WHO remembers the pub trip?

Vincent Finn, an occasional contributor to this page, has sent us this great photograph of regulars at the Red House pub on Barkerend Road.

They have gathered to be photographed before prior to setting off on their annual trip. The year was 1935, it was a sunny June day and the destination was Morecambe.

“The pub trip was a great neighbourhood event,” recalls Mr Finn, who grew up in the Barkerend area of Bradford. “My father is on the extreme right-hand side of the picture - he has his pipe in his mouth and his camera case over his shoulder.

“On the second row, the third man from the right, with an open shirt neck is Mick McGrath, who was my father’s cousin. The man in the centre of the front row, with the white moustache, was an army veteran who had seen action in the South African War and the First World War. If I remember correctly he came to St Mary’s School to give a talk when I was a boy there.”

Many of the district’s old pubs used to run an annual trip for customers. It was regarded as a special occasion and, as this photograph shows, one to dress smartly for, in suits, ties, and caps.

The pub trip evolved in the 1920s with the arrival of the charabanc as transport, later replaced by a coach.

“The trip was one of the major attractions for pub regulars,” says Mr Finn. “Up to the 1950s, and well 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 yearly trip evolved in the 1920s with the arrival of the charabanc, later replaced by the coach. Pub trips tended to be to 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.”

Adds Mr Finn: “The trip was usually organised by a committee, with the money collected by the treasurer every week. The outings were usually restricted to men, although in the 1950s some pubs organised a women’s trip too.”

Most pub trips left in the late morning and returned late in the evening - pick-up and drop-off times were often organised around the opening and closing times of pubs.

By the 1960s, the Red House was one of four pubs within half a mile of each other on the lower end of Barkerend Road. “There was the Army and Navy, the Barkerend Hotel, The Ivy and the Red House,” recalls Mr Finn. “The Red House Inn was the last remaining pub on Barkerend Road.

“In its day it was quite a large pub. It was built in the 19th century and had stables and a coach house.

“Like many ‘locals’, it offered several social functions, including standard pub games such as dominoes, darts and, in the 1940s and early 1950s, whist. In the 1950s many pubs had leagues, with teams competing in darts and dominoes.

“On ‘games nights’ the teams would travel to matches on a hired bus. Games nights were usually on Mondays, rotating between home and away fixtures.”

Emma Clayton