Sunday, 10 March 2013

Bell-Enders


As of yesterday, the kitty for the community buy-out of The Bell pub here in Bath had reached 43% of it's target, with many people holding back before submitting their subscriptions, leaving right up until the last minute for reasons which even they cannot explain.

It has not helped that the very bank into which these subscriptions are deposited, has only managed to get the online subscriptions application form up and running in the last couple of days - about halfway through the campaign. Despite being begged, pleaded, cajoled and screamed at by the members of the Board, this simple way of transferring money from one account to another has only just become possible for people who may live some distance away, but would like to invest.

In the same way that it is almost impossible to find a courier who will safely take an item in their care from A to B without losing or breaking it, it seems that anyone in any industry who calls themself an 'I.T. specialist' is no more capable of setting up a basic piece of secure software than your average teenage hacker, who - as we all know - is usually a lot better.

Anyway, it makes me too angry to dwell on it, so I am going to tell you about the other BBC - the Boring Bastards Corner of The Bell Inn, whose members are affectionately referred to as the 'Bell-Enders', or they would be if we had a quiz team.

There is a forum going for the launch of the community buyout (ending March 20th - so get your subscription in quickly to benefit from the 30% tax relief!) and this recent post on 'What do you love about The Bell', tells the story much better than I can (you may recognise the author):


"Anyone who is a regular at The Bell will know of the existence of a hallowed little part of the actual bar (closest to the fire and bar staff) which is endearingly known as The BBC (Boring Bastards Corner).

Anyone who knows me will know that - since the exile of Paul 'Nasher' Nashman to a jungle in South America (he was banished for performing his duties at the BBC a little too zealously) - I have played a vital role in making the working lives of the bar staff even more miserable than they would normally be, with the skilful use of harassment techniques involving repetition of old jokes, comments about clothing and hairstyles, inappropriate suggestions of a sexual nature, etc. etc.

To be able to perform this role and just overstep the bounds of acceptability without actually incurring a life-time ban takes great skill, and it is for this reason that most of the founder members of the BBC are of a great age - old enough, in fact, to be the fathers - if not grandfathers - of most of the bar staff. Actually, one of them is my grand daughter, but I still harass her like I do the others.

For reasons of ill-health (caused by a lifetime of alcohol and other abuse) I have - in recent years - not been able to sit at the BBC for any longer than an hour or two during the early evening (and more recently, the late afternoon), whereas in the old days I would sit there, entertaining the staff from 5.00 until midnight, whereupon I would go up to the club and carry on until 7.00 in the morning, only to repeat the process all over again the following evening.

My companions at the BBC are all roughly the same age as me, so we have a rota going which enables the younger members to take our places at the corner when we go home for our pathetic teas, and it is heartening to see how the next generation are picking up the baton and learning how to become just as boring as we ever were - in some cases even more so.

Yet another reason - if one were needed - to keep this fine tradition going buy buying The Bell for the community, and preserving the institution of the BBC for generations to come."

10 comments:

  1. Are you sure this is not you speaking Tom?

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  2. In my last UK 'local', it was known as the Bigots Club. I was probably the founder member.

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    Replies
    1. M. Bigot was a Frenchman, was he not?

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  3. Being boring is truly is an oft-underestimated skill.
    I'd be mad at the bank too.

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    1. It's usually oversubscribed as well - unlike the bank.

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  4. Dear Tom,
    now I've got it: they sell the pub - and the BBC hopefully will earn 'preservation of sites of historic interest'. Maybe the BBC could function as a "TTGftVYW" - sponsored by the ESJ ?
    (You will have guessed: "Test-Training Group for the Very Young Waiter")

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    Replies
    1. Good idea. Throw them in at the deep end.

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    2. Otherwise: Protest campaign "For Whom the Bell Tolls"

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