The Problem of “Every” Pub, Revisited

As I wrote in the opening article of this series, one of the problems to tackle is that of working out just what is meant by “pub”. Another problem is the word “every”: how do we know that we haven’t missed any?

Starting from that list of licensed premises I mentioned before, then yes, there was some manual pre-filtering to do. The full list was some 570 premises, and we’re certainly not going to visit all 570 of them, just in case each one is a pub. So unless we know the place already, we have to guess: does each entry “sound like” a pub? The Red Lion – sounds like a pub. Nisa Local – sounds like not-a-pub. Easy. (Until it isn’t).

But even then, this still leaves another way for the system to go wrong: what if a pub wasn’t on the list in the first place? Because we now have a written-down list of sixty-ish pubs to visit, we’re reasonably familiar with that list … which is why it came as a surprise when we suddenly came across another pub that isn’t on the list.

Enter The Anchor, at 300 Cardington Road, Bedford (not to be confused with The Anchor, at 397 Goldington Road of course). It very much looks like a pub, from the outside (try Google street view, or just go along and see for yourself). “The Anchor – Choma Zone Bedford” Facebook page promotes events happening there. Maybe it doesn’t need a license any more, perhaps it’s something other than a pub? But then the page’s cover image looks like this:

Screenshot 2017-03-15 22.57.28.small.png

showing various forms of alcohol; and elsewhere there’s a picture and mentions of Tusker beer.

Maybe the list of licensed premises – obtained from Bedford Borough Council – is out-of-date. That could explain it, perhaps. Or maybe it’s just plain wrong. I offer no opinion on what the truth of the matter is – but it does look as though we should add The Anchor, Cardington Road onto the list and give it a go.

But when an oddity like this crops up, it makes you wonder if there’s anything else missing.

4 thoughts on “The Problem of “Every” Pub, Revisited

  1. It’s certainly a problem. I would have hoped that WhatPub would have given you a complete list once you untick the “real ale only” and “pub only” filters. Be interested to know.

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    1. WhatPub is another useful data source, but it still requires a fair bit of manual filtering for our needs. I was hoping that the licensed premises list was a good starting point and would only require filtering down, not adding to. Apparently not!

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  2. That Anchor used to be a fairly ordinary locals pub, one that I was looking to visit because it had a skittles table. It closed for a time before reopening in its current guise, so maybe it slipped off the licenced premises list.

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