’s architectural carbuncle of a building that housed the municipal offices and bus station. Still the only pub in which I’ve been offered heroin while taking a piss. When I declined I was offered violence as an alternative. Thankfully my response of bursting into laughter seemed to confuse the couple of scrotes making the offer long enough for me to leave unscathed.December 26, 2017 at 6:37 pm #3472
Brambles Farm – a pub in Middlesborough. Likely to get mugged on the way in, beaten up whilst you are in, Glassed in the punch-up that follows and end up in hospital and/or the police station as you leave in haze of drug fumes.
(Luckily I believe its been closed recently).December 26, 2017 at 6:38 pm #3473
There was one in the back end of Salford where some of my boxing mates used to go and it was full of dubious characters, until eventually it got fire-bombed. Gang wars I was told!December 26, 2017 at 6:39 pm #3474
Hare and hounds in schude hill, Manchester. Went for a pee and found that someone had took a dump in the urinalDecember 26, 2017 at 6:39 pm #3475
The Station inn, by Ribblehead Station. A perfect illustration of the need for competition to keep landlords on their toes and the kind of place that doesn’t need to make an effort because people only go once in their lives and never return. The place is dirty, damp, cold, ill-maintained and smelly and the staff are rude and inhospitable. The food is really ghastly, I had a cold bowl of wet cabbage that had been microwaved and was tepid inside. The inside of the pub is plastered with notices warning you not do this or that; the hallmarks of the miserable, awkward, bolshy landlord and his wife.December 26, 2017 at 6:40 pm #3476
The Knave of Clubs, Chell Heath, Stoke.
Not sure if it still exists, but this was a shit hole pub on a shit hole estate.
If you were from the neighbouring village across the fields then it was a no go. I was probably a bit naive that I wouldn’t get noticed but…. a late night lock in was promised back in the day before daft hours in pubs.
Entrance after 1130 was via a hole in the door at the back. Booming late eighties music playing, we went in. Thank f*ck it was dark. We stood back to back until we got the ‘don’t I know you’. Luckily the meathead with the tattooed face was a workmate of my dads. Still, we just had the one and fecked offDecember 26, 2017 at 6:40 pm #3477
Why do I have a feeling the worst pub in Britain will be in the Edinburgh area or Birmingham
No offence to the inhabitants thereofDecember 26, 2017 at 6:42 pm #3478
@el funny you should say that.
As an Edinburgh resident and having thought about this carefully I must demur. Admittedly being shot at by a customer of the Coopers rest in Easter road did not endear me to that particular bistro and I believe a quiet pint in the Doocot in Muirhouse can turn into a trouser filling experience even if it isn’t followed by a trip to A&E.
Thinking more about said Coopers Rest, I now recall an acquaintance of mine having a bit of a stramash there as well. At the time he was retailing recreational pharmaceuticals but had run into some invoicing issues with his wholesaler. They agreed to a meeting outside the Copers Rest at 5.00 pm on a Thursday afternoon. Several partners from the wholesale business emerged from the bar and after a short discussion one of them produced a machete and proceeded to attempt to cut my friend’s business partner’s head off. However he only managed to sever most of the nerves in his forearm before my friend was able to intervene with a claw hammer thus allowing a literally face saving retreat to the hospital. Happy days.
However I think the worst pub I have ever been into is the one in Scourie in Sutherland, The Eagle’s Eyrie or something. My companion and I were camping in the area one November weekend and decided to try it out on the Saturday night. After what could be worse than sitting in the car in a passing place sipping cans of Stella? The Eagle’s Eyrie could be worse. When we arrived the two customers and barman were engrossed in the latest unmissable episode of casualty, the beer was shite and the heating was set to cryogenic. The decor was reminiscent of a vet’s forearm, tastefully illuminated by strip lighting. After Casualty finished the locals went home and we were left alone with the socially incompetent barman. We soon made our excuses and headed back the passing place where we enjoyed the rest of the evening quaffing Stella and setting fire to the odd joint ot two. Luxury.
