November 8, 2019
Martin Parr, Yates’s Wine Lodge, Great Charlotte Street, Liverpool, England, 1983
Ah, Yates’s