(An odd bit of word play I engage in from time to time is collecting words. Here is the introductory letter and the first portion of my collection of pub names which I gathered during a one month trip through England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales in 1999. We took the trip while living in India, so I wrote the letter from there upon our return. I find it fascinating that what I said about a word collection twelve years ago, I would write again in this blog as an idea of how to add a bit of literary to life. A person could collect all kinds of words, from book titles to puns, to misused adverbs one hears on television, to words with four syllables or more to, well, all sorts of things. I also collect epitaphs which I’ll share later. Consider getting a small notebook and beginning your own word collection.)
Oct 1999 – Subject: My Collection
Hello From India,
This letter has nothing to do with India except that I am writing it from here. What this letter does have something to do with is a large number of items I obtained while on our vacation in Britain this past summer. I hope this letter is a world‑wide… nay… universe‑wide cyber first!
I started a collection while in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. I won’t be able to continue the collection until I go back, which is o.k., really, because I have enough to satisfy me until then. I started a collection of pub names. Early on in our time there, I found myself very impressed by the ornate, often gilded signs hanging from the fronts of public houses (sort of a combo family restaurant/bar). They were often written in fancy Ye Olde English types of script, if you know what I mean. Many of the wooden signs bore carved animals, beer mugs, bar maids, castle towers, you name it! I was even more impressed by the colorful language used for the pub’s name.
Being a man of modest material means and only somewhat greater mental means, I decided to write down as many as I could find and take them (the list of names, not the signs) home with me. What a perfect thing to collect: they only weigh as much as the few sheets of papers on which they are written, and the price I paid for them is very, very right!
And now for my cyber first (drum roll, please….!): I am going to share my collection with you via the Internet! Hard to do that with stamps or coins or matchbook covers, isn’t it? And I’m not even talking about my collection, but passing on to you the actual thing. You could say I’m giving it to you, but really, it will always be mine. I am, after all, the original collector of all the names. But I suppose, if you really want to have it you’re welcome to it.
And so, without further ado, here is my collection of 314 pub names from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
English Pub Names
Bay Horse, Thomas’s Hotel (Two Meals for a Fiver), Cross Keys, Golden Slipper, The Snickleway Inn, Golden Lion, The Crane, The North Wall, The North Wall, Minster Inn, The Burton Stone, Old Gray Mare, The Dormouse, The Queen’s Head, Jacob Bayleys Ale House, The Northery Arms, Duck and Punt, First Inn Last Out, Porter Butt, The Longacre Tavern, King William Free House, The Curfew, Hat and Feather, The Bell, The Pig and Fiddle, The George and Dragon, The Three Magpies, The Stage Post, The Churchill Arms, The Bridge, The Black Horse, Rose and Crown, The Catherine Wheel, The Royal Oak, Devizes Inn, Wyndam Arms, Crown and Anchor, Crosskeys, The Two Pigs, Hare and Hounds, Village Free House, The Chapter House, The Kings Arms, The White Hart, The Red Lion, The Old Coach House…
(to be continued)