Whose round is it? No-one’s!

Lieutenant Colin Churcher

THIS WEEK IN 1971: ‘Mine disposal officers get awards’

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Did you know that during the First World War there was a restriction on buying that great English tradition, ‘a round’?

In the book Portsmouth and the Great War, it says that on February 28, 1916 Portsmouth came under the Liquor Control Regulations.

They were drastic in that public houses could only open between noon and 2,30pm and between 6pm and 9pm. The unkindest restriction was the prohibiting of treating.

No-one was permitted to pay for another’s drink, not even a husband for his wife’s.

Anyone found contravening this regulation was liable for a fine of £100 and six months’ hard labour.

Now and again a publican was discovered to have transgressed and the punishment was swift and hard. If it was a first and not too serious offence, the pub would be shut for a week or two.

In severe cases, a very heavy penalty was paid. One well-known hotel in Landport was closed down for 10 months!