Archives for : March2012


It is an honour and a privilege to write to this August journal, even though it is only April. Sadly, my previous online endeavours (The Shed and an even older website than that) have gone the way of Sunny Delight and the Rising Sun so it is indeed rather thrilling to have my name in lights again.

The Satchwell EMP system in my horticultural headquarters has not been at its best recently and The Basement was flooded, with Spam apparently, although such technical jargon can cause confusion of the type experienced when trying trying to purchase a lottery ticket from the hospital. I am pleased to say that there will be a new and improved version of The Basement in the near future, with a higher resolution (no, I do not understand that either) and an improved technical specification.

My regular Sunday evening posts in the days of you’re were peppered with comments from the radio but I am pleased to confirm that such endeavours are not going to happen again. I sold the radio set down the river after a company called Cable and Wireless caused a severe bout of Oxymorosis that almost brought me to my knees.  I was so tempted to purchase a new set of equipment but the man in Currys/Dixons/Whatever they’re called these days asked if I wanted a dongle when I enquired about the details of a new Wireless and I told him, quite rightly,  that my medical history was none of his business.

I became very ill recently when I heard a song on the wireless entitled ‘NABISCO’. Nabisco needs you. Now, I am quite used to advertising on the local commererican channels but this was on Radio Two and their blatant plug for cheap biscuits caused a seizure in my left stomach.

Lomography is a new sport that excited Tracey so much that she was in love, the kind you clean up with a mop and bucket. Henry blatantly refused to get involved, stating that his excitation capacitors were unsuitable for removing fluids.

The local pub is as dead as ever; the fruit machine mysteriously exploded last week and the toilets also exploded after as Toilet Duck was spotted in the centepede front cubicle.

I hope you enjoyed reading this latest message; I would call it a post but I do not want the postman to get over excited and have an proteolytic reaction.

Save The Hobbit!

The Hobbit, in Bevois Valley has been of Southampton’s most eclectic pubs for many years and is always popular with students. It is famed for its live music, its colourful JR Tolkien-themed cocktails and its massive beer garden.

However, the pub has been threatened by those who have claimed the intellectual property rights to Tolkien’s work. This is nothing more than bullying by a big American company as it is quite obvious that the pub is not doing any harm or competing for its royalties.

There has been a massive response of protest about this from the general public, with the Facebook group set up as part of the campaign having over 42 000 ‘Likes’ and this is growing by the minute. Thousands of people who have never been in the pub have added their support as the principle is the point here, of corporate bullying and petty legal matters.

It’s reached the news and I would urge you to ‘Like’ the Facebook page to add your weight to this campaign. Even Stephen Fry has Tweeted to add his approval.

If the suits win and The Hobbit has to change its name and all its cocktails then it will set a dangerous precedent allowing other companies to bully smaller businesses. I totally agree with protecting corporate identity but that is not relevant in this case as the copyright will have expired a long time ago. It is a step too far!

The Hobbit pub, Southampton

The Hobbit pub, Southampton


Southampton Pubs March 2012

Another local pub saw the shutters going up this week, as time was called at The  Crown, Shirley High Street.

The Crown, Shirley

The Crown, Shirley; in its better days. Image licensed under the Creative Commons Licence by Keith Edkins (cos I can't be bothered to take one of it myself!).

The Crown, which had reverted to its original name in the last few years after enduring a difficult existence and something of a bad reputation as ‘Tramways’ since 1994, is Grade II listed so fortunately cannot be destroyed but the installation of shutters indicates it ‘s unlikely to reopen in the near future.

The pub, which dates back to the1840s, had a traditional front lounge bar (which was quite compact) and a huge saloon bar with all the items one would normally fine in such facilities, and was home in more recent times to live entertainment, and the author himself (who should probably not refer to himself in the third person!) enjoyed several of those as a punter and even an appearance live on stage, gosh!

Whether the Crown is turned into boring flats (like the Bald-Faced Stag), a “much-needed” convenience store (like the Eagle and the Woodman) or is just left to decay (like the Park Hotel or the Blacksmiths’ Arms) has yet to be announced but I imagine that the almost-adjacent William Hill would do a brisk trade in betting on the likely outcome.

On a similiar note, I don’t know how The Angel stays open.  I (and the other patrons, admitted only a couple of them) was chucked out of there last Friday at 9.30 pm because it was closing due to it being dead. I hope last orders are not called on this, as it’s my local. The only alternative is to go in the Eagle convenience store (ex-pub), buy some strong liquor then return it to my humble abode (another ex-pub) and drown my sorrows about the death of the British pub.

Ah well, better make the most of these fine traditional hostelries before they’re all closed down for good.