Closing Time – The Lost Pubs of Liverpool
at Milk & Sugar (RIBA, Wood St, Liverpool)
12 January 2011 – 10 February 2011
A collection of limited edition C-type photographic prints selected from locations featured in the book ‘Closing Time’. Photographs by Kevin Casey, words by Kenn Taylor.
This exhibition shows just some of the 80 photographs of former Liverpool pubs featured in the book which you can buy here or from various other outlets or online. It’s good to see them displayed in a gallery, different from the smaller format of the book and it encourages you to look more closely at the detail of the buildings. And some of them are or were very interesting, some are equally ugly to be honest.
I’m not sentimental, I don’t believe in keeping old buildings open just because they’re old. Things move on, tastes and lifestyle changes and personally, I’ve never seen the attraction in sitting in a place full of noisy drunkards for hours. But as Kevin and Kenn point out in the text, pubs were part of the community, when there was little at home to keep you occupied you could walk to the local, meet friends and neighbours, be entertained and help each other back home again. Now everyone heads into the city centre, too many drunks in one place creates all kinds of problems.
Now there are campaigns to reverse this trend, you can’t turn back time but apparently a couple of the pubs featured here have re-opened. So the story behind the pictures is interesting but whether you’re a fan of pubs or not the photos are well worth a look, there’s some fascinating bits of architecture – look closely at that picture on the cover, who’s the guy standing on the roof apex?