’70 Great British Pubs’ in the Daily Telegraph

If only we all had time machines we could go back to yesterday and buy copies of the Daily Telegraph in which there was a supplement called ’70 Great British Pubs’ – I wrote the sections on London and the Home Counties – a product of extensive field research over the past two decades. I didn’t write the South Wales piece – someone else had snagged that – but it did interestingly feature the Uplands Tavern in Swansea, where I used to waste my indolent youth. The article said that its most famous drinker was Dylan Thomas, although I’d argue that in the grand scheme of things Osama Bin-Laden is better known. Bin-Laden of course studied at the West Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education (‘Wiggy’) in Mount Pleasant, and according to Simon Reeve, in his book about international terrorism called ‘The New Jackals’, the young Osama used to like to go to the Uplands Tavern for a game of pool. Reeve tells me that when he went to Swansea to do a spot of fact-checking for his book the person behind the bar had never heard of Bin-Laden or Al-Qaeda. I appreciate that this all sounds very silly, just like a typical internet conspiracy theory, but for those wishing to check it out I recommend Simon’s book… and yes it is the same Simon Reeve that did the popular BBC travelogues including Capricorn.

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