The Clachaig used to be utter shite as well. In fact it used to have a cutting from the Daily Record pinned up behind the bar which had the headline, “Is this the worst pub in Scotland” (answer, yes). I remember one of the urinals had a leak in it so you ended up standing in a pool of your own urine and the whole bar was heated by two wall mounted 1 bar electric heaters. People used to sit in their sleeping bags. Someone once started up a primus on the table to keep hypothermia at bay.December 26, 2017 at 6:42 pm #3479
Any pub in Kirkby, notably the Johnny Todd and The Farmer’s Arms. There was a ‘community consultation exercise’ in the latter establishment in which the ‘community’ took the councillors and officers hostage until they addressed the area’s problems. Which they did. Got burned down, of course, which seems to be the fate of all flat-roofed pubs. Now, as for Skem…December 26, 2017 at 6:43 pm #3480
@dave I did many years ago go to a flat roofed pub in Kirkby a few times for end of term drinks. Can’t remember the name. I don’t know if it’s still the same these days, but teachers in Kirkby used to drink quite a bit at the end of term. As an outsider it was an interesting place for my first teaching job.December 26, 2017 at 6:44 pm #3481
Cambrian Inn, Llanelli.
I visited this place only once, as it used to be my Mam and dad’s local, back when I was a small kid. I’d never set foot in it before, so I decided to visit there in honour of mam and dad. The place smelled bad. The landlord, a fat greasy sod poured me a pint of Felinfoel, took my money, gave me change without uttering word. The only other people in there were two aging crones, who were sharing a bottle of cheap wine, and a dog who had it’s own bed on the sofa.
The place was an utter hole, my pint was foul.
After about ten minutes a group of men of the “tattooed skinhead f#ckwit” variety came in. They were all drinking bottled lager, a salutary warning I would have liked before ordering the pint. Their conversations were of the; “I f#cking told the f#cking wanker that if the f#cker didn’t f#cking sharpen the f#ck up I’d f#cking f#ck the shithead. That told him!”
I left most of the pint, will never visit again.December 26, 2017 at 6:45 pm #3482
In Glasgow until around 2013 there was an illegal club in the railway arches of a wee fenced off industrial estate in Cook St, the club was called The Unit and opened at around 4 am on a Sunday morning when the other night clubs closed on a saturday night.
It comprised of one battered wee wc with no lock on the door and no loo roll (you had to bring your own) and a table with a few dozen cans of beer on it for sale and a set of technic decks and a sound system at one end with chairs along the walls.
The place was full of ravers who were mad with it and intent on getting even more so. I seen a guy in there one time so out of his face that he was chatting up a table lamp even when people were laughing at him.One time during a raid by the polis a mad raver thought they were sea captains that had come to dance with him and he was in a ships night club.
The dance music was unfortunately always cheesy house and it was freezing cold with massive queues to the single loo but it was somewhere to go after the night clubs closed and would stay open til 12 noon sometimes if the polis didnt crash it again and steal peoples party prescriptions.December 26, 2017 at 6:46 pm #3483
Why do I have a feeling the worst pub in Britain will be in the Edinburgh area or Birmingham
@el I have to disagree, compared with Glasgow, Edinburgh is a genteel and respectable place.
In fact we’ve been living just down from a pub/nightclub for years and in all that time there’s only been two or three fires, only one of which was arson, a drive by shooting and a stabbing. Only on one occasion were more than 100 police, with dogs and riot gear needed to restore order.December 26, 2017 at 6:48 pm #3484
May I nominate a few please MP ?
The Wine Vaults , Yeovil it was locally know as Fight Club for many years , the last time I went around 8 years ago was to collect some readies from one of the many young amateur boxing regulars, the majority being related in some way & of Italian descent, cctv in most corners of the ceiling but reasonable decor & furnishings.
