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The Snug, 1957

You always tried to duck down so as not to be seen, for some strange reason


Sometimes when we were flush with a couple of coppers in our pockets we would splash out and buy a packet of crisps.

Now in those days, the corner shops shut bang on 5 o’clock without a doubt.  The good thing was most pubs had what they called a ‘snug’.  This was just a small room attached to the pub that us kids or anyone could use.  Often, we would go into the room and there were the women sitting having a bit gossip about this one or that one.  They would be sitting holding their jugs of stout (I believe it was) or a bottle of Mackeson, which they reckoned was good for you.  Anyway, we were always greeted with the words “where did you get the money from?” or “does your dad know?” and another twenty questions.

The snug at the Woolsington in Appleby Street, North Shields was just like any other.  You went in and knocked on the glass partition and waited until someone opened it to take your order.  Now if your dad was in, or one of the other dads, you always tried to duck down so as not to be seen, for some strange reason.  All we could get in those days were salted peanuts or crisps.

Another thing that springs to mind is that the pubs were always full of working men playing darts or dominoes etc., especially after about 7 o’clock.  This was another reason you did not step out of line, for if your dad was not informed in the pub there was always a very good chance one of the neighbours got the scandal and it was passed onto your household that way.

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