The mankier the better: Explaining the allure of the grotty student pub

A paean to the humble student watering hole - and the Friday hangover

There are many things a student pub should be, and nice isn’t one of them. It should be grotty and grimy. The floor? Sticky. The air? Sweaty. The loos (if you can bear them)? Unsanitary.

If these specifications are intact, if the public house is question is, on a scale of one-to-grim, a solid not-sure-if-I-can-bear-to-use-the-loo, it’s won the battle. There’s something special about a disgusting student pub. The I-know-where-you-went-last-night appeal – always followed by a crumpled expression of guilt – of the student pub, for some reason, is universal. We’ve all been there.

Approximately ninety-five metres from my university’s English department stands a public house called The New Globe. (The Old Globe, should you care, is located less desirably further downstream) The New Globe sits within the delightful square mile of chicken shops. Its immediate neighbour, Dixie Chicken, is a Queen Mary fresher rite of passage. The Golden Fryer, a few units down, offers improved fare, best consumed en route home, blisteringly hot. The mini supermarket "Food and Wine" – its supplies obvious – is another neighbour, opposite the bus stop. These various esteemed locations make up another hundred metres of unadulterated joy, post-3am. Everything is still open, ready to take bleary-eyed custom.

For some years, this state of intoxication – and implicit instigator of many, many drunken videos filmed in Dixie Chicken itself – has come from the aforementioned pub. During my first and second years, New Globe Thursdays were "a thing". As a fresher, it took all of five minutes to walk there from halls, no excuses for missing Thursday nights. The music was good – run by rugby club boys and their various friends – and the night itself, an institution. The class of 2014 were initiated with the Dot Cotton Club on the fourth night of the week; the year before it had been "How’s Your Father".

Looking back, though Thursday nights were a total scream, they weren’t very clean. Drinks offers + open floorboarded pub + fit boys = Friday morning hangover. We loved it for how embarrassingly gross it was. Everyone went to Dixie Chicken, there was no shame.

And then suddenly The New Globe was closed for refurbishment, a cause not considered undue. When it wasn’t open again in September, rumours circulated that it was becoming a bed and breakfast. Total codswallop of course, for who would pay to stay a night next door to Dixie’s? The smell even penetrates the bus windows, half a mile up the road.

When in November last year, flickering of lights could be spotted, people got excited. The watering hole would be populated once more! No more traipsing around finding dodgy institutions of alcoholic consumption under £3! Then the doors opened, and the centre of Romford was projected onto Mile End Road. The New Globe mark two has a pool table, shiny bar stools – one does not simply sit at the bar, one leans, disgracefully! – and chairs with four legs that don’t collapse when you sit down. It has new mirrors and a clock, and no longer are shoes ruined when in contact with the floor. The lights even work! It is on all accounts, pub-like. It’s a normal pub now, not a student pub.

Reports are unconfirmed as to whether the improved New Globe is busy or not. I am yet to see more than a handful in there, but I live in hope that the fine Queen Mary institution will return to its dilapidated state. Freshers deserve more from their Thursday nights than a clean floor and loo doors that close first time.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Guru Careers: Graduate Media Assistant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an ambitious and adaptable...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

Guru Careers: Graduate Account Executive / Digital Account Executive

£20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Digital Account Exec ...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before