why Hitchin can be shit sometimes...

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Yeh I kindof agree that the Hart could do with a few more legal customers, especially since at the tender age of 25 I often find myself wondering if I'm the oldest person in there. That said, I've been going there since I was very young and I'm sure that back in the mid-90s there were a lot of 30 year old rockers and greasers who were appauled at my being there. Now that I'm old skool, it is me who is shocked, especially when simply talking to someone you don't know in there could get you lined up in front of a Vietnam rifle range, if you see what I mean.

Despite the fresh-facedness of it all, I still opt for the Hart of a Friday by default. Why? Let's have a look. Some of you may remember a time when Hitchin kicked a lot of ass and put neighbouring towns to shame. Hippies, punks, indies, crusties, technos, rastas and goths shared the local drinking spots in peace and harmony. Then they all moved away. Hitchin slowly turned in on itself, pubs closed down, clubs started up. Only the Hart managed to survive, an oasis of cool but still not without being affected.

Let's see where our problem lies...

10. The Orchard And Anvil
Most people will remember there was a time when one could walk down nightingale road, score some weed, play table football and dance like a mental to kicking dub and dancehall. That time is now gone. The infamous Woolpack, a two-bar pub, one of which was largely populated by the Triangle area's West Indian population was one of Hitchin's best kept secrets until it got found out. Everyone got chucked out, it got repainted and renamed and now no-one goes in there. Witness the "disco" in the bottom bar at the weekend. One old dude sat in a corner getting blinded by the flashing lights and wondering what the hell happened to his pub. PHUN!

9. Corn Exchange
In at number 9 it's the infamous Corn Exchange. Once a humungous waste of space, the old Corn Exchange market got refurbished by Wizard Inns to create a massive high-ceilinged super pub with a built-in dancefloor and a huge queue of jacketless clerical workers outside. Ask the DJ to play some reggae and you'll get Red Red Wine. It's bad. It's not THAT bad, but the problem with the Corn is that it is so big and bland that it has become the default place to go for single people out on the pull. This has caused a kind of black hole making other drinking spots devoid of good-looking up-for-it people. The good-looking up-for-it people in the Corn meanwhile must get sucked into the blackness of the place since I never see any of them in there.

8. The Phoenix
Used to be the Tut'n'Shive. Used to be better. Used to have a skate ramp and play cool music. Now it's a haven for cackling old hags, scallywags in towelling socks and emo children alike.

7. King's Arms
Used to be very pleasant until it got populated by coke-addled wankers - see also the Red Hart toilets these days. Seriously, I'm up for getting trashed on alll kinds of things but if you really want to bore the pants off everyone you ever know or meet then keep hoovering that shit up.

6. Brighton and London
Yep, it's like Hitchin heaven or something. Everyone gets to a certain age and fucks off up there.

5. Town renovation
I'm not one to stand in the way of progress but they're bashing it all down aren't they. We'll soon see yet another wave of spoiled commuter-sprogs invading our town, guzzling down Starbucks Megamochas and dying their hair anime black or whatever young people get up to these days.

4. Ivory
The new kid on the block. A self-styled "trend bar", the minimal decor and GINORMOUS disco ball looks tacky as hell. The seating is weird and awkward, the DJ plays the same mix each and every week (it must be on a tape or something). The first couple of times I went in it looked okay. The crowd was a bit more sophisticated than the Cornhole and the music was interesting enough to hold my attention, despite the overpriced drinks. After about two weeks the rot set in. Now it's populated by middle-aged slappers and girls from my old school who used to take the piss out of me but now have like 4 kids and look like they could do with a trip to the hospital.

3. The Red Hart
It used to be hang-out central for all greasers and hippies. Times change, I know I know, but does everyone who goes down there have to look like Pete Docherty or what?!! Growing more and more fresh-faced each time I go, I feel concerned as I mentioned earlier that one day I'll be the oldest person there. At least Gareth still goes. It's still a good place to hang out but it's just not the same. Yak yak yak I'm old, I know.

