Who wants to go to some grimy old boozer, with tattered wallpaper and torn upholstery, with toilets buzzing with bluebottles, situated down the back yard?
It was a thought that troubled the fevered minds of the brewers in the 1960s, who pulled out all the stops to build or rebuild pubs along improved lines.
As we look back at those heady days, we can almost taste the Worthington E, Double Diamond and Red Label Stout, and feel the newly-laid lino beneath our feet – but how did the breweries and their marketing gurus oversee the evolution of the public house during this decade?
Many pubs, such as the Lambourne (Blurton, 1960), the Sperling (Norton, 1960) and the Talisman (Tunstall, 1961) served the desperately-needed new housing estates.
These new hostelries often mirrored the optimism and idealism created by the robust house-building programmes that had, more than anything, signalled the end of post-war austerity.
What pub could be more jolly and inviting than the Thorley in Meir, which, upon opening in 1960, could boast of an outside patio bedecked with gaily-coloured umbrellas?
And what of the Thurston, which Ind Coope opened on the Berryhill Estate, Bucknall, in 1962?
Like so many pubs of this era, it simultaneously bought into the idea of warmly welcoming the fairer sex whilst perpetuating gender stereotypes.
Here’s a hilarious extract from the brewery’s advertising blurb that describes the footrail around the bar: “The footrail will be widely appreciated by the many working men who are expected to make The Thurston their ‘local.’
“For where a woman may prefer to drink her cocktails in the comfort of a well-padded, luxurious chair, the majority of men will choose to stand, hand on hip, and foot raised on the rail provided for that purpose.
“‘It gives me a feeling of authority, as well as aiding my balance’ is usually their rejoinder when asked why they do it.”
Ladies probably did welcome all-new Potteries pubs such as the Robin Hood (Norton, 1964) with its light and airy premises that replaced the previous building.
The Beverley, built on the Bentilee estate in 1961, also aimed to welcome what the brewers routinely called “womenfolk”, whilst the Man in Space, opened on the edge of a private estate in Trentham in 1962, promoted its “up-to-the-minute” Space Age-themed interior whilst peddling a good old gents-only bar.
Another feature of the new pubs was the extensive car park that was often attached.
The Trent Tavern, in Bucknall, opened in 1960 – a day after its previous incarnation on an adjacent site had closed.
It offered a large car park – which was now seen as essential for any new pub worth patronising – with space for 46 cars.
A decade or so later, social attitudes would change again, triggered by the bane of drink-driving.
The names of some of the new pubs were interesting – or perhaps rather naff.
The Hillberry, situated at the junction of Dividy Road and Arbourfield Drive, was opened by John Joules and Sons Ltd in 1960 to cater for residents on the new estates of Ubberley-Bentilee and Berryhill.
Its name was a simple reversal of the words Berryhill, and was intended to stand out from the plethora of Red Lions, Crowns and Royal Oaks to be found elsewhere in Stoke-on-Trent.
Then again, history was still helping to advertise pubs, for over in Newcastle the Cavalier opened adjacent to a new estate in 1963.
“Beer-drinking historians might regard Bradwell’s newest public house as expiation for the sins of a Newcastle man who played an active part in bringing about the downfall of Royalty in the 17th century,” enthused owners Greenhall, Whitley and Company.
They then told of Newcastle’s Civil War connections, mentioning Newcastle-born Major Thomas Harrison, who was Cromwell’s second-in-command.
Riceyman Road’s new drinking outlet otherwise took pains to recall Roundheads and Royalists alike, and retained the name of the Cavalier until demolition in 2012.