Mr. A. PITTS writes from Morley-street, Market Harbrough (Leics):
I was talking to an old friend who said that when he was a young man he used to visit a pub at Newtown Common, near Newbury, where it was the practice to sell beer by the pound and never by the pint. Can you confirm this?
Not the pub, but the fact - yes. Lots of pubs in olden days used to sell beer by the pound. It was the continuance of an ancient measure (which existed as far back as AD 1000) when a pound of water formed a measure of capacity equivalent to one pint. It was, for a great many years, the standard liquid measure.
From the Daily Mirror in 1951
NOTE: The great Imperial pint, which was also the standard measure in Australia, India, Malaya, New Zealand, South Africa, and other former British colonies weighs 1.2528 pounds, which is very close to a popular saying for the Imperial pint: "a pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter".
Beer…. Mr. S. COOP writes from Heath-Lane, West Bromwich (Staffs): I would like to inform Mr. Pitts that beer is still sold by the pound at the Ring of Bells public house, West Bromwich and will continue to be so sold.
You know, we’re a bit wary about this. You don’t by any means mean, do you, that the pub is alongside a “pound” for cattle?