Pubs with tile exteriors

Recently I posted the following on Mastodon

Screenshot 2022-12-25 125925

in response to a post about a recent article on why some Aussie pubs have tiled interiors

The urban myth is of course that during the time of the six o’clock swill beer was spilt, bodily fluids released, and tiling pubs made them easier to hose out.

I’ve also heard a hybrid version where pubs in mining towns in NSW and WA had tiled counters because the miners would drink thenselves into oblivion, and piss themselves when they slid down the bar and fell over.

Not true.
And not true in Scotland either.
In Scotland, the main reason for pubs acquiring ceramic tiles on the outside was to make them stand out among the general greyness of the typical late Victorian street scene – no publican would invest in brightly coloured (and expensive) tiles for his clientele to wee against.

Most tiled exteriors post date the 1880’s when glazed tiles became easier to produce in mass quantities – for much the same reason early London Underground station (remember the system started in the 1860’s and the Central Line mostly dates to the 1880’s) have red tiled exteriors to make them stand out in an otherwise grey streetscape …


About dgm

Former IT professional, previously a digital archiving and repository person, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical medieval and nineteenth century historian ...
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