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The strange death of British culture. By Tom Hodgkinson

Regulars | By Tom Hodgkinson

By Robert Thompson

The strange death of British culture. By Tom Hodgkinson

Every week brings another story of the decline of merrymaking and culture in Britain. According to the beautifully named Night-Time Industries Association, over 2,679 clubs and bars closed between March 2020 and December 2023. More than a thousand of those were in London, where this mouse has his nest. One potential casualty is my own local gig venue, Bush Hall, at the end of my road in west London. Following a precipitous decline in business, the owners were recently forced to raise £42,000 via crowdfunding for bank loans and repairs. It’s not just night-time culture that’s suffering. A depressingly large number of crowdfunding emails for all sorts of brilliant institutions arrive in my inbox. There’s the excellent Marx Memorial Library on Clerkenwell Green. Housed in a Grade II-listed 1738 building, it was originally a Welsh school. It later become a pub, and then housed the Twentieth Century Press, a socialist...

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