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Monday, October 09, 2006

Branding the Brant Inn

Re-reading David Peace’s Miner’s Strike novel GB84* the other day, this little vignette jumped out at me:

The Mercedes leaves the M1 at Junction 21.
‘These are our people, Neil. These are their places.’
Neil Fontaine follows the police cars to the Brant Inn at Groby … The Jew takes off his aviator sunglasses. He says, ‘What a charming little place, Neil.’
Neil Fontaine nods. He opens the saloon door of the Brant Inn – (p.34).

The Brant Inn, Groby. A mile down the road from my parents’ house. Once the scene of semi-regular family Sunday lunches, many of them during the Miner’s Strike. In the novel, Stephen Sweet – ‘the Jew’ – and Neil Fontaine are going flat out to undermine - so to speak - striking miners. Was I one of their people? Not deliberately. Not at age 14.

The Brant couldn’t seem to decide on the interior décor – medieval or Brideshead Revisited? Hindsight suggests it also conformed to the template for pretty much every other suburban pub with a car park and restaurant I’ve been to since. No idea what it’s like these days, but I probably won’t be using the word ‘charming’.


PS. Schools invited to open their own Universities? Whatever next?


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