Monday, December 18, 2006


Wednesday lunchtime: I did the Wednesday lunch shift outside The Arms with Simon and we had some encouraging and friendly conversations with both customers and passers by. A group of guitarists had booked the pub for a workshop some time ago and they were both apologetic and supportive, pledging not to buy any GK products whilst on the permises. They took flyers and I watched through the window as they engaged in an involved discussion with staff. The organiser said future events will be held elsewhere until we win. An elderly lady who had a lunctime rendezvous looked shocked and outraged when we explained the reasons for the boycott and she says she will be contacting her former fiancee who used to work in the brewing industry. A number of passers by called out "keep it up" and "dont be druv" and even "no pasaran".

Saturday lunchtime: Well, we've all said that the weekend would be the acid test of the boycott, and this lunchtime the place was absolutely heaving - with one old bloke who was in the front bar when we arrived, a staff member's boyfriend who turned up out of loyalty for her (and stayed all of half an hour) and a couple of folk clubbers who had a prior booking but agreed not to drink GK. We invited eight out-of-towners to go elsewhere (mostly the Ellie) but they didn’t need much persuading and all of them already knew about the boycott; mostly they'd simply come along to see for themselves whether the tales were true.
One couple had come down from London specifically to drink Harveys in the Lewes Arms (no word of exaggeration) in the belief that it hadn't quite finished yet. And the crowning moment was when two men walked into the two-bar-staff/two-customers pub to be cheered and applauded by the staff, who thought they were seeing their first 'real' clients of the lunchtime and rare breakers of the boycott. The men asked for two pints of Harveys, got their answer and immediately left!

Sunday lunchtime:
On arrival, there were 6 people in the pub, 2 of whom left soon after we got there. Nine were persuaded to go elsewhere and were very supportive of the cause. Three people went in, all locals. There was a group of 3 in the corner of the games room, one of whom came to the front door to see what we were doing. Every time they caught our eye, they lifted their glasses and beckoned us in. On leaving, the lady who'd come to the door asked for a flyer and the other two tried to tell us we really ought to go in, it was lovely. I wonder if they were friends of the management or GK spies?

Sunday evening: Boy it was cold outside the Arms tonight! There were about six people in the pub when I arrived at 6pm. Managed to turn away four people in the course of an hour and a half so at least it wasn't a waste of time. One bloke went in saying he felt very guilty, he had a dog so didn't know where else he could go.


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