Allan Blackburn column

Allan Blackburn.
Allan Blackburn.

Happy New Year to all our readers. With the New Years Eves celebrations only just behind us and hangovers recently cured, I thought for the next couple of weeks I’d talk about new years resolutions and things we’d possibly like to give up.

There are two massive fields of collectables which fit nicely with New Years resolutions: smoking (which I will talk about next week) and pub related items, known as breweriana.

Breweriana is becoming an immensely popular field of collectables, partly because of the wide range of promotional items which were produced by breweries to sell more of their products.

I love going for a drink into different pubs and checking out their breweriana collections.

Obviously in modern pubs and wine bars these aren’t very good, but some inns and the old fashioned “taverns” have really enviable collections.

There is one particular pub in Whitby that I love to visit when I’m on holiday as most of the breweriana on display came from me.

The Landlord, John and his family, come to my centre about once a month to get the latest items to add to their fantastic collection, and over time we have become friends.

John lives and works in the pub and to say he has a passion for horses would be an understatement.

He loves collecting old pub related items with a horsey theme: horse brasses, big old milk churns, mirrors with animals on them or in fact anything with a farming theme.

His pub looks amazing decorated with the hundreds of items he has collected over the years.

If you’re thinking of collecting breweriana there’s a plethora of items to get you started.

Pieces like mirrors for the area behind bars, oversize bottles, ashtrays, soda siphons, drip trays and beer mats are avidly collected.

In fact, collecting beer mats is so popular that it is a specialist field of its own called Tegestology (from the latin “tile”).

Big brands are also collected. Names like Guinness and Babycham always command high prices at auctions and sales.

So next time you’re in a pub, have a look around, it may be a little haven of collectable treasures.