The debate over plans to force licensees to serve a 100 per cent liquid pint seems to have been going on for a very long time - but a discovery by licensee Mervyn Cutten has proved it has been around for longer than anyone thought.
Cutten, who is licensee of George Gale and Co's Murrell Arms in Barnham, West Sussex, has a mass of memorabilia, and among it found an old quart jug, dating back 150 years, that was used to make sure customers received an exact measure of ale - no more or less than a quart.
According to Cutten, the secret of the jug's accuracy lay in the overflow mechanism near its handle. If the barman overfilled the jug, the ale would spill over his hands.
The jug is marked with Queen Victoria's customs and excise stamp and states that it provides a Crown Measure. Cutten said: "The fact it is made of china made it all the more accurate, because pewter mugs dented easily and provided less accurate measures as a result."
With the debate over lined pint glasses still raging, Cutten pointed out that perhaps licensees should look to the past for tips on how to produce an exact measure.
Derek Beaves, from George Gale, said: "It's interesting to know they had the same issues with full measures back then as we do now."