Ken’s Tales 05

The Duties Of A Barman

When we finally vacated the ‘Smoke-room’ of the White Hart, Hornchurch – much to the relief of the ‘locals’, who considered we were a bloody nuisance – we set up our own bar in the new Pavilion.

This consisted of a portable Bar loaned to us by Whitbread, the sort of temporary Bar that you could see at any showground. It fitted across an alcove on the main clubroom and was so cramped that two people could not pass each other without being accused of indecent practices.

The Bar had only one pump (although a second was added later), and we started off selling ‘Tankard’ bitter.

We sold Gin and Whiskey, soft drinks, (now called mixers) and lemonade.

The rules of the game according to Dudley Twine, who was running the old Queens Theatre at the time, were as follows; 1 – Short measure, particularly on spirits.

2 – Short change – he reckoned that after 9pm cricketers could not count.

3 – Always collect the ‘slops’ in the tray provided and use it as the basis for the
oppositions ‘jug’.

4 – Use an enamelled jug that you have calibrated yourself and make sure it gives
‘under’ measure.

5 – Before using any of the above ploys, weigh up the customer, he may run the Bar at
his own Club. When Whitbreads brought their ‘Trophy’ bitter down south, it was an excellent beer and cheaper than ‘Tankard’. We therefore sold ‘Trophy’ bitter through the ‘Tankard’ pump and it was only when Derek Harman caught us out that we had to revert to ‘Tankard’.

We had no facilities for receiving the beer at the Pavilion, there was no storage room as there is no whereby the draymen can open up themselves.

Beer was delivered to my house in Parkstone Avenue to the astonishment of the neighbours who undoubtedly thought I was running a brothel. School boys on their way to the Grammer School, unless I was quick, would put a bottle of Pale Ale into their satchels and leave the empties at the front gate on the way back.

Note. At the time, ‘Raments’ beer, sold at the old ‘Fives’ ground at Epping, was undrinkable. It is now sold in nearly every Club House in Essex.