BOOK REVIEW – ALBERT JACK – THE OLD DOG AND DUCK 2009 Particular Books.
A very basic but well presented collection of stories and often very amusing anecdotes about British pub name origins. Some are well known, such as the Royal Oak representing the days King Charles 2cd spent hiding in an Oak Tree when pursued by the Roundhead Parliamentarian Republican soldiers serving Oliver Cromwell following the King’s failed attempt to secure his throne by force in 1650.
The Oddfellows Arms pubs take their name from a Masonic style benevolent fund raising secret society sect. The book title is simply based on pubs dedicated to duck hunting.
The Lord Howard celebrates a hero from the battle against the Spanish armada. The Seven Sisters represents Constellation stars – sisters set in the heavens by atlas in Greek mythology. Jack gives several pubs named after racehorses, i.e., The Seabiscuit Inn, some attention, though often he doesn’t give locations for the pubs he refers to. Some names obviously occur throughout Britain, i.e., The Red Lion (heraldic in origin) like The Goat & Compass seem to be pubs the author knows personally and therefore there is a sense of local bias to his A to Z listings.
Some entries are not about pub names at all. The story of J D Wetherspoons is very much about the man behind the pub chain, rather than any of their many bars. His real name was Tim Martin. The name Wetherspoon was that of a teacher who had told the future millionaire that he had no future. The J.D. Was borrowed from the sly and evil sheriff, J D Hogg in the Dukes Of Hazard TV series.
An interesting collection of stories and origins that is well worth a browse and a read, but hardly definitive, and at times self-indulgent.
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