I offered my acomplice Rich ten quid if he could guess how long before it kicked off ? I think I said to him 3 minutes ! He stayed quiet & hand on heart before my pint of Guiness had been poured two big lumps were knocking sh@t out of each other over the pool table about 2 feet behind us . Quite amusing really . Soon after we were offered Coke & Meth to which we declined , super vibes in there I must say.
The Black Swan, Stapleton Road, Easton, Bristol
Has been a notorious shit hole for a long time but always stimulating & often fun / funny . For years they had CCTV Cameras directed outside the pub & Monitors inside so you could see when the Old Bill were arriving giving a few moments hidey & tidey time ( Brilliant I thought ) , I remember stepping over a poor unconscious chap & checking his pulse on the way to the smashed up toilets, lovely. It could of been the same night that when I was leaving I was offered a Stihl TS400 stonesaw for £50 ! The Ali G lookalike had it in his hands at the fire exit. I couldn’t get it to start as the filters were clogged up & I didn’t fancy giving it a quick service at 3.45 am but it was a good ploy to get him & his crack fiend brethren to disappear forthwith.
Mel the former landlord sadly now deceased was a lovely bloke & quite a hardy man of Jamaican heritage. he gave up the reigns of the Black Swan after being stabbed for the third time poor bugger. Despite the varied & colourful clientele
I’ve had some great nights in there, so this could almost be put into Best Pub thread too.
I could probably write about crap drinking establishments for days but it may not give the right impression.December 26, 2017 at 6:49 pm #3485
@jimjam I’ve never been to Yeovil, but the Black Swan is only a few streets away. The club and outdoor fire space works in a way is in stark contrast to the pub itself, which is a f*cking hole. A great place to melt your face off with drum and bass.December 26, 2017 at 6:49 pm #3486
@frog Yeovil is okay if you’re into crap pubs , crap food ,crap fights and helicopters .
For all its faults I do still love the Black Swan it never fails to amuse that place , I may even pop in over chrimbo often a very grounding experience I find & they do have a good selection of international beers out back , just go careful if ever venturing up stairs , I think its only the scaffold holding the place up at the back , its almost like a dodgy film set , most amusing when being caught in the crossfire of that gas stuff the youngsters seem to enjoy these days ,all very wibbly & surreal but good fun in a Fear & Loathing kind of way . 8oSDecember 26, 2017 at 6:51 pm #3487
The ‘good companions’ was our local for years in Edinburgh.Chance of finding any in there would be slim.
Has a flat roof and bad reputation. We stayed clear.
search for it for some of the news reports of riots, stabbings etc.December 26, 2017 at 6:52 pm #3488
The Griffin. Isleham.
It’s not violent, or a drugs den. These places at least have character. Rough pubs always have some interest to the voyeur or participant.
The Griffin is dull beyond belief. The landlord a pain and beer poor. Though I used to be local, I couldn’t call myself local as I wasn’t born there. The proper locals had a silent way of saying this.
Another candidate is: the sun, isleham.
More life than the Griffin as the kids go there to watch sport. With a large TV on every wall you couldn’t miss the sport. Landlord I struggled with as he liked his sport, being over weight and all, but he watched plenty. I guess it was ok if you wanted to watch sport.
Strangely the village had into the high teens of pubs in numbers at one time. But all closed to leave the two shitest pub in the flatlands.
Thankfully left the village and even the worst pub in the town I now hide in has more charisma on a bad day.
My bet is there are worse pubs, but how to judge it?December 26, 2017 at 6:54 pm #3489
Just remembered this story in a pub in Southampton I once went too.. totally forgot the name of the pub though.
A friend of mine was having a pint in it one afternoon in the summer. All the doors were wide open to the street. A dog wandered in from the street, cocked it’s leg against the jukebox, had a piss and wandered back out again. A few years ago obviously but the tale sticks in my mind.
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