Hammer and Stithy

The Local

The Local

When visiting my brother in Yorkshire in June, we took a walk to the local shops to buy some sandwiches for lunch. (Oh, all right: cakes too!) On the way back, I quickly snapped this photo of the local pub.

My brother stopped and asked me, in some bewilderment, what I was doing.

I explained that there are no real pubs in SA. There are plenty of bars and hundreds of great restaurants, but the warm welcoming atmosphere of a British pub? No.

I was also intrigued by the name Stithy. Apparently it means a Blacksmith’s smithy, forge or anvil. It is even referenced in Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 2.

And my imaginations are as foul as Vulcan’s stithy.

(Where Vulcan is the blacksmith of the Gods.)

As a kid growing up in Yorkshire, I used to live right next door to not one but two pubs! They were called – wait for it – The Old Inn and The New Inn! But most pubs had wonderful, unforgettable names.

When I left home and lived in Manchester for a few years, the first thing I did was find my new “local”. Of course, it was full of, well, locals! I mean old men, mostly, having a pint or two in the evening. We young students stood out a mile. But the nice thing about a local, is that if you go there regularly, eventually you also become a local.

My housemate had designated Monday night housework night. I’d get home about 6 pm and eat something quickly, before we went to the launderette. After that we each vacuumed and cleaned our rooms. By 9 pm we were more than ready for a walk down to the local for a drink.

And true enough, after only half a year of this, we became one of the locals too!

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37 thoughts on “Hammer and Stithy

    1. scifihammy Post author

      Aw noooo! I did find that they had had to resort more to offering food to keep their clients? But who minds that? A nice pub meal and a lager. Yum! 🙂

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  1. Bridgette's Digits 🔛 An Epic Weight Loss Journey

    I love those names… The Old Inn and The New Inn! …and housemate is my (New Word) 4 the day.
    Big smile from Brïdgêtté 😁

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  2. mistermuse

    I especially like THE NOBODY INN because it reminds me of my head (the one on my shoulders, not on my beer), and THE QUIET WOMAN because it must be the only one in existence! 🙂

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  3. colinandray

    Leaving the UK in 1975 to live in Canada, we really missed the social aspects of British pubs. They do have some lovely pubs here but the atmosphere is very different. What we have found however is coffee shops that have the “locals” and resulting ambiance! Now we just have to persuade them to get a license for selling beer!!!!

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    1. scifihammy Post author

      In Castleton there were about 4 pubs down the one street!! 🙂
      What is the difference between your pubs? And do you ever pop in for half a lager?

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      1. pensitivity101

        I can’t remember the last time we went into a pub for a drink, unless you count carvery restaurants (off to one next week actually when we have the car serviced).
        Difference in the two pubs here are architecture, age, entertainment, and size. The Black Bear backs onto the river and has a couple of moorings and beer garden. The White Bear has a burger van in the car park, outside loos and live entertainment on Sunday nights (not always good from what drifts on the wind to our ears).

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      2. pensitivity101

        We haven’t had a roast dinner for months, and the carvery is such good value……. all that lovely veg (at least a choice of 6), roast spuds, 4 meats, yorkshire pud, heavenly gravy……….. and no washing up! Yay!!!

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  4. ulli

    The British and the Germans love their pubs. A life without pubs is unimaginable 😉
    No, but pubs are very important locations of communication, so try to establish one in SA, Scifi 🙂
    Greetings,
    Ulli

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