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This is a question Dodgy boozers

Just a vagabond writes, "I once had a guy in a pub shout completely out of the blue at me 'OI! BIG NOSE!' and then ask coyly 'Fancy a fight?'"

Tell us stories of the dodgy boozers you've been to, and what happened.

(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 12:32)
Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

(, Sat 8 Feb 2014, 8:15, 2 replies)
Happened in a pub - a man hit another man for being a shitty southerner and coming up North
and taking OUR JOBS! Problem, the hitter was 72 and the hitted was 67 and retired. The other problem was that the hitter believed Manchester to be southern when Manchester is only 35 miles down the M65 - M66 - M60.
(, Sat 8 Feb 2014, 7:58, 3 replies)
Right, I'm back from the pub.
Some of you have probably heard horror stories about the grimness of Welsh pubs.
Some of you might even have heard about my hometown, the decaying Valleys shithole that is Aberdare.
Now, get yourselves a drink or a few or a LOT of drinks and let me regale you with tales of the legend that was The Carpenters Arms.
First, a bit of history. Like most Valleys shitholes Aberdare was a coalmining and ironworking town. That meant that in the heady days of the Industrial Revolution it was a boomtown. Lots of miners and ironworkers meant lots of pubs. Like lots of other boomtowns of it's day it also meant overcrowding, poor sanitation, and, unlike lots of boomtowns, even during the industrial revolution, it eventually led to a cholera epidemic that got so bad that questions were raised in parliament. Questions that led to a report that, in passing, described The Carpenters as a 'den of vice, iniquity, opium and stews'
By the mid 1980's not too much had changed. It was the druggies, metalheads, punks, greebos, goths, skins, mentals, outsiders and generally not polite peoples' pub of choice. It had: A good jukebox, albeit one you had to kick occasionally to stop certain 7"s from skipping. Cheap beer. A succession of VERY tolerant landlords and landladies. Cheap beer. A pooltable. Cheap beer. Live music on a fairly regular basis. Cheap beer and even cheaper women. LOTS of fights though. Oh and did I mention the CHEAP BEER?
It was the pub you went to if you wanted to score, the pub you went to if you wanted something shoplifted on demand, the pub you went to if you didn't 'fit in' in most of the other pubs in Aberdare, which were populated by 'normal' people ie proto-chavs.
Now, bear in mind that in the mid to late 1980's, Aberdare bore the sobriquet of 'The Las Vegas Of The Valleys'. It had more pubs and clubs per head of population than That London. Every Friday and Saturday there used to be coachloads of people coming into the town from Merthyr, Maerdy, Ponty, Neath and all the other nearby valleys, even some from Swansea and Cardiff. ALL looking for a good night out, a good fight, a good fuck, or any combination of the three.
Hardly ANY of those good folks EVER came into The Carps. Such was it's reputation. Those brave (or foolhardy) few that did either fucked off sharpish or fit right in and came back week after week.
Crass played their last EVER gig there (EDIT: NO THEY FUCKING DIDN'T YOU MORRON, IT WAS THE COLLISEUM! Fuck, I was there, and all these years I've ALWAYS remembered that gig as being in the Carpenters. :/) . Phil Campbell (now out of Motorhead, then in Persian Risk) was a sort of regular, sometimes playing acoustic sets if a booked band hadn't turned up or had been scared off (EDIT: maybe I'm wrong about this too. hell, maybe I never even went in The Carpenters. Maybe The Carps never even fucking EXISTED.)
There was the night one of the dealers, knowing he was going to be searched as soon as he left, handed his entire stash and his night's takings to my mate's girlfriend, safe in the knowledge she could be relied on to give him most of it back (EDIT: Perhaps this happened somewhere else too.)
The xmas eve when a tiny little 4 foot nothing girl tipped the pool table over and proceeded to beat the living shit out of her boyfriend because he'd put John FUCKING Lennon on on the jukebox. (Now, I despise that hippie cunt, but still...) (Edit: AND this, although it does ring bells).
The night when an EXTREMELY cheesy chat-up line got me a dose of crabs. (Edit: I'm fairly sure that this DID happen there)
The many, many nights when dodgy cigs were handed round freely but surreptitiously at the back and EVERYONE just got mellow and NOBODY fought (EDIT: I'm not entirely sure about the last bit of this now).
The night my mate Ruddles met his ONE TRUE LOVE. (He was a shy boy, and after much giggling with her mates she approached him with the line 'You do realise you're God's gift to women, right?' (EDIT: This really DID happen there though).
The night my mate SOG was led in on a leash by his then Grrlfiend mentally scarring some poor morons (EDIT: so did this).
Of course, it couldn't last. Even Adam and Eve got barred from Eden eventually.
The final landlord, Stew, was a decent enough bloke, but he couldn't exercise ANY sort of control. The dealers were pretty-much self regulating, but some of the clientele were totally self-destructing. There were joints being openly rolled on the bar, smack being injected in the Ladies' (The smackies couldn't see in the Gents' because one of them had broken both the lights.) The roof was leaking, the pool table effectively destroyed, at least three of the balls had been stolen, and half the cues didn't have tips. But there was still the Jukebox
Now, at the time my mate Wally was going out with the daughter of one of the higher ranking coppers in the town, and we heard, unofficially, that while The Carps had always been tolerated in the past because 'That way we know where all the real troublemakers are at any given time' it wouldn't be allowed much longer. I mean, not only was Stew allowing all this, he was even selling bottles of poppers alongside the shots (legal, but still, poppers being sold at the bar?).
Come the fateful night, as usual it's gone one in the morning, and there's a lock-in. I'm playing Outrun. Badly. When about a MILLION coppers bust in. Fair do's, as far as I remember they didn't arrest anyone, they let me and my mates go at any rate, Stew got a caution for the lock-in and that was pretty much that. Or so we thought.
About a fortnight later I was in town one afternoon when I bumped into my mate Jaffers. 'Fancy a pint?' I asked.
'Yup. He replied.
And down the street towards the Carps we headed, until we saw no fewer than 3 riot vans pull up outside it and a BAZILLION, fully riot-geared up coppers pour out of the vans and into the pub.
'Soooooo,' I said 'Cambrian then?'
'Aye.' said Jaffers.
The Carps was eventually bought up by a PubCo, and turned into a 'Vodka bar' the cunts renamed it Rasputin's. Apparently you can book the place for a night if you'd want to. Got no idea what it's like though, never been in there since.
*Raises a Spicy and Sunny D in memory of The Carpenters Arms. I miss you. STILL*

