Publican pens ‘warts-and-all’ memoir of time in trade

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Shaped by the trade: Former publican Malcom Mant has published a book about his 30 years running pubs
Shaped by the trade: Former publican Malcom Mant has published a book about his 30 years running pubs

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A former pub operator has penned an account of his 30-year career spent behind the bars of pubs across England.

Publican Malcolm Mant kept diaries as he operated pubs in Bristol, Brighton, Kingston-upon-Thames and Lincoln.

His memoir, titled 30 Years Behind Bars: My Life and Times Running the British Pub​, covers some seismic changes in the industry as well as Mant’s experience juggling being a father of three with the job.

The operator sold his final site, the Compton Arms in Islington, north London, last year. He turned his focus to a life-long passion of writing while taking up a part-time role as an Underground tube driver.

Colourful characters

Mant said: “30 Years Behind Bars​ is a warts-and-all look at the colourful characters who often make their local their home.

“I started writing in diary form, attempting to detail what life was like trying to raise a family while living and working in a pub. I kept these extensive notes and when I sold my last pub in 2018, I took some time out in life to turn them into a book. 

“I just felt that my perspective and view on life was a unique one, and one that others may find interesting.

“My primary experience of this world has been shaped and influenced by alcohol through drinking it, selling it and observing thousands of others being affected by it in their own peculiar fashion.”

The book made it to the number one spot on Amazon’s Kindle memoir section, and includes some tales of the famous faces Mant has served over the years – including One Direction, the Nolan Sisters and the Hairy Bikers.

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