Saturday, August 06, 2005

Last night was a sad night for lovers of music and traditional pubs in Bristol. After a painful 18 months of waiting for the axe to fall, The Albert Inn in Bedminster finally closed it’s doors for the last time.

Over the previous 20 years this small and simple pub played host to scores of fantastic musicians from the world of jazz and folk. For many years it punched way above it’s weight when it came to booking bands, because of the way the landlords Ian and Lorraine looked after and encouraged the performers.

It was not unusual to hear that some one who was playing one of the legendary Sunday night sessions at The Albert for a £5 admission fee, would be playing somewhere else in the country for 2 or 3 times that price the next night.

Sadly all that came to an end 18 months ago, when news of the impending sale of the building came to light. No time scale was given so no further gigs could be booked. The pub stoically limped on until last night. Now the people who own the building (who are of course based in London) are going to have flats built on the site, bringing to an end years of history in the process.

Even when the music stopped, it was still a great little pub to pass the time in. You could spend hours looking at the highly individual wall coverings, and those classic 70’s lampshades without fear of being rushed along.

Bristol has lost a very special place.


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