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“A public house is a public home, so be a part of it.” An interview with ebook author Adrian Tierney-Jones

As the final instalment of our blog series about the London Local Pubs: Past and Present ebook, we interview Adrian Tierney-Jones, well-known British pub and beer writer and the author of the book and ebook. We picked his brain about pubs and why he likes writing about them, and asked him about his research for this particular book, which ended up differing a little from his usual process.

What did you like best about working on this book?

I loved finding out about pubs that I’ve never heard of. It gave me a sudden interest to seek them out. For example, I’d be keen to visit the Railway Tavern in the East End, the one with the early morning opening hours for the railway workers.

As I’ve written many books about pubs in London, I think I know them all. I also used to live in London and know many pubs personally. However, this book has opened up a whole new layer of them for me to engage with. It is always great to discover and rediscover pubs.

Railway Tavern, Stratford
Railway Tavern, Stratford 

What did you think about the story-gathering process and did it help with your research?

The story-gathering process was really great. Historypin’s Community Officers would go and set up a community archiving session in one of the pubs, where they invited landlords, regulars and locals to come and share their memories and experiences of the pub. In some pubs, they even collected photographs and drawings. They would then send me the audio files and their transcriptions, as well as the materials they had collected.

For me, this was very helpful. It takes a lot of time to do research and sometimes professional writers just don’t have the luxury to do this in-depth work. Having a team that goes out and talks to the people in the pubs is very useful.

Pub Session
Pub Session

What advice would you give people who also want to write books about pubs?

Listen to people. Pubs aren’t just the buildings they occupy or the beer they serve, but they are made up of people, past and present. When you write about a pub, you need to evoke the atmosphere of the pub and make the reader feel that they are part of this mini-universe by engaging all their senses. But not just the reader needs to feel a connection to the pub, you do too. A public house is a public home, so be a part of it.

 

London Local Pubs: Past and Present is an ebook developed as part of the Europeana Food and Drink project, taking the reader on a journey through the history of London’s pubs, told through never-before-seen archival photographs and the stories and memories from their landlords and regulars. You can find more information about it and buy a copy of it at www.londonlocalpubs.com

By Lise Schauer, Historypin

London Local Pubs: Exploring the National Brewery Heritage Trust collection

At the heart of the book and ebook  London Local Pubs: Past and Present by Adrian Tierney-Jones is the National Brewery Heritage Trust (NBHT) image collection of public houses. 3000 images were rescued from a skip as the company moved offices and have recently been digitised by Heritage Assets for creative re-use in the Europeana Food and Drink project.

Trafalgar,39 St. Martins Lane, London, W6, Hoare & Co. and Farriers, 214 Lower Road, Deptford, SE8 5DJ, Charringtons
Trafalgar,39 St. Martins Lane, London, W6, Hoare & Co. and Farriers, 214 Lower Road, Deptford, SE8 5DJ, Charringtons

Now made available for the first time on Europeana, the NBHT image collection is available to license via the Europeana Food & Drink picture library.

The majority of the collection was originally used as a pictorial reference of the buildings owned by Hoare and Co. and the Charrington Brewery and on the back carried the exact address of the pub and often recorded the names of the landlords and their business activity. From the early 20th century up to the late 1960’s the images are a unique pictorial record which are of interest to professional image researchers, academics, and the many individuals who have ties to the pillar of the community that is better known as our ‘local pub’.

Hare & Hounds, North End Way, Hampstead Heath, NW3 7HE, 1940, 1941, Hoare & Co
Hare & Hounds, North End Way, Hampstead Heath, NW3 7HE, 1940, 1941, Hoare & Co
Locomotive, 106 West Street, Deal, CT14 6EB, 1952, Charringtons and Red Lion, 18 Watling Street, Cannon Street, EC4, Charringtons
Locomotive, 106 West Street, Deal, CT14 6EB, 1952, Charringtons and Red Lion, 18 Watling Street, Cannon Street, EC4, Charringtons

By John Balean, Topfoto

This is part 4 of our blogpost series on the London Local Pubs: Past and Present ebook, exploring the pub photo collection the book is based on. Read more on the idea behind the ebook edition, a view of ‘traditional’ publishing on reuse of digital cultural heritage, and 7 tips for self-publishing & promotion, or join a Pub Crawl for all your senses with our sister project Europeana Sounds.

The London Local Pubs: Past and Present ebook is available for purchase  here.

 

The London Local Pubs: Past and Present ebook has been published by Halsgrove Publishing as part of the Europeana Food and Drink project, with assistance from the National Brewery Heritage Trust, Historypin, Federation of European Publishers, Fratelli Alinari, Topfoto and Keepthinking.