Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tim Martin

The real age drinking starts

The real age drinking starts

Tim Martin, eloquent as ever... The first time I was challenged to prove my age in a pub was when ordering a vodka and lime (agghhh) in The Waterford Lodge, Morpeth, Northumberland, the day after my eighteenth birthday. I had been a regular there, with a few inconspicuous others, never causing trouble, since I was fifteen.

Ahem. I had also been a regular at: The Grey Horse, The Joiners Arms, The Black Bull, The Mason's Arms, the Conservative club and the CIU.

Not everyone at school did this but all my friends did. Mostly our parents knew about it and mostly, as long as we behaved sensibly - that is, clearly, as long as we did not get stupidly drunk. None of us did. There was no pub where bad behaviour, silly nonsense tipsiness or simple drunkenness was tolerated by either the staff or the customers. Everyone had to conform to behaving like well socialised adults did - or else we would have been barred. Full Stop. And then we would have been pariahs in our own circle for bringing shame on everyone. And would have been alone down the bus stop for our nights out - forever more.

Once I got used to the thrill of being alongside adults in grown up places I started drinking pints of orange squash.

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