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Pubs of London

 
Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 4 Dec 2012 07:39 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
After extensive research on this nomination I can give it my whole hearted backing:
UNESCO World Heritage status for the London pub

This is where I originally saw it in Time Out which comes with a handy guide to London's top 50 pubs to give an idea of what is being put forward.

I'm taking the whole thing with a large pinch of salt, but it did get me thinking.

I know this is probably more of a class project/ marketing opportunity for the Uni. In real terms the pubs are privately owned and the UK tentative list has only recently been redrafted so it isn't really a starter but I think there could be something there in terms of the Intangible Heritage list, in the same way as Viennese Coffee houses or even that peculiarly French creation eating :)

In terms of the World Heritage List proper what would stop them from being included? 2012 saw the addition of Swedish farming houses listed because
UNESCO:
"They reflect the prosperity of independent farmers who in the 19th century used their wealth to build substantial new homes with elaborately decorated ancillary houses or suites of rooms reserved for festivities"
When that is the threshold, what stops something like a selection of pubs from being added to the list proper?

Whilst it may be a stretch to call some of the interiors masterpieces there are many that have fine decoration: 1 2 3 4 5
If they are not suitable for criteria 1 they ceratbinly could be like the Swedish farms and be regarded as outstanding example of a traditional human settlement.

Many are directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. : 1 2 3

And many exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time.

My tongue is a little in my cheek and I have twisted the criteria a little, but still I think there is something there.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 4 Dec 2012 09:01 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Regarding Intangible Heritage - I hadn't previously appreciated that, as far as I can see, UK hasn't even signed the Convention! It certainly has nothing inscribed. Whether this is due to opposition to the scheme or bureaucratic inertia I don't know.
Meanwhile France has 10 "practices" (including its gastronomic lunches!!) and even Belgium has 9.
A task for you Meltwaterfalls - how many UK pubs HAVE been inscribed as WHS? Edinburgh and Bath will have a few - and Saltaire.
You could set yourself the task of having (at least) a pint in every one!!

Author Euloroo
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 4 Dec 2012 14:27 
I thought Saltaire was dry?

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 4 Dec 2012 14:48 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Euloroo:
I thought Saltaire was dry?

Very true but times change! It will be the case that there are no true "Pubs" in Saltaire and certainly nothing "historic" but I found this quote
"Titus's strong religious beliefs ensured there was no alcohol..........Now alcohol is available at many cafes and restaurants and Saltaire Brewery produces beer. As you pass the Congregrational Church stop and listen. You may hear an old man turning in his grave."

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 4 Dec 2012 18:09 
Euloroo:
I thought Saltaire was dry?

My last visit 2 years ago had me ending up in the amusingly titled Don't Tell Titus enjoying a bottle of rather tasty Saltaire beer, along with a decent curry, 2 things that would have been very odd in Titus' day but now reflect the area very well.

Solivagant:
A task for you Meltwaterfalls - how many UK pubs HAVE been inscribed as WHS? Edinburgh and Bath will have a few - and Saltaire.
You could set yourself the task of having (at least) a pint in every one!!
I will have to look into that one.
Edinburgh defeated me, I tried quite a few bars on my first visit, but it would take a full residency to pick off all the locals. Liverpool has the very promising looking Philharmonic. But I think it is a challenge I will try my hardest to achieve.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#6 | Posted: 5 Dec 2012 05:25 
It seems there has been even more on this than I thought as a friend just sent me this:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/fast_track/9770685.stm

I hope that people outside the UK can view it. The Lamb and Flag that they end up in, is a very good little pub right in the heart of tourist London next to Covent Garden. So if ever you are ever in London it is worth making a bee-line for, it even backs onto the world's largest travel book-store.

Author hubert
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 5 Dec 2012 12:10 
It is not clear from the article mentioned above, whether the campaign aims at the intangible or tangible list. Both are mentioned.
It would be funny to see the WH emblem in a pub right above the taps. During several trips to London, I've already visited most of the pubs mentioned by meltwaterfalls and I would be happy to complete the list - guided by an official UNESCO nomination file :)

The analogy with the Vienna Coffee Houses suggests that a bid for the intangible list is more likely.
But isn't there a difference - apart from the obvious difference between beer and coffee? Vienna is the origin of the coffee house culture. From there, it has spread to other cities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. There are wonderful coffee houses in Trieste and Budapest. And the coffee house culture is mainly associated with major cities, although it has also influenced the coffee houses in smaller towns.
Is this similar to the pub tradition? Is London the origin? Or will this campaign trigger a nationwide discussion which pubs should be included and it could result in a serial nomination somewhere between the pile dwellings and the Spanish rock art sites?

In any case, there will be many dissenting votes, from teetotalers and health freaks. I can imagine the headlines: "UNESCO supports alcoholism" or "drunkenness under protection", and certainly "Pubs at the same level as the Pyramids and the Grand Canyon".

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 Pubs of London

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