The English county of Lincolnshire is on the lookout for a pub expert.
Lovers of historical research and bars are being invited to apply for the role of Project Officer. Advertised by the County Council, the lucky individual will receive between $30,000–40,000 (£25,991–£28,672) per year to explore and document the area’s thirst-quenching legacy.
On the hunt for a pub expert
Funded by Historic England, the officer is responsible for the “Inns On The Edge” project. As stated in the job description, they’ll research and record “the architectural and social history of public houses along a 50 mile stretch of the Lincolnshire Coast from Grimsby to Boston.”
The pilot scheme involves plenty of driving from location to location. In other words, sampling the local beer probably won’t be on the menu.
Quoted by BBC News, County Council rep Ian George stresses the serious nature of the role. In Lincolnshire villages, “the pub is probably one of the oldest buildings in the village and they are a valuable part of our cultural landscape.”
As well as preserving pubs for posterity, the project has its eye on the future. With an already fragile hospitality sector deeply affected by Covid-19, ensuring the survival of businesses is essential.
Working with the Historic Places Team, candidates are expected to be educated to degree level or have substantial knowledge in a relevant subject. The importance of a strong cover letter is also emphasized.
Great communication skills are a must. A key part of the Project Officer’s job is interviewing people and building a comprehensive picture.
Sitting down with a pint, a pen and a pad (or tablet, though it may require a splash guard) doesn’t sound like a bad way to earn a living. The long-standing tradition of “one for the road” may have to be avoided in this case.
Lincolnshire Live reports that Inns On The Edge seeks to highlight “the value of Lincolnshire’s historic pubs to society, tourism and the local economy through social media, trails and an end of project exhibition.”
Some of the oldest pubs in the world
Trails are a well-known part of the British pub experience. Alcohol consumption and walking in a straight line may be strange bedfellows, but these trails are a popular way of getting a feel for the scene.
“Entire groups are dedicated to documenting and maintaining the history of British pubs,” writes Food & Wine. And it’s far from small beer. They note: “many of these establishments predate the entire history of America.”
Examples include the Blue Bell Inn, pictured below, which was founded in 1257.
Meanwhile, BBC News mentions the Signal Box Inn. Apparently the smallest pub on planet Earth, it’s part of the Coast Light Railway Station in Cleethorpes. And yes, it used to be an actual signal box!
This Victorian structure was converted in 2006. The 2.4 x 2.4 meter watering hole can handle six customers on a good day. A beer garden handles the spillover, so to speak.
Last year, the Mirror covered the Signal Box’s efforts to operate under pandemic restrictions. Needless to say, Coronavirus turned a tight spot into an even tighter one. In happier times, the pub “once managed to squeeze in 35 rugby players.”
The Signal Box Inn gives history a modern twist. But they don’t come more historical than The King’s Head in Tealby. It is the oldest thatched pub — as in thatched roof — in the county, dating back to the 14th century.
A glowing culinary review for The Grimsby Telegraph from 2017 reads that it “oozes character and charisma from the outset.”
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Those wanting to stop by in a professional capacity to become an official pub expert have till May 3rd to get their applications in. The prospect is truly intoxicating. In an employment sense, that is…