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1965 to 1979

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Alcohol consumption and pubs

Internal walls were removed from increasing numbers of pubs, ending the class division between public, saloon and lounge bars.  In other ways the 1970s were a sad period for English town pubs.  They had long been owned by a small number of national breweries.  Now the largest breweries sought to cut costs by replacing traditional beers with inert brews carbonated when served to customers from bar dispensers.  Rather than rely on the talents of individual pub landlords, the owner-breweries developed an identifiable image through national advertising and standardised external facia.  They created a younger, classless atmosphere inside by amalgamating the lounge, saloon and public bars, taking out wooden furniture and fittings, and installing plastic-covered ‘banquette’ seating.  Greater disposable income, particularly among young adults, made these modernised pubs extremely popular, and at the busiest times of the week they had difficulty serving the number of customers they attracted.  The crowded pubs were very heavy with smoke.