2. I'm clutching at straws and I'm running out of things to put down
I've forgotten what this list was for now...

1. Cocaine
It's bullshit and it's ruining Hitchin. Overpriced, unsociable, bullshit. If you're so insecure you have to spend £50 just so you can pluck up the courage to talk to people then you don't deserve to be out and about. Pot and pills cost a lot less and the best bit is you don't go round shouting at people and insulting them all the time.

And thats what's rubbish about Hitchin, I think.

dog latin (dog latin), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 15:24 (fifteen years ago) link

bring on the "Dread Lion" pub, one day wogan.. one day.
even if I end up moving out of Hitchin, which I think will happen sooner rather than later, I'm still up for opening somewhere good to go in Hitchin. Like a Red Hart 2. So we can all actually get served without having to wait for 30 mins, somewhere with a choice of sitting and having a drink with mates or dancing your nuts out to some good music, somewhere which doesnt care what you're wearing and somewhere that doesnt tolerate shit faced hooligans desperate to start a fight to try and make their pathetic lives seem more tolerable. At the moment you're right everyone our age seems to move away and i'm inclined to do the same, by the time you reach 25 you're simply bored of this place, and need a lot more choice of what you do in the evenings. Also the older you get the more people settle down and arent interested in going out and getting trashed so much. Seriously, we should all move to Barcelona.

satan, Tuesday, 18 April 2006 16:17 (fifteen years ago) link

I will open the PUB OF SMASH!

Captain, Tuesday, 18 April 2006 18:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Hitchin!

Gravel Puzzleworth (Gregory Henry), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 18:48 (fifteen years ago) link

yes, Hitchin!

Adam, where to go though? I might be getting made redundand in the future so if I do I will almost definitely move or go travelling. If I move I don't know where I will go. I don't reckon I'd enjoy living in London, it would be too much for me, too unsociable, too busy, too expensive. I'd rather live in a large town/city e.g. Brighton, Sheffield, Bristol or somewhere abroad like Barcelona or even Canada (!)

dog latin (dog latin), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 08:09 (fifteen years ago) link

Sounds not unlike Reading, at least no one is exhorting you to "eat drink and cavort". or building an orifice over a fault line to hell.
small towns are small, but then cities are often just a series of small towns, but then again at least they're all next to each other so you can go between with handy night bus.

ginweasel, Wednesday, 19 April 2006 08:25 (fifteen years ago) link

Saint Evenage is great! Where else can you see so many 'tracksuited mums', taking their kids to McD's for sunday lunch. And where else has 4 McD's within a mile of each other? What a town...!

Twisted Thinka, Wednesday, 19 April 2006 09:06 (fifteen years ago) link

yeah, well the 4 McD's are the only good thing about Stevenage, and the fact that the majority of pirate films in the UK come from that cinema!!

satan, Wednesday, 19 April 2006 09:09 (fifteen years ago) link

I love my City it is GREAT!

Captain Smash (Captain Smash), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 09:14 (fifteen years ago) link

moan moan moan.....this town might be a bit shit but its seriously better than a whole heap of other places.

the pubs are shite though. still love the hart, never found a pub i feel so relaxed in, plus the smoking thing is cool, but then it is full of more youthful people than myself. me and the wife will be moving, pretty much a year from now, to somewhere more sunny so my SAD can't get to me. cannot wait. will miss the hart though.

