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Even as a whippersnapper I have always regarded people as people, regardless of colour. (I even feel awkward putting that last bit in!) There was never any doubt or issue about racism with me and that has remained my mind set thoughout life. Judge a person not by the colour of his skin but by the colour of his soul.

But getting back on topic, I used to drink at the Ridge Farm in the 70's - 80s. The lounge and the bar were like two different pubs. I always felt like the piano player stopped playing when I went in the bar. "Stranger in town". I have seen in the last few years all the pubs I used to bend an elbow in either close or get bulldozed down. The Bedlington Terrier was on my doorstep. It used to be a gold mine when I first drank there; you honestly had to queue outside to get in. Now it has homes on it. What has destroyed pubs, not just in Bedlington, is the breweries greed. If they would just see the simple logic of putting there prices down instead of up, then people would be going back into their establishments. Unfortunately the one card everybody pulls is the smoking ban, blaming that for the demise of pubs. No, it's greed, putting the beer up willy nilly and forcing people out of the pubs.

Edited by keith lockey

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I think there might be a bit more to it than that Keef2 but big brewery consolidations and chasing higher and higher profits does have to take blame.

At a time of diminishing disposable incomes ever-increasing the cost of a pint can only mean one thing.

Also the business rates pubs pay are eye watering because usually they have to be in areas of high footfall.

Competition from sharp operators like Spoons and off licence sales in supermarkets will kill off most pubs because really there are too many and secondly most have refused to change and adapt to the modern trading environment.

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merc wrote: "The NHS has a finite number of employment positions available; i'd wager there are more native people out of work than that number." Yep, absolutely correct merc but how many of them have to correct skills set to work in the NHS? What's stopping them from applying for all those NHS jobs that don't require formal qualifications?

merc, I'm sure your Uncle John worked his nuts off but hey, he was trading in a competitive market. Surely you're not suggesting that there should have been a form of apartheid operational in Blyth the aim of which was to protect 'white' businesses?

I accept your assertion that "I'm no racist, by the way ... " but my giblets always quiver when hearing phrases like: "some of my best friends are black", or "I'm no racist but ... "; even that smarmy Bullingdon cretin Camaroonie mentions "my black man in Plymouth". To paraphrase Sammy Johnson, "Patriotism excusing or denying racism is the last refuge of a scoundrel". Phrases of denial will always undermine serious and honest comment and in my opinion should always be omitted.

All fair points, Symptoms, I wasn't attempting to over-ride your comments, but merely raising a couple of - what I thought were - valid points. Your point about the skillsets is a good one; where, though, is the incentive for youngsters to train in such? As for 'apartheid' in Blyth, no; what killed my uncle's business was the proliferation of 'under the counter' goods that he could not - and, being an honest man from a different time - would not indulge in. Quality, which he took pride in, began to take second place to cut-prices.

Keith, you have a good point about the breweries greed, but the problem lies deeper than that: tied houses are screwed; the only way to make a pub work is to operate on a freehouse basis. The likes of Punch and Enterprise are not breweries; they view their pubs as assets - as property - and do not have a concern for the price of beer, or the punters. I was once a staunch opponent of JD Wetherspoons, but looking closer at the way Tim Martin runs his business it becoes clear just why this is such a successful one. By occupying and renovating - often sympathetically - already existing buildings he is able to tap into an underlying nostalgic element that is important, and by allowing his managers to source beer from local microbreweries is also covering the local element. I worked for Newcastle United at one point, managing the bars in the stadium; you would think that a 'prestigious' name such as St James' Park would get a good deal from Scottish and Newcastle; on the contrary, I couldn't have made a profit in a pub paying those prices.

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Sorry I hav'nt Adam but here's a one of the Market Place Netties being pulled down instead. :dribble: :dribble:

aye..i remember them bogs well..there was always that very distinctive smell to them and the odd splatter of vomit due to the close proximity of the club..old fellas would be waiting for the bus back to netherton after cashing the pension and having a few bottles of amber..usually on a picnic day the bogs would be slooshed out with a bucket because they were generally hotching.

they were also a haunt for the local black mack brigade and the grafitti was second to none if i remember corectly..good job the bogs were pulled down...it was a magnet for low lifes and germs..lol..nice pic though.cheers

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I passed the Barrington Arms (Monkey) today and saw a FOR SALE sign on the wall. Is this new or have I missed it?

It went up for sale shortly after the Black Bull went up for sale.

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I heard a rumour that Toby Carvery had been advertising for jobs in Bedlington with the further rumour being that the Ridge Farm was reopening.

 

Can anyone throw any light on this?

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Not sure about that one Chris.

I heard the state of the building leaves a whole lot to be desired now.

It will end up being cheaper to tear down and build new than refurb the existing building.

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I heard a rumour that Toby Carvery had been advertising for jobs in Bedlington with the further rumour being that the Ridge Farm was reopening.

 

Can anyone throw any light on this?

I heard the same rumour Chris that jobs had been advertised in the job centre with the Ridge Farm Reopening.

 

Not sure about that one Chris. I heard the state of the building leaves a whole lot to be desired now. It will end up being cheaper to tear down and build new than refurb the existing building.

Also Malcolm here are some of the problems that i found when it was still going but before I stopped going in about 2010/11 and in recent times:

The Felt roof at the front of the building was leaking in heavy rain due to no place for it to run off to and never was repaired to my knowledge.

The garage on the side went on fire after an electric fault (junction box burst into flames) I heard, but was repaired so sounds like it needs a whole new electrical system,

The Toilets could do with a refurbishment as they are not the best.

The doors on and in the building need replacing also as they used to let in one hell of a draught.

The carpets need replacing as they have worn out in places.

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I would imagine it would be a full refurbishment if it was a chain like Toby.

Can't be a bad thing having some competition for spoons as the only place for Sunday dinners up that end is la torre or market cafe.

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Verdi's do a good Sunday dinner too.

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It's a pity about the Ridge, was my "local pub" for years and my Sister Sharon worked there too when it was the Toby - remember the great Sunday Carvery with plates full to the gunnels!

Everything seems to go downhill though and disappears from sight eventually - lucky we have forums such as this to keep things alive!

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