Uproar in Furness as beer hits £1 a pint

5 October 2017 5:56PM

THERE was uproar in Furness back in 1993 when it was suggested that beer might sell for more than £1 per pint.

What would the members of Barrow's United Club have thought about current prices of nearer £3 rather than £1?

A new survey by real ale pressure group CAMRA asked 1,000 people for their views on the price of beer in pubs and only 15 per cent considered it to be still "affordable".

The Mail on August 7 in 1993 noted: "Furious members of a Barrow working men's club have forced a crunch meeting - over plans to increase the price of their pint to £1."

The United Club, in Friars Lane, wanted to charge £1 for a pint of mild and £1.04 for a pint of bitter.

Committee members faced such a backlash from members that the special meeting was called 24 years ago.

The report noted: "Members have been warned that failure to maintain the price increase could mean the club cutting back on much of its social work, including Christmas bonuses."

Club secretary Thomas Boyd told The Mail: "Many of the members have requested that the prices be reduced but we are next to the cheapest in town.

"The people who want our prices reduced are comparing them to the Greengate Club, but they only have five or six staff, we have about 27."

The proposed increases at the United Club sparked off a major debate in Barrow about how prices compared both locally and nationally.

Cheapest in Barrow was the men-only Greengate Club where members paid just 88p a pint - but you could pay £1.65 for a special guest beer at the Sheffield pub.

A quick call to the Coach and Horses at Clerkenwell, London, revealed asking prices of £1.63 for bitter and £1.80 for larger.

At Millom, you could get a pint of bitter for £1.07 at the British Legion Club, in Wellington Street, or pay £1.13 at Millom Workingmen's Club, facing the Market Square.

Barrow Labour Club asked £1.13 for bitter but there was a better deal on offer to members of the Conservative Club, on Abbey Road, where a pint was £1.08.

The Blue Lamp, on Rawlinson Street, Barrow, charged £1.58 for larger and £1.24 for bitter.

You paid £1.20 for bitter and £1.40 for larger at Martinis, in Cornwallis Street, Barrow.

Doug Jasper, secretary of the Greengate Club said low overheads enabled the club to beat all its rivals on price. He said the club had a turnover of £250,000 a year.

Go back to 1990 and beer prices were cheaper still, despite brewing giants Whitbread and Allied Lyons imposing increase of 6p per pint.

The Mail on Monday, July 2 in 1990 carried a detailed survey of which pubs offered the best deals.

An average pint of bitter at a Bass pub in Barrow was 96.7p - these included the Brewery Inn, Crystal Palace, Hartington Hotel, Steelworks Hotel, Market Tavern, Regal Hotel and White Lion.

Many of these have been put to other uses or pulled down since 1990.

An average price of £1.03 was asked for bitter at Barrow Matthew Brown pubs the Albion and the Wheelbarrow and the John Smiths average was 96p for bitter at the Boulevard and the Britannia Inn.

The Whitbread average asking price for bitter was 98p at the Cafe Bar in Cornwallis Street and the Sheffield in Church Street.

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