Barley Wine



I thought I would really grown up at 15, not only had I got a girlfriend and bought all my own presents but I got totally wrecked. The group of us Jack the Lads left Stratford town hall to get a drink. My mum had mentioned that Barley Wine was a great way of getting wrecked or drunk quickly. So when we left Stratford Town hall and entered the Royal Oak (which is no longer there – demolished many years ago) we entered a total den of depravity. About a dozen very old people, who it turned out were only too pleased a dozen young people come into their pub. 


I went up to the bar and in my best fifteen year old trying to be an adult voice, said


“A pint of Barley Wine please.”


“We don’t sell it in pints, it only comes in third of a pint bottles”


“Well I had better have three in the same glass please”


I was not going to be phased by silly rules. Anyway we drunk our drinks, were thoroughly spoilt by the people there and left after half an hour or so feeling like real men and always will until the cold air hit us outside. When I got back home about two hours later, I sat in the chair waiting for my parents to come home. They found a very subdued Ralph, very drunk whose only words when asked ‘what have you been doing’ were:


“Barley Wine mum”


Their laughter still rings in my ears.