Saturday free and easy night.

After last nights Anglo-Irish jig, Brickbat, a regular commenter came up with this:

A bit of Val Doonican will unblock yer ears.

I used to work in quite a large pub / restaurant about ten years ago. Just over the road was a little local boozer called the Rising Sun.

It was a proper gentleman's ale house. There weren't many of them about back then and I bet there's none now the smoking ban has killed all the local boozers.

It was busy as nuts and hard work in the early days at that pub so I didn't get out much. One Tuesday afternoon when I had the day off, I decided to pop over the road and check out the Rising Sun. I wanted to get away from the pub I worked in and I've got a thing for little local boozers.

It was very cramped with two tiny rooms, but packed out with old folk. And what a friendly pub. They all recognised me from working over the road, though I hadn't seen any of them in my gaff, and as soon as I had bought a pint I was one of the locals.

You're wondering why I'm whacking on about a local boozer when I started on Val Doonican, but this pub was where I got my first taste of the old crooner.I think I had heard of him then but I wasn't familiar with any of his stuff. All the old gents round the bar were actually singing Val Doonican records. This one in particular I remember.

Nope. I've buggered up. I've written all this about Val Doonican, then gone on Youtube to get the tune and discovered it's actually Lonnie Donnegan, not Val Doonican. Dammit! Schoolboy error. Check your facts before writing the post.

Oh well, it's still a good tune so I'll play it anyway.

So all them owd chaps were singing Lonnie Donnegan, not Val Doonican. And all those years I thought.... Oh well.

It was still a cracking little pub. I spent many an hour in there when I needed to get away from work.

I didn't work there long though, I left after about a year because the landlord was a bit of a muppet. He was too frightened of the customers and he allowed a good pub to be taken over by riff raff. He didn't last too long either.

It doesn't look anything like a pub now, it's a fancy restaurant thing. The Rising Sun is still going though. You have to go in the backyard for a fag but they've weathered the smoking ban well. They haven't even started serving food or allowing children in.

I hope it lasts. We need good boozers.


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