I was brought up in a pub that was owned by my grandmother. She had owned pubs long before l was born and had 3 children. One was my mother and the other 2 my uncles. My grandmother never smoked but my mother and uncles did although my mother has now stopped. By the time l came along my grandmother was running the pub by herself because she had divorced my grandfather (another smoker).My 2 uncles now had families and homes of their own as did my mother but because my father (and my uncles) were deepsea fishermen, my mother (and us kids) spent most of the time at the pub. The reason being that deepsea fishermen were away for 3 weeks and home for an average of only 60hrs so my mother helped my grandmother run the pub.
lt was a glorious time for myself and 2 younger sisters. We were allowed in the pub itself when it was open or until it got busy or it got late and time for us to get ready for bed. We lived in the accommodation on the first floor and the bedrooms were on the 2nd floor. Access to the first floor was by an open staircase, indeed this open staircase continued to the 2nd floor. To get to the stair case from the pub itself, you either came from a door that opened directly to the main bar or another door straight into the lounge bar. The area at the bottom of the stairs was like a small hallway where the slot machines were. Also off this hallway was the door to the yard and gents toilets. As you can imagine the doors to both bars were in frequent use. This would mean all that deadly Second Hand Smoke was constantly invading this hallway and rising up to the living quarters and bedrooms. Oh, and not to forget the people playing the slot machines who smoked.
The pub actually had another room as well as the main bar and lounge, this was the 'Snug'. It could hold about 30 people but l can't honestly remember it ever been in use. My grandmother told me it was for customers who preferred not to be in the smoky bars and lounge. All the bars had real fires and sometimes l helped out by cleaning out the fires in the mornings and starting new ones. l hated doing the one in the Snug because nobody used it but my grandmother used to tell me that somebody might and so it had to be done. l've asked my mother about this and she says it was used on occasions but very rarely. The only other difference this Snug had in relation to the other bars was it didn't have direct access to the bar itself. You had to come out of the Snug door and walk 2 meters across the pubs side entrance (still inside the pub though) to a counter that was at the bar. My mother says that it was too secluded from the main bars where everyone was to be of interest to customers. So we have a little Snug room, secluded from the main bars and smoke but nobody used it! ... mmmmm.
The pub was always busy as it was the centre of the community. Lots of houses round it along with a few little shops. lt was a working man's pub to the core.
Here is a picture of the pubs main bar at Xmas circa 1960. You'll note all the smoke filling the bar from all the many smokers, yes? Well maybe not.
Here is a pic of the front of the pub. Both windows are the main bar with the entrance in the middle. lf you look at the bottom right you will see the beginning of the pub's side entrance where the Snug was. The Snug had a window similar to the windows shown in this pic. So, you had window, main entrance, window, side entrance, window.
This is a pic of the side entrance ,,, Easter Bonnet Competition. My grandmother is the lady on the far left and l forgot to mention her ... the little old lady in the brown outfit is my great grandmother that stayed with my grandmother occasionally.
Right, now to the terrible consequences, my great grandmother died at the age of 98 and she smoked all her life, my grandmother (non-smoker) died at the age of 86 due to a road traffic accident. My mother is 80 next month, her brother (my uncle is 85) and her elder brother (my uncle) is 93 and all are active and never had any major surgery or illnesses.
l started smoking at 36 (last time l was in hospital was when l was 6 when l had my tonsils out), eldest of my younger sisters started smoking at 22 and is in good health, my other 2 sisters don't smoke and never have and both are in good health. Wait you say! ... earlier on you said 2 sisters? Yes my youngest sister was actually born in the pub in one of the bedrooms.
l have 2 daughters and 3 nieces, 3 out of the 5 are smokers. l've got 5 cousins on my mothers side and 3 of them smoke ... all are in good health.
Last but not least, my grandfather (smoker) ... died at the age of 76 of a heart attack.
These are the terrible consequences of Second Hand Smoke in a very smoky pub. A time of pipes, Woodbines and Capstan Full Strength cigarettes (filter cigarettes were for girlies!)
The pub still exists today but all the houses around it were demolished and the community scattered. There are a few industrial units but that's all. Sad to see the old Star and Garter like that.
So, these aren't just stats, they are MY stats backed up with living evidence and facts ... real facts. Oh, and just for good measure l think l should throw in that none of my family, neither past or present, are or ever have been tee-total.
Think ASH or Alcohol Concern would be interested in my stats? :)