Remembering when you could smoke in the pub

It was certainly a sign of the times when, looking at a photo of the Red Duster pub, taken in April 1964, you could see a chap at the bar enjoying a cigarette.
At the bar of The Red Duster.At the bar of The Red Duster.
At the bar of The Red Duster.

So as well as asking for memories of the watering hole in question, I also wondered what readers thought of the decision to introduce a smoking ban in such public places – prompting a mix of opinions to be posted on social media.

Michelle Phillips took to Facebook to say: “Got so many memories from childhood onwards, my friends parents ran it for a while, then my son worked there. Had many special parties there and events. Had some great laughs ... Chezza, Marie Cawood, Hayleigh Louise Spry, Alison Lynsay Kent.”

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Eunice Robson posted: “My husband Ray’s first pub job back in the 1960s. The man behind bar, in glasses, is Mr Innes, the then manager. Happy days,” while Margaret Brown told how “a crowd of us went in on Sunday after church at the Methodist in Hogarth Road and other nights too”.

Derek Williamson revealed that he was “brought up and still live around the corner from the Duster, never really bothered with the place, seemed to be a clique in there going back to the early 70s”.

David A Turnbull, who got to see the Red Duster being built, went on to reveal that “this was my father’s favourite pub, it was a short walk to the off-licence. We lived in Titian Avenue, a short walk for my father to meet up with his friends every night.

“My wife and I used to see him there on a weekend in the mid-70s, it was a great community pub, a place to meet up.”

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Karin Craig said: “My mother-in-law Doreen worked there in the 70s. She was lovely lady. It was when pubs were full.”

Nichola Connelly went online to say: “My nana Chrissie Ellens worked in The Duster as a barmaid for years,” while Marianne Salkeld told how her great aunty worked there “for years”.

David Hartley said: “It was my local when I was younger,” while Fiona Wilson commented: “I think my daughter’s nanna used to work there. She would have been Isabel Stoelwinder back then.”

And as for the smoking ban, well this is what you thought.

Sarah Robson said: “It was a good thing, especially for those with respiratory problems and you can go out and not come back stinking of smoke.”

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Kerry Johnson emailed: “I hated coming home with cigarette burns in my clothes and stinking of smoke because of pub smokers,” while Graham Slesser posted: “Yes the ban is a good one, you can now go out and come back home not stinking of smoke.”

David Musgrove commented: “Best thing they’ve ever done, ban the disgusting habit,” while Steven Slack says: “Yes they should ban smoking full stop!”

But Charmaine Kostromin took to Facebook to say: “ The pub trade died a death when the smoking ban was brought in.

“Maybe the old fashioned smoking rooms should have been brought back instead of a ban,” something which Keith Price concurred, saying: “Ruined the pub trade, smoking rooms and non-smoking rooms solves all the problems.”

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Andrea Lackland posted: “In pubs today, when people go out for a tab, the pubs empty because more people smoke than don’t smoke in pubs now, and yes, the pub trade is dying, that’s why most pubs are now closing and turning into a Sainsburys or a Co-op.”

Barrie Donnelly asked: “I would like to know where all these people are now who supported this ban because I don’t see many of them in pubs. Hence the closure of so many.”

Maureen Dowson emailed: “The pubs are all empty now, wonder why?” while Gary Done pointed out that: “When the photo was taken you could smoke in pubs and it’s empty. You can almost hear the conversation.”

Vicky Chisholm said: “Pubs are dying because we socialise on here now.”