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We have a thread on Birmingham pubs in general, but a suggestion was made that we have a thread about our local pub and some of the characters that used it. This is a simple thing for me to do, not because I have had a lot of locals (I have) but because I have written about it before. So all I need to do to start the thread off is to copy it to here.
For a while in my youth The Talbot on the corner of Larches St was my local. The smoke room was like an extension to our family house. All our family used it and if we were there in force we near enough filled the room.
I managed to get myself in there most evenings for opening time a 5.30 and used to wait there until my mate got there about 7.30 before we went on to somewhere.
One character that used to come in every evening just after 6 o clock was a little chap called Ron. He drove a van for a firm in Ombersley Rd and used to drive a moped. He was also one of the most miserable little blokes you could ever wish to meet.
As I say he used to come in sit in the corner and switch on his radio to listen to the Archers. Nothing terrible in that except he used to expect everyone to keep quiet so he could listen. As you can imagine as soon as the radio went on, so did the juke box with the loudest records that could be found.
These are the sort of characters that make up a good local and that we retain memory of that we can occasionally look back at and laugh about.
Another character in the Talbot was my Uncle Ted. Ted was sixty five years of age when he was born. I think all he ever wanted to be was an old man. He was I suppose about ten years older than me.
From the age of about 30 he took snuff, smoked a vile concoction called Twist in his pipe and he wore bracer's and a big leather belt and hobnail boots.
He regailed everybody with his tales of the Merchant Navy and the convoys during the war. What a laugh he was too young for the war, he was classified as unfit for National Service and he never saw the sea until he was in his forties. I don't think he as much as set foot on a ship ever.
He used to have the whole pub in fits of laughter. He would go round the pub with the coal scuttle making up the fires, moaning and groaning at everyone as he went, he would also go round the pub at closing time collecting the glasses and shouting see your beers off, its time to go (the Talbot closed when the last person had drunk enough). He used to have to spend half an hour picking up the beer mats that were thrown at him.
Ted was another one of the characters that used the Talbot, the difference was he was liked by everybody. Sadly he was another one of my Uncles who died young at 57 years of age, he never got to be the old man that he had practised all his life to be to be.
Make Love, Not War
Great story Phil.
A character in our pub who I knew for many years was Dubby Evans. Now The Chestnut Tree Garretts Green was one of the busiest pubs for miles. It was a three room pub with an outdoor. Our back room which in those days was a smoke room, held around 250-300 people when it was full, and it was rammed this night.
Well one Saturday night Dubby was with his mates, he was celebrating his birthday. He stood on a table at around 9 Oclock and shouted " If anyone wants to see a streak, watch me at closing time ".
Well closing time came and everyone started shouting DUBBY DUBBY DUBBY very loudly.
So off came Dubby's shirt. Then off came his shoes, then his jeans, followed by his socks and his pants. All this strewn along as he ended up starkers at the lounge Street door.
This by the way was in the middle of winter. Dubby then ran all round the Garretts Green Island, which by the way is very big, past the Police Station and back to the pub, all you could see was his little white bum in the car headlights.
When he got back to the pub ( by this time the whole pub was out, and I'm not joking when I say there was over 400 people outside the pub) he got the greatest cheer I have ever heard.
So Dubby being Dubby did a lap of honour.
Although he nearly froze to death it was one of the funniest sights I ever saw. He also had all the beer he could drink bought for him for weeks. SB
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Have only just been reading about the Talbot and your Uncle Ted I remember both very well, do your remember the room upstairs at the pub where the "Buffalloes " used to meet I wonder if they are still going?
I remember your Uncle Ted and Auntie Diane having arguments and slamming doors, the good old days!
Ted and Diane weren't the only two to argue in our old house across the road from you, did you know when Diane got married she lived in the maisonettes next to your old house. You would have been alright though with her living there because her husband was as timid as a mouse. She didn't need to argue with him.
The club room upstairs in the Talbot had two Buffalo Lodges one on Thursday Nights and one on Sunday Mornings. It was the Thursday night one where I joined the buffs in 1972. The lodge closed after moving to the Brunswick Club on Moseley Rd. Its like I said on the other thread the closing of all these old pubs with club rooms was the death of many societies and clubs. We even lost our fishing club when the Talbot closed and it was one of the best in the area.
Make Love, Not War