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The development of the modern UK public house: Part 1: The traditional British public house of the twentieth century

Pratten, John D. (2007) The development of the modern UK public house: Part 1: The traditional British public house of the twentieth century. International journal of contemporary hospitality management, 19 (4). pp. 335-342. ISSN 0959-6119

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Abstract

Purpose – This article aims to outline the main physical characteristics of the British pub, its products and facilities, clientele and licensee at around the end of the Second World War. Design/methodology/approach – There has been a heavy use of secondary sources drawn from the whole of the period studied. This has been augmented by discussions with licensees, retired licensees and older pub customers, to collect their reflections on the industry. Findings – The public house of 60 years ago had a largely male, working class beer-drinking clientele. Women were becoming more frequent visitors, but their custom was restricted by traditional attitudes and poor facilities. Research limitations/implications – The paper examines the state of the industry. Further work could examine this more carefully, and could include regional studies for comparison purposes. Practical implications – The paper sets the scene for an illustration of the extent of change that has taken place since then. Originality/value – There have been other attempts to examine the history of the public house. This is the most detailed, and as such could be of interest to the general reader as well as practitioners and students of the hospitality industry.

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