clocko diko (honesttoafault), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 09:17 (fifteen years ago) link

i think that is just about the most depressing thing i have ever read!
Ok well, from my perspective, having been to school in Letchworth, the most soul destroying town there ever has been, Hitchin has become a sort of haven from the bore or everyday life such as school and A-levels.
I can totally see where you're coming from, latin, but not having known the old Hitchin i do feel you are finding all the negative things and not looking for the positives! I know Hicthin isnt the most exciting place to go out, there are many more excitng places close by such as London, but there is something nice about it.
I think your main problem with Hitchin is that you've just been there too long. I expect that if i were to be still going out in Hitchin when Im 25 that id probably saying exactly the same things as you.
I think you have two options to stay in Hitchin and only look for the positives of the place or to move away to somewhere exciting and come and visit Hitchin occasionally, that way you'd probably only the see the positive things anyway! The only problem is that wherever you move to there is probably somebody already saying 'this place is getting so boring' It's all about perspective.
Why don't you and Satan both move to Barcelona and create a new Hicthin that is warm. I'll come visit you.
Or better yet, move to Sheffield in 2007 coz thats where Im going to Uni, hopefully, if i do some work now and get the right grades instead of going on Workshy!

Abacus, Wednesday, 19 April 2006 09:23 (fifteen years ago) link

amen dicko and abacus, ah yes it is a moan, but you can't deny some facts. and don't get me wrong i really love hitchin and no matter where i go i'll always come back. i've always wanted to do what satan said and start up a cool club/pub/hangout in hitchin. it needs a good record shop too.

NB: I wrote the first post for something else on the internets in reply to someone who was moaning about the amount of underagers in the hart (he was only 20!!), not for workshy but i thought i'd repost.

PS: Abacus you've made me feel even older now!! ;-)

dog latin (dog latin), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 09:28 (fifteen years ago) link

Im sorry Latin, You're not old and you should be embracing life not getting down about it, thats all.

Abacus, Wednesday, 19 April 2006 09:33 (fifteen years ago) link

What the fuck is Hitchin?

Popular Tev, Wednesday, 19 April 2006 09:37 (fifteen years ago) link

What Tev? Happy Birthday for yesterday, by the way.

Abacus, Wednesday, 19 April 2006 09:39 (fifteen years ago) link

Thanks a million Abbo!

Tev, Wednesday, 19 April 2006 09:40 (fifteen years ago) link


What is good about Hitchin:

3 Words.... Rithums ov the wurld!!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/threecounties/content/images/2005/07/11/people_01_470x353.jpg

Tev, Wednesday, 19 April 2006 09:52 (fifteen years ago) link

fuck yeah!!! how many towns have their own free festival where everyone gets properly mash-up and the police don't even blink at whatevers going on!!!

cheers for the youthful enthusiasm abacus, sometimes its what this board needs. we're all old and grumpy!!!

clocko diko (honesttoafault), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 09:55 (fifteen years ago) link

ah yes, rhythms!! can't wait for that. toucher ought to play!

i say i can't wait. i can wait for our house being demolished by all and sundry.

dog latin (dog latin), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 09:56 (fifteen years ago) link

Happy Birthday

Captain Smash (Captain Smash), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 10:25 (fifteen years ago) link

thanks quiche.

dog latin (dog latin), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 10:27 (fifteen years ago) link

Right I'm gonna balance things out with a top ten of great Hitchin things now:

10. Windmill Hill
Yes it is graet and if it ever gets destroyed in a war or something, the daemons of Hitchin will be freed from their leylines and I will be very sad.

9. Your Mum
She's totally HOTT. I'll be round later for tea and something extra. (Can you tell I'm writing this list from front-to-back?)

8. The Pubs
The Hart is still an indie stronghold despite it's flaws. The Sun Runner sells interesting beverages and is great for weekday drinking. Club85 is totally bwadass for gigs. Even the Ivory and Shorty's have been known to be fun from time to time.

7. Netto
Why go to Sainsbury's when you can buy a month's worth of shopping plus a pet grooming kit for £21.34?

6. The Market
Yes it's a bit rub these days but you can get cheap lovely fruit and veg and 70's vinyl 6 for a quid.

5. CD Heaven
It's tiny, in fact far too small to satisfactorily feed the burgeoning music scene of a town full of indie kids. Still the staff are knowledgable and friendly and there's always some interesting stuff in stock, so until I start my mega-chain of spacious indie record stores, this'll do.

