LAST week's article on Bradford's old Unicorn pub prompted memories from several readers.

Regular Remember When? contributor Vincent Finn was inspired to look back on the entertainment that Bradford's old pubs used to offer local communities - in the days before multi-channel TV and the internet.

"Pubs often provided musical entertainment at the weekends," reflects Mr Finn. "Many pubs had what would be called a music room and this was the centre for musical nights. They were usually led by a local pianist or singer, or sometimes an accordion player. The price of a drink was always slightly higher in the music room than it was in the men's bar or tap room.

"In the years before the First World War and then into the 1920s, some pubs supported a band or musical group. The Shoulder of Mutton in Thornton had a concertina band."

Another leisure activity highlighted by Mr Finn, who grew up in the Barkerend area of Bradford, was the annual pub trip.

"It was one of the major attractions for a pub's regular customers," he says. "Up to the 1950s, and into the early 1960s, most pubs had at least one annual trip. In some pubs there might be more than one trip over the course of a year.

"The annual trip evolved in the 1920s with the arrival of the charabanc, later replaced by the coach. Pub trips tended to be a destination within a couple of hours' drive. Seaside places were popular - Morecambe, Blackpool, Bridlington, Whitby and also Lake Windermere or a horse race meeting.

"The trip was usually organised by the trip committee, and the money collected by the treasurer every week. The trips were usually restricted to men, although in the 1950s some pubs organised a women's trip.

"The cost usually covered transport only. The bus took you to the destination, dropped you off and a pick up time was agreed, then the bus would bring you back home. Most trips left in the late morning and returned late in the evening. These times often coincided with the pub opening and closing times, which back then were 12noon to 3pm or 3.30pm and 7pm to 10.30pm."

Adds Mr Finn: "There were many pubs in the town centre but they didn't fill the role of a local, they tended to be used by people going into town for an evening, or calling in for a drink on their way home from work.

"A major factor in the demise of 'the local' was the demolition of neighbourhoods around the city, beginning in the late 1950s. As people moved away from familiar neighbourhoods, they tended to come back at weekends to visit a working men's club. To a degree, working men's clubs continued to fill the social role of pubs, but in some cases membership was restricted.

"It is estimated that there were 180 pubs in Bradford at the end of the First World War. By 1940 that had shrunk to 120. By 1960, the pub landscape was almost unrecognisable."