(, Sat 8 Feb 2014, 3:17, 6 replies)
A fair few in my time....
But the one which stands out is the 'Dew Drop Inn' in New Cross. One of the more lively pubs in the area with a decent line in bands.

We were regulars there and one day noticed that a square of carpet at our favourite leaning spot by the bar had been removed, so asked the barmaid when it was coming back. It transpired that the previous Saturday the guy we'd been chatting to, after we'd left to get some dinner, had stabbed (to death) the next occupant of said carpet. When the police released the tile, it never did look quite the same.

[Also the Yates Wine bar next to Newcastle Rail Station that my mate claimed was 'upmarket' - pair of squaddies fighting with pool cues even before we'd got to order the beers. Or, the seaside pub in Skegness that my then girlfriend picked in time to get a ringside seat on a massive fight - the barstaff obviously had it sussed as they waited until the protagonists reached the bar before pulling out the shinty sticks and sorting out the miscreants]
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 22:37, Reply)
Puzzled by one place
Lots of mother-daughter teams. Daughter was on the prowl, and mother wanted a say. Or vice-versa.
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 22:09, Reply)
The Albert
I had just moved to Hastings, New Zealand and I had an hour or two to kill after work, so, wearing the rather fetching uniform of my Employer, (green polyester shorts and a white polo shirt with Healthcare Hawkes a Bay on the tit) off to town I a wander.

I soon discovered my error, town was shite, the one music store had nothing except chart bollocks, the guitar shop had squiers, some unidentifyable Korean shite and trannie Mashalls, and there was no decent bookshops ( and a paperback cost 50 dollars,), so to the pub.

