Monday, March 14, 2011

Look, Sup And Vanish


During the Second World War my father did his bit for the cause by working as a mechanic during the day and serving in the civil defense forces before and after work. He was a member of the LDV (which officially stood for the Local Defense Volunteers, but was universally known by its members as the "Look, Duck, And Vanish"). He used to tell me that each morning before he went off to work, he would have to patrol the Leeds and Liverpool Canal near his home in Shipley to make sure that German submarines had not sailed up the fifty-mile long canal during the night. Just how German submarines would have managed to get past the eighty-odd locks between Liverpool and Shipley he never fully explained to me : "ingenious buggers, them Germans", he would say knowingly.

I like to think that I carry the wooden rifle of family tradition as I (along with my trusted guard-dog Amy) patrol the local area on a regular basis in search of signs of incursion by the forces of darkness which attempt to rip the heart out of the very traditions that make us proud to be British. I speak, of course, of the curse of pub closures. This morning my monthly patrol was enlivened by both a bright and clear Spring morning and the knowledge that I had just joined a Flickr group called The Dead Pubs Society which gathers together pictures of pubs that have passed on to the other side. If one of the six pubs on my monthly perambulation had gone under, at least I would be able to submit a photograph - a kind of death-mask I suppose - to the group.

But, I am glad to report, all six seem to be alive and well, all six received the tick of good health. Sadly it was too early in the day to call in for a drink in each : I will save the pleasure of such an expedition until The Lad and I have some time for a little father-son bonding. Then we can go round all six, have a quick look inside to check things are OK. a quick drink of ale, and then move onto the next one. "Look, Sup And Vanish" as my father might have said.

12 comments:

  1. Well, at least it's good to see that they're all up and running.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad to see that you're doing your bit, Alan. Don't forget, with those wooden rifles, you're required to shout "bang!" when you squeeze the trigger.

    ReplyDelete
  3. nice thing that wooden rifle probably can double as a walking stick should one one's supping go on long....

    here's to your pubs being alive and well!! here, here!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Tried to create a single, coherent sentence from the names of all the pubs, but failed dismally.

    ReplyDelete
  5. i am glad it was a spring morning and not a spring mourning for one of your pubs alan...keep that patrol up we are all counting on you. smiles.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Too early in the day? You do realise that it's five o'clock somewhere on the planet?

    ReplyDelete
  7. The canal in Shipley is being dredged this week. I shall inspect the mud and debris in the skip. If I see traces of a German sub, I'll let you know!

    ReplyDelete
  8. The Flickr group is SO you. :)

    Do you have "progressive dinners" over there? Your 6 pub rotation in the near future reminded me of one...except it would be 'progressive drinking" I suppose. :)

    And here's hoping you never have to submit a photo to the Flickr group!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Those "ingenious buggers" were sighted off the East Coast at one point. And I believe the Japanese were sighted off the West Coast but I could be wrong. Your dad sounds like a good man.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Baino has a good point ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous3:44 PM

    Pour me something tall & strong make it a hurricane before I go insane its only half past twelve but I don't care cos its 5 oclock¿ Love the story made me smile, Donna

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous3:52 PM

    Also a bus conducter WI me Mam then went driving,, small world, you didn't lecture on Art did you? Searching for a portrait of my mum 1954 its her last wish to just see it== the school were rude very rude
    thanks Donna

    ReplyDelete