Recollections  -  North Edinburgh





Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

The Northern Bar

"As a resident of Nottingham and a frequent visitor to my former birthplace of Edinburgh I am now regarded there as a tourist by the locals.

As a child, I lived across the road from the Northern Bar (now dignified by the appellation 'The Orchard'), I worked there on a Saturday morning alongside my pal Stuart Harrod, whose father ran the pub.

The need to employ casual child labour was on account of the Scottish drinking habits which in those days with hindsight can now be confidently described as excessive.

Friday night at the Northern Bar was a totally stocious occasion, resulting in, on the following Saturday morning, a landscape resembling Hiroshima, with glasses, both intact and broken, littering the tables and floor, such was the state of the previous incumbents, both punters and staff alike.

Our job was to attempt to restore the situation to 'status quo ante' by eleven o'clock when the establishment reopened to welcome traditional 'guests'.  This, I am happy to say, we succeeded in doing, and we were amply rewarded by a 'wage' of one shilling, four times as much as my then pocket money of thruppence a week.

On my now regular visits to the pub, I inform the bar staff that I worked here sixty years ago. They look upon me with a mixture of incomprehension and amazement in equal proportion, no doubt thinking that I've had a few too many!"

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  June 28, 2011


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