The place was called the Albert, and was a colonial building, a bit shabby but I didn't like shiny pubs anyway. I opened the door and walked confidently in.

A shaved Sasquatch looked up from the pool table, he wore a vest, a pair of stubbies (Google them) and a beard, I looked to my left, a load of tattooed gentlemen in Red started to rise, to my right a man grabbed a bottle, and I remembered I was white, wearing green shorts and a polo shirt with a logo on the tit.

My Karate trading kicked in as I screamed and did a perfect pirouette on my trailing leg and fucked off as quick as my fat Welsh legs could carry me.

I asked the locals about the pub, and after stopping laughing they told me that my instincts were correct, that I would have been creatively hurt and I was a ' stupid pommie twat' for even attempting to enter the place.
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 21:50, 1 reply)
The Royal Antler
At Narrabeen, Sydney, in the 1970's Midnight Oil would regularly play there. My ex-wife as a teenager would hide under the pool tables when a fight would break out.
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 21:03, 1 reply)

(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 20:26, 7 replies)
You know the stray scene?
Straight-on-straight gay action?
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 20:24, Reply)
Free Holiday?
I was once asked if I'd like to accompany some bloke, who'd sidled up to me in the gents of a pub in Leeds or it may have even been Manchester, on his holiday to Taiwan or Japan. It was somewhere eastern anyways.

This was also an 'out of the blue' experience.

I hastily left mid-stream.

I still wonder to this day what might have been if I'd actually got to finish urinating.
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 20:17, Reply)

Due to my penchant for the odd pint I've witnessed, and been in, quite a few bar room brawls. But my favourite happened in Redcar, North East England.

Redcar is rough but, the place I was based, Eston, is even rougher. It's the sort of area where anyone with more than one ear is a cissy.

Anyways. I was staying directly across the road from where I worked in. It was a pub. A *really* rough pub and the downstairs bar was populated with some of the finest knuckle-draggers you've ever seen.

But I can fit into almost any environment and I was soon a regular and could be found propping up the bar after work. I got to know a lot of the local meatheads and they soon found out I was a computer consultant and they soon found out I'd fix their systems for beer. So it soon became a regular fixture, me at one of the tables happily de-porning systems ( me missus will kill me...), removing virii and spyware and installing cracked software for them.

So all was well with the world. Then, one night , there was a pool match with another pub and it kicked off. A massive bar-room brawl with cues being used as clubs, chairs and tables flying across the room (often accompanied by flying teeth) and fists, boots and heads being used with abandon.

The bar staff just scuttled to the safety of the lounge bar and soon I was the only spectator - literally, everyone in the bar was involved in the fight. Of course this couldn't last for long and a meathead, having dispatched his opponent, by throwing him through the toilet doors, came looking for his next victim. Me.

He saw me standing alone at the bar and started to run across the room towards me. I saw him and did my famed "deer in the headlights" impression and prepared to defend myself when a mighty roar came across the room.


It was the head hardman. The hardman's hardman and I'd fixed his machine for him several times and he didn't want anyone interfering in his free computer support.
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 19:35, 40 replies)
Barley Mow - Basford, Nottingham
I actually quite like dodgy pubs as long as the beer is good.

At Uni I used to frequent the above establishment for several very good reasons: Meters away from halls of residence. Very good Guinness. 10p pool table. No other students would go there.

Once we were in there playing pool and a cheer goes up with lot's of "Hello Mike" - "Welcome Back Mike", as a scruffy tattooed chap walks in. The barman hands him a pint of Cider, says "You seen Jonny yet? - he's next door - he heard you were out and wanted to see you".

"Did he now?", Says Mike, walking over to us. "Pause the game lads."

He then sits on the pool table, removes a shoe and a sock. Replaces the shoe and relocates two pool balls from the table into the sock, marking their location on the table with pennies.

After wrapping the sock around his fist he wanders into side bar. Nobody follows him.

Bit of shouting, the sound of a struggle and some other rather ugly sounds.

5 minutes later he returns with his arm around a bloke, who's face looks mashed and is covered covered in blood, big grins on both their faces. The Barman had already poured a drink for Johnny.

