Opinion | A drinkers declaration, the bars of Stoke Bishop are lifeless, we must demand better from the University


By Tom Rattner, 1st Year, Law

The University is failing students with its lifeless, empty watering holes. We must fight for change and demand better from this critically acclaimed institution!

And so it begins. A new crop of students eager to embark on their university journeys descend upon the streets of Bristol. You were there at some point in the not so distant past. For just a moment, please rewind the clock.

Do you smell it too. The faint whiff of freshly pressed flared trousers, and Lidl’s own Dark Rum waft through the city. You arrive to halls filled with anticipation, with an ounce of anxiety to sweeten the pot. After such a long and arduous journey, you find yourself somewhat parched and hear tell of a local drinking establishment located conveniently within the walls of your accommodation.

Friends enjoying a drink at a local bar | Epigram / Sabrina Miller 

I speak with no small amount of admiration, of the hall bar. Immediately, your mind is beside itself, filled with images of tankards overflowing with beer, spirits adorning each wall in copious varieties, and vast quantities of wine that would make even Jesus blush.

Until now, you’d have to have trekked to the ends of the Earth to find even the most hellish of watering holes, just to sip rather begrudgingly at the local pisswater. Well my friends, no more. That pisswater is within touching distance of your front door, and much else besides, with all your closest friends at your beckoned call.

The bars of our University have been ruthlessly stripped of their most loved qualities

With this in mind, you gather a number of new acquaintances and bound down the corridor, the sound of roaring laughter and merriment ringing in your ears. You hurriedly turn the corner, fling open the door and…

It is at this point, my dear friends, that our journey into the imagination is brought rather jarringly to a halt, and I must now elucidate the far darker reality. The fact you were able to even open the door was a God-given miracle. For only one day a week is the bar accessible and I’m afraid once inside, the news is equally grim.

Churchill accomdation | Epigram / Bethany Harris 

A brief glance at the bar is enough to leave anyone gasping for a Guinness. Tap-less; the wooden countertop lies completely exposed, naked, and vulnerable. The walls are much the same.

The atmosphere is reminiscent of a care home, and in many ways, the nature of the bar is much the same; empty, lifeless, waiting for death. The bar staff lazily mill behind the counter, unable to demonstrate any skill apart from the finesse with which one reaches for a tin of Carlsberg from the fridge.

Perhaps, for many of you in higher years, our delve into what for me is merely imaginative, holds some semblance of truth. Well I ask one simple favour - hear our plight. When you next sip that perfectly poured pale ale, remember that we won’t be doing the same.

An empty bar | Unsplash / Nicolas Hoizey

The bars of our University have been ruthlessly stripped of their most loved qualities and left a husk, a shadow of their former selves, barely able to even function, unable to fulfil their purpose. A sad reminder of what once was, and yet, what could be again.

I may reside at a certain hall, that shall remain nameless, with somewhat of a reputation for rather pompous displays of pageantry, but I can’t believe this is an issue felt by us alone.

Students of Stoke Bishop unite!

Such a crisis easily transcends petty divisions; it binds us together in blood and beer, it crosses the heart of every student from Badock to Hiatt Baker.

Students of Stoke Bishop unite. The time is upon us to man the barricades, assemble our forces, and relight the fires of freedom and overly intoxicated revelry. Take to the streets and make your voices heard. We cannot allow such acts of treachery to go unopposed. They may take our lives, they may take our ability to receive the recommended hours of sleep, but they will never take our bar.

Featured image credit: Unsplash / Nicolas Hoizey

What do you think of the Stoke Bishop bars?