Do you remember the first time that you went out for a drink with your workmates?
This particular epithany reached me sometime during the summer of 1984. I was working in my first ‘proper’ job, at McDonald’s and as I recall we went out for leaving drinks for a manager called Sandra Budram.
The evening was spent in a small pub named The Silver Jubilee and I spent the whole time being slightly worried that someone would let on that I was only 16. I guess that being well over six foot tall probably helped me get away with it, although another factor was probably that I was with a party of people who, if they were 18 themselves, were barely 18.
I can’t remember who was at the pub, but one person I do know was there was Patrick Kearney, known as ‘PK’ to all of us. PK will almost certainly be an entry all of his own on here, because he was a fascinating character who was, in retrospect, a classic example of how your perceptions of someone can change with the benefit of hindsight (in this instance, in a good way).
The reason I know that PK was in the Silver Jubilee that night, though, is that he was the first person ever buy me whiskey. For some reason we ended up drinking Glenfiddich – which PK always referred to as ‘a good starter malt’ – and I ended up developing a taste for the finest product ever to come out of Scotland.
The Silver Jubilee didn’t last much longer. It was pulled down a few months later to make way for a new shopping mall. In the interim, I visited it often – before moving on to one of the other Leamington pubs who were lax enough to allow me to drink there.