access,  disability,  Uncategorized

>The Problem with Pubs

>The problem with the pubs around here I have found is the access. And in the last two weeks that’s led to some interesting happenings.

I went to one pub the week before last for drinks with the creative writers. There were only three of us there and it was fun. It was only the second time I’ve been there; the main entrance doesn’t have access but last year (I think) it was refurbished and there is now access through a side gate into the garden bit and then ramped access into the pub. They have a disabled loo and it’s all good.
(side note: the lack of the disabled loo is the reason I don’t go to the majority of the pubs in this godforsaken town)
So anyway I walked down there and called the guy I was meeting, he came and let me in. A bit later we were joiined by the third creative writer, K, who lives spitting distance from me. We stayed about an hour or so and called it quits. K and I go out into the garden and a pub staff member lets us out (bizarrely using his lighter to see the latch on the gate rather than putting a light on), shutting it behind us.
But there’s a problem – theres a car parked blocking my access (not in a space just randomly parked). There’s also a van parked blocking part of the way. Can’t go back into the pub, the gate is bolted. Can’t go out the car park. Officially trapped.
K went into the pub and found “the only person behind the bar not wearing uniform” aka the landlady and gave her the registration number – she went round and found the driver who came and moved her car.
The landlady then said that the problem was actually the van – where it was parked was where she usually parked her car and she always does so in a way that no one else can fit in but “chairs” can still get round. She’d been trying to get hold of the van driver all day but no luck (it’s right opposite the station, I suspect that might be why). I made some comment about did they not answer the phone and she said “oh”
***
Fast forward to last Thursday. I was just thinking about dinner when my friend E called and said her husband was gonna be late home did I fancy going for tea? And I was all “I’ll see you at the pub in 40 minutes”
We went to a different pub to the one mentioned above. If you read my previous blog you might remember that this specific one was my favourite most visited pub. Until the closed for refurbishment and reopened with less access than before. What was a completely level pub now has half of it raised with step only access. That was back in May and I’d not been back since. I did however write a letter of complaint to the brewary and got a response saying a ramp would be done as soon as possible.
No ramp. I did wonder if they might have got a moveable one so when E was at the bar getting food (we were sat right by it) I asked the guy if they had a ramp for the step. I was perfectly calm and nice although E had just been telling him how horrible i was and how I’d murder her if she got me a drink with ice in it (!)
Anyway he said that no they don’t have a ramp. And he actually looked scared as he said it. We both noticed it.
My only comment was “oh that’s interesting” but I think the brewary will get another letter – because I was really impressed with their response to my complaint. What doesn’t impress me is how different our definitions of “as soon as possible” are.
Or how difficult it is to go to a decent pub for a drink in this place without having stupid access issues and niggles.
My medication really means I can’t (or shouldn’t) get properly drunk. But the facilities in which to do so would be very nice!

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