There are certain institutions within any community which stand for the heart and the spirit of the surrounding area.
To some it is the Church, to others it’s the local football team and to many it’s the local pub. A cathedral of sorts where the angst of modern life vanishes, almost like magic, after a few drinks. For many years a local full-time Graphic Designer called Alex Thomson, like many others, found solace in the pub. Unlike the people he was drinking beside, he’s gone on to create a series of illustrations of his favourite pub in digital form.
They serve as a reminder, especially to us, how precious the local pub is. The statistics for many years have told a sorry tale but the last few years have seen a resurgence in many getting out there to support their local pub. As well as a reminder, the pictures also serve as an architectural dream. They all offer drinks, good times and a promise you’ll be back but they’re all so different in their own way. Both aesthetically and in atmosphere. For a small city we’re lucky to have such a wealth of boozers flying the flags for Liverpool. Probably the only thing more interesting than what you can see outside, is the people you meet inside.
They say a picture says a thousand words, here’s Alex’s love letter.
Hello! What’s your name and what do you do?
My name is Alex Thomson and I’m a full-time Graphic Designer in a large investment company.
What do you do in your spare time?
I’m a big rugby fan and play rugby for Birkenhead Park. My other hobbies are trying, tasting and discovering new craft beer/ales. I’ve loved craft beer ever since visiting Kazimier Gardens over in Ropewalks, and having my eyes opened to a wide range of beers available!
What inspired you to start this project?
Firstly was a 3rd year uni project I was working on, in which I chose to focus on the Scouse dialect. I wanted the project to be a celebration of the Scouse dialect for its uniqueness and history. As at the time in Uni several times a day I would just get blank looks from classmates from down south after using Scouse words. I found it funny as most of the time I didn’t even realise they were dialect specific works, as they just came naturally to me.
I spent a few days walking around the city with a notebook and camera in hand, looking for inspiration/ideas on where to go with this project. Eventually I found myself in the Georgian Quarter. After chatting to the landlady from the Roscoe Head about the history of the pubs in the area and how big breweries where trying to buy them out and in turn sell mostly their beer, rather than the selection of local/craft ales. I was on a mission to visit the pubs of that area.
Upon visiting the pubs throughout the rest of the day and talking to the owners/workers and pub locals, I began to think that if you really wanted to experience the Scouse dialect you’ve got to come and experience the city itself! I then changed the outcome of my project to be out experiencing Liverpool, so I created a book called ‘Experience Liverpool’ check it out here. This became a guide to experiencing the pubs of Liverpool and the Scouse dialect.
Do you have any plans to sell these illustrations?
I do have the view of selling these illustrations, yes. However, I’ve not yet sat down and set up or worked out the logistics of doing so.
Finally, where’s your favourite pint?
I’d say a Blue Moon on draft with a cut of orange at the Ship & Mitre. Sounds like I’m guessing the murderer in a game of Cluedo haha!