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May 2002
Them and us: A student's perspective of life in Notts

Voodoo Bar, Nottingham

Voodoo Bar, Nottingham

As a student I’ve found that I’ve become so immersed in student life, and going out to exclusively student nights I’ve forgotten what it’s like not to be a student.

Article by Anon, Platform

It came as quite a shock to me recently, when I started working behind the bar in a city centre pub (the name shall remain unmentioned) to find just how different the real world can be.

At night-time in the week, from Monday through till Thursday, Nottingham is studentville. If it wasn’t for us the city centre would be deserted, the clubs and pubs fall over themselves to try and get a piece of the of the student pound. Cheap drinks, NUS discounts, happy hours, they’re all out there to lure us in.

And yet come Friday night, when the weekend arrives Nottingham becomes the property of the ‘locals’ and woe betide any soap dodging upstarts who think otherwise.

Pitcher & Piano, Nottingham
Pitcher & Piano, Nottingham

I’m not saying that us students are perfect, of course when we get drunk we do nick the odd traffic cone or have the occasional shopping trolley race outside ASDA (come on it’s tradition), but anyone who has worked in any city centre pub or club on a Saturday night will agree with me that it’s a complete nightmare.

Suddenly the club that you danced drunken and carefree in amongst friends on Wednesday night has become over-run by fifteen year old slappers, the lager swilling Ben Sherman brigade, and forty year old hen parties.

I swear to God that if one more middle-aged hag in a tiny black mini skirt, the type that most girls stopped wearing when they were 15, comes up to me to me at the bar and slurs that she wants ‘sex on the beach’ before winking at me and laughing her head off like she’s just cracked the most original and hilarious joke of all time then I might just go off the rails in a Robert de Niro ‘Taxi Driver’ style, "ARE YOU TALKIN’ TO ME?"

Bar in the Palais, Nottingham
Bar in the Palais, Nottingham

Of course there are places of respite, if you want to go clubbing, then places like ‘the Bomb’ or ‘Lost Weekend’ are attitude free zones and there’s also Hockley, where you find the trendier element.

But if you want to hear fat, drunken, thirty year old men, with their checked shirts tucked into their ASDA George trousers, singing ‘I Love You Baby’ for three hours solid, then take your pick ‘cause the choice is endless.

Okay, so maybe I’m over generalising and being a little bit harsh. After all, it could always be worse. At least we don’t have ‘student bashing’ (if you can’t use your imagination, this is just as it sounds, basically involving ‘locals’ patrolling the streets and beating up students).

Yates Wine Bar, Nottingham
Yates Wine Bar, Nottingham

A friend of mine at Hull University claims that this was a regular practice until recently, but now it’s stopped. Not because they’ve stopped hating students, they just think that now there are others who deserve it more. So they go ‘asylum seeker bashing’ instead.

At the end of the day I’m not an unreasonable man, I’m just a bloke close to the edge having a rant. I’ve not got anything against 99% of those people born and bred in the fine city of Nottingham.

It’s just the 1% that get on my tits, the ones who demand a new pint because the head’s two millimetres too big or that call me expletives because I won’t serve them, even though we called time 20 minutes ago and last but by no means least on a completely unrelated topic the ones who keep breaking into my bloody car.

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