The Jolly Lives of Winchester Pub Racists!
Posted on December 12, 2016
Jennifer and I went to Winchester yesterday to do a bit of mooching around and generally to get in to a bit of Christmas spirit. Winchester is a nice old place but in my opinion, it does do ‘organic’ and ‘bohemian’ to the point of overkill.
The thriving Christmas market was packed with little wooden huts selling all sorts of trinkets and I couldn’t help but wonder that if you did a trolley dash around the Poundland Christmas decorations aisle then proceeded to set up a stall in Winchester and call it Whittle & Forster Organic Decorations, you would make a massive profit.
That said, it was a lovely atmosphere and a nice stroll about interrupted by an organic Christmas pasty and a couple of beers and wines.
The second pub we went to was classic Winchester, full of books, stuffed animals, old pub games, ancient machinery and so on. It had a good atmosphere and was busy, but we were still served quickly and we found a nice clear area near a fire.
Stood around the bar were three blokes in their fifties, laughing with great exaggeration at their own jokes and seemingly having the run of the place, hence the clear area where we had decided to sit.
Holding court was rotund chap in ill fitting clothes rarely seen in shops.
“The only thing wrong with Christmas is it’s ruined by religion…..aaaaahhaaahhahaaaah!”
“What do those ol’ muslims do for Christmas then….wait for Allah Akbar to come down the chimney and blow himself up?….aaahhaaaahaaaahaaa!”
“Hahhhaaaahaaa, fucking muslims, aaaahahahahahaaaaah!”
It was surreal stuff but too much for a couple sat by the fire who decided they better pack up and go. It got even more bizarre when one of the blokes then moved the stools away from the area where they (the couple) were sitting and said “They hogged that fucking fire, how ignorant can people get?”
Anyway, we stood our ground as they continued their abuse of anyone who wasn’t a caucasian supporter of Southampton Football Club (who we were constantly reminded were 1-0 up) trying to work out whether they were oblivious to Jennifer being of mixed race, or whether they were actually reacting to her being there…it was too hard to call but the ringleader was definitely talking/shouting in a decibel where he wanted others to hear his vitriol.
I’m all for a bit of free speech and I am indeed, one of those who thinks we are at a point where nothing is allowed to be said without offence, but this so was absolutely farcical, I wondered if I was in some sort of Harry Enfield sketch called ‘Farage and Friends’.
It was bordering on a milder version of what happened to a friend of mine when he took his Caribbean pal into a pub near Whitchurch to get racially abused a few years back. When my friend complained to the Landlord about locals making monkey noises, he (the Landlord) simply replied, “You shouldn’t have brought him in here then!”
The last time I reacted to someone similar to these guys was at Reading football ground a couple of years ago and it was horrible. This is because the guy started hyperventilating to such an extent I thought he was going to have a heart-attack; a nightmare scenario triggered by my good self inexplicably saying ‘look here sunshine’ despite the fact he was at least a decade my senior.
I decided there and then I would not infuriate red faced unhealthy people again; it’s not worth the manslaughter charge as a result of them keeling over.
Because they were obviously local, it appeared that they could be forgiven for their ‘eccentricities’ as there may be an assumption that they kept the pub together in bleaker times. The bar staff just seemed obliged to put up with it, perhaps under instruction, but I did wonder how many people had left because of them.
People who appear good for business are often not as good as one thinks.
It was a cracking pub full of the type of charm that you don’t see in all these crap theme pubs; it was a bit like drinking in Steptoe and Son’s yard. However, I am not sure that it does itself any favours by retaining a stage for 1970’s racists?
With delicious irony, guess the name of the pub?
The Black Boy!