4. Proximity to London
even though it's impossible to get home after a night out so you better make a plan before you leave. Trains are a ripoff too but this is a happy list so YIPPEE YAY!

3. Rhythms of the World
It's the highlight of my calendar. Bob Mardon is a fricking chief for organising it all and best of all it's FREE!!!!

2. It's infinitely better than any other neighbouring towns.
Like the decreasing circle of vapid dodginess that is Letchworth town centre and the ever-depressing Stevenage.

1. The people
Yes, that means YOU people. The only reason I stay in this town (other than the fact I can't afford to move ;-)

dog latin (dog latin), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 10:27 (fifteen years ago) link

actually, thinking about, i think you're right latin, the people are the main reason to be in this town. take them away, and it just wouldn't be the same at all.

clocko diko (honesttoafault), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 12:11 (fifteen years ago) link

it would be quieter!

dog latin (dog latin), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 12:12 (fifteen years ago) link

Fuck offs!

P.S. Wogan I loved reading your use of rub'. rub' is my favorite abrev' at the mo' I fuckin' love it!!!! Tev'

Tev, Wednesday, 19 April 2006 12:46 (fifteen years ago) link

ah i didn't even realise i'd used it but yes i had. god bless the find function on internet explorer.

dog latin (dog latin), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 12:49 (fifteen years ago) link

Barcelona! I mean, why not, seriously?

Gravel Puzzleworth (Gregory Henry), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 15:34 (fifteen years ago) link

ich spreche keine espagnol.

dog latin (dog latin), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 15:35 (fifteen years ago) link

you dont need to speak spanish in Barcy, plus it's an easy language anyway so you'd pick it up super quick.
trusts

satans, Wednesday, 19 April 2006 15:40 (fifteen years ago) link

que?

dog latin (dog latin), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 15:41 (fifteen years ago) link

usted no necesita hablar español en Barcelona, y es fácil de aprender de todos modos tan usted lo aprendería realmente rápidamente

sates, Wednesday, 19 April 2006 15:44 (fifteen years ago) link

thatos justas inglese witha extros letros adidas to es.

dog latin (dog latin), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 15:49 (fifteen years ago) link

Jeez, I thought I was old at 43 in the Red Fart, but you at 30, Hell, I've got no chance now. haha Do agree though, it's far far too young a crow(Jail bait)Pete Docherty clones everywhere and horrible two-tone/gothettes mongrels. Shit service from the staff (who are probably being banged by the aging rocker landlady.) They also need to bloody clean the loos at least once a week. Instead of complaining, why don't we just get all of our mates, old and young and just move to another pub. Take it over. It's been done lots of time elsewhere in the country and it works. Takes about 3 or 4 months to establish a new meeting hole, but it does really work. Just have to get past the apathy. Have a drink on me :)

Bahkti, Wednesday, 3 May 2006 09:26 (fifteen years ago) link


My Pal 'Peado-Dog' reckons we should take over the Phoenix, it has potential I reckon.

Tev, Wednesday, 3 May 2006 09:30 (fifteen years ago) link

Hitchin is rubbish because Cousin Smash doesn't live there!

Captain Smash (Captain Smash), Wednesday, 3 May 2006 10:14 (fifteen years ago) link

hello bakhti, yeh we oughta take over the Tut'n'Shive innit.

dog latin (dog latin), Wednesday, 3 May 2006 10:26 (fifteen years ago) link

COMPETITION TIME:

Somebody draw a picture of what the dread lion pub will look like.

it must include

- Jamaican's selling pot on the door.
- Special Brew, Kronenbourg Cru and Leffe on tap sold at £1.50 a pint and no bloody Fosters in it.
- Toucher playing a gig inside.
- Dub and Techno in the garden plus there's a Ron's-sponsored BBQ in there as well.
- Lots of cool people including tedri populars and sexy selkys and no circulars or ickle kids.

dog latin (dog latin), Wednesday, 3 May 2006 10:41 (fifteen years ago) link

fifteen years pass...

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