Mike replaces the pool balls after wiping them on his shirt, "Cheers lads", and gives his sock to the barman to bin.
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 19:04, 8 replies)
Yorkshire Pudding
Took the ex ex tenting (not camping). All fine, massive tent and moist mod cons so happyish. I knew after a few vinos that she would not mind the slope or a bit of ram raiding.

Spuds sorted and a bit of finger lickin pot noodle just in case she was not entirely satisfied, doubtful, and we were headed to the pub.

Blokes always clock the last pub you drive past, and by intuition auto delete the former if you drive past another. So I knew it was only a ten min walk away.

Which is true, for a bloke. A bird in tow will almost double that, whatever the footwear. Ooh stars (yes, you will be seeing more later), Oo is that the Milky Way? (If it's not it will be shoved up you later... walk faster!).

Pub on the horizon (hilly area), and made it before dawn (that's not her name). Yes! Pint please and a large white wine. '0arr sorry sirs no large' Fine, bottle then. Jacket tugged, and again. "I won't manage the bottle" says XX. Bollocks I think, she's done 3 large glasses before and the bottle afterwards, who is she kidding?

Another tug - easy.

Turn and see her and the 'bar' we had walked into was literally someone's lounge. All smoking. Twenty foot by ten and the 'bar' was infact the serving hatch between the kitchen and the dinning room.

One small glass of wine and a pint of southern Gay beer was dispensed at a very reasonable price I thought.

Xx was sat between two old girls who didn't have a set of dentures between them.

We left after I was offered outside for putting my foot on someone's stool. I told the old fucker to clean it up!

Should have made him......
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 18:47, 6 replies)
I used to fix payphones for a living
Which often meant putting them back on the wall after someone had headbutted them off.

A pub in Leicester had a turd on the middle of the floor. This was about 10am.

At a working mens' club in Nottinghamshire, they threw beer mats at me whilst I was trying to do my job.
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 17:52, 4 replies)
I was once in this... "establishment"...
...and upon requesting a beer, this overbearing oik of a bartender suggested I drink some exotic concoction that he called... lahgur? It spurted out of this filthy nozzle, into a large grubby glass.

Simply ghastly.

The only vaguely drinkable beverage in the entire place was an old dusty magnum of the Clicquot, which did at a pinch.
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 17:43, Reply)
The Jean Harlow in, not surprisingly, Harlow.
Many years ago some friends and I had about an hour to kill before a gig elsewhere in town. We'd heard it was a rough pub but thought we'd risk it as we were only popping in for one or two.

As the first of us touched the door handle to enter said establishment, a contorted, anguished looking face appeared to be slammed against the other side of the glass, followed by the unmistakable sound of bottles being smashed, lots of shouting, and them a woman screaming.

We didn't go in in the end.
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 17:25, 2 replies)
My first night in London, suitcase in hand walking from Wembley tube station to the flat my girlfriend had sorted
as I walked past The Connaught pub I thought 'Cool, a pub 100ft from my flat!'(just checked there and it's now called 'Speakeasy'). Just then the doors burst open and a bloke staggered out holding his head. I could hear the claret splatting onto the pavement before I saw it.

I kept walking and decided i'd find another local somewhere further away.

Edit:- Just realised the qotw is pubs you've been to and not pubs you've walked past. Still.
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 17:25, Reply)
Three Tuns in Gateshead
Great pub and my local. Full of the strangest people you'd ever wish to meet. I have a million stories about that boozer but the strangest one for me was one summer. Blazing down sunshine and about 80 people in the bar waiting for the football to start. Most people that drink in the bar have less body parts than they started out with due to bitings, stabbings and various scrapes with the law. Everyones chatting away amongst themselves when in walks a guy in totally normal dress with a set of bagpipes. Now considering this is Gateshead not Galashiels this is a bit odd. He continues to play old lang syne at about a million decibels (this was summer remember) then strolled out without saying a word.... no one blinked and eye and carried on with what they were doing.
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 17:11, Reply)
A pub called "The Fiddle"
It was a vile inn.
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 16:57, 8 replies)
Is this yours?
Up until fairly recently, the only pubs round my way were rougher than sandpaper g-strings, so I avoided them like Russians avoid soft drinks.

One fateful evening, however, my usual alternative boozer was shut, so a mate and I decide to brave what looked to be the least bad of the local dives, which we chose on the basis that it was the only one not full of people actively having a fight. It even had a (square of) carpet.

Securing our drinks and disappearing to a nook round the back, our conversation was soon interrupted by the repeated intoning of 'Is this yours?'. We try to carry on talking, but it gets louder as the interrogator gets closer.

I lean out of the nook to see what's going on. The interrogator, a trampish-looking mentalist with massive beard and requisite string belt, is stood right in front of me.

He holds an entire cow's leg just inches from my face.

'Is this yours?'

It wasn't mine.
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 16:52, Reply)
I heard about a landlord with anger problems who once turned grey.

(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 16:50, 1 reply)
The Bull, Berkhamsted
One of the few pubs left in the country where you can still smoke, so long as you're not sat right by the front windows. Even the Landlord does.

The clientèle are made up, pretty much exclusively, of people who've been barred from every other pub in town. If you want something dodgy, that's the place to find it.

Been in there once, for one drink, was told I had a lot of nerve coming in after what I'd pulled last week. I assured the guy I hadn't ever been in before, he scoffed and said he didn't think the people still pissed off at (whoever my lookalike was) would believe me either. So thought I'd play it safe, finished my pint and went elsewhere.

Also: The George, Berkhamsted
(closed a couple of months ago after a police raid).

They only ID's men, who had to be 21. Meanwhile, girls as young as 15 were let in every weekend so the pervy 40/50-somethings would buy them drinks and they'd dance on the tables.

After one-too-many complaints about the noise, they had their sound-system confiscated by (either the police or the council). They went and bought an even louder one the next day.
Lock-in's almost every weekend, resident coke-dealers, and the Landlord finally got too cocky and decided he was going to get in on that action himself. And got caught, courtesy of the high-res CCTV camera across the street that had been installed by the council for the express purpose of looking in the windows of that pub.

Berkhamsted's a relatively quiet, mostly middle-class town, so not a *patch* on rougher boozers elsewhere, but I don't have the balls to go to those ones.
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 16:45, 2 replies)
How do you coyly ask for a fight? Tell us that BIG NOSE!

(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 16:38, 5 replies)
Wait this week's QOTW is about pubs? I thought last week's QOTW was about pubs.

(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 16:36, 4 replies)
The pub nearest the train station car park entrance, its on a corner but I cant recall its name.
The Zetland possibly?
Back in the 80s I'd heard the stories, infamous for being really rough and well known for being a knocking shop.
A bunch of us were off on a weekend jolly to Whitby by train and it was agreed we would meet up in that pub.
I turned up first and had about half an hour to wait for the others.
I was the only woman in the bar full of rather scary looking blokes and was propositioned a good dozen times, started off politely saying no thanks, just waiting for friends, ended up just bluntly saying 'Im not a prostitute go away'
At one point I went into the ladies and there were 2 of the ropiest raddled old whores in there being shouted at by their pimp.
They stopped and stared at me while I hurredly used a cubicle.
When I came out one of the ladies had lost her wig, it was sitting in a pool on the floor and her makeup was smeared all down her face , she was crying while the man shouted at her, to get herself sorted and back out to work.
Again they stopped and stared at me as I left.
Decided it may be prudent to wait outside the pub instead of going back into the bar.
Only went in there one other time, for a gay disco upstairs but thats another story
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 16:27, 1 reply)
Every pub I go into is usually rough but when I was 18 the two gents with matching German Shepherd dogs
in the World's End in Chelsea who started a fight between their dogs and when one dog went all queer (badly bitten) they had a mighty fight with each other.
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 16:16, 4 replies)
The Bull and Badger in Chipping Norton
Once, they completely ran out of pistachios and we had to have stuffed olives instead...

Also, one evening a riot nearly broke out when they served lime rather than lemon in the G&Ts
(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 16:14, 12 replies)

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