Flood the bar!


There is an old Daily Express saying which seeks to bring comfort to hard-pressed subs and reporters as they toil late at night with their grinds to the nosestone. As thoughts turn to drink one reaches the reassuring conclusion that, whatever the weather: It never rains in pubs.

This is, of course, a truism that can be stated without argument but I do recall one evening in the Mad Hatter, near the Express's Blackfriars offices, when water started gushing through the ceiling, thankfully at some distance from the bar. The place doubled as a hotel and a guest had forgotten to turn the bath taps off. But no harm was done, not to us anyway, and drinks continued to be served, which was the main thing.

Needless to say there was some confusion at the thought that one of life's great truths had been confounded. Then the reality became apparent. Panic over.

All this excitement came to mind earlier this week when I and my former Express colleague and good friend Dizzy Dismore had another encounter with pubs and unwanted water. We found ourselves marooned in the White Cross in Richmond where we had been enjoying a glass or two of luncheon.

The pub is situated on the banks of the Thames which at that point is tidal. Naturally enough the tide came in, surrounding the building with water. What on earth were we to do at such a monocle-popping moment? The water was nearly ankle deep for God's sake! We decided to have another drink while tactics were discussed.

After the booze had gone down so eventually did the tidewater and we were able to make a dignified exit through the late afternoon gloaming.

Both our wives, you will not be surprised to learn, didn't believe that we had been stranded so cruelly but fortunately this blogger had the foresight to furnish them with the evidence which I reproduce here for your delectation.

And look how dry it is in the saloon. Only one thing for it: Flood the bar!

© 2005-2019 Alastair McIntyre