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

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Software Developer

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Software Developer i...

AER Teachers: Graduate Primary TA - West London - Autumn

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

AER Teachers: Graduate Secondary TA - West London

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Surrey - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Croy...

SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones