Outback Writer

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The White Cross

Woe! The last decent pub in Richmond has gone the way of all the others. After refurbishment it now has a huge TV screen in the upstairs room and speakers which will play music favoured by the bar staff. Any request to turn it down so patrons can hear each others conversation will be met with the universal comment, 'No one else has complained.'

Gone is the cosy atmosphere that made it so appealing. The interior decorator have robbed the place of its soul. There are no more quirky individual pictures on the walls. Why they had to do this is a mystery. The place was always full! Last year there was a board outside proudly proclaiming ONLY FOOTBALL FREE PUB IN RICHMOND. What will it proclaim this year?

Richmond has such a wonderful heritage. It has history and two theatres. Instead of playing up to this, in the pace of ten years, it has been wrecked. Gone is Masquerades the basement wine bar in the Orange Tree. Next to go was Boswells which looked, as one person in the writers group said, as if was the place where revolutions had been plotted. Then The White Swan down Old Palace Lane was redecorated and the beams were painted vomit green and the place resounded with music suitable for airheads. Magnums, an atmospheric wine bar, now looks like a bathroom and sells take away cocktails at drink in the Ritz prices.

Where can anyone go for a quiet drink in Richmond? If anyone knows please tell me quickly.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Writers fall foul of the Child Protection Act

The Richmond Writers Circle has fallen foul of the child protection act. A youth theatre group, consisting of girls from between the ages of 14 to 17, now meet before us. The room is big. There is a platform. The girls are fully clothed. But we are not allowed to enter in the room until they leave it. Adults and children are not allowed in the same room together unless the adults have been cleared by the police.
Are their anxious parents waiting to meet them? No. How strange. It is 7.30. These girls are permitted to walk into Richmond town centre, which is seething with adults, unaccompanied by their caring parents. Most of the year it is dark at 7.30. Children can get on a bus or train, full of adults, and make their precarious way home. But they can't be in the same room as adults who have not been cleared by the police.
There must be material for novel here somewhere. A crime novel.