Drink up time

Back in the days, 1989 that is, a pint would set me back one pound, later one pound and a tuppence. The Landlord in The Brick Kilns usually said, “Give us a nick and we call it quits.” as he knew he would get a tip later that evening when we ordered the last round or pay a 45p bag of crisps with a 50p coin.

On the wall in that pub, there was a pub clock like the one in this photograph that would tell us when to order that last round and at eleven o’clock straight after the eleventh chime, he shouted: “Ladies and gentlemen, drink up time!” and gave us half an hour to finish our pint.

Those were the days and it has been a cherished memory for over thirty years now. So when a dear friend of mine gave me this pub clock very similar to the one in that pub along Norwich Road it meant so much for me it made me cry with joy. Those years in England were the best of my life and this clock represented my memories of those years all in one.

Made in 1916 in London as the inscription on the clockwork says, it survived the time it made itself and thousands of Drink up times. And it was hanging in my living room on the wall for its retirement for over a decade now.

On a Sunday evening, finishing my beer coincidentally around eleven o’clock I would listen to the eleven chimes and I could still hear the landlord shouting “Ladies and gentlemen, drink up time!” just one more time in my head reminiscing and It would send me back in there at Earlham Road for just a brief moment before turning off the lights and go to bed.

Being more than twice as old as I am it showed its age now and I sometimes had to help it moving again after winding it up on a Sunday morning. And now, after weeks of struggling to get ticking again, today it finally gave up and the living room became awfully quiet.

We decided it should be moved to the hallway in a dark corner near the staircase and serve a decorative purpose from now on and we replaced it with a Quartz clock, one without character or love. I had tears in my eyes for a moment, it has been a final drink up time for this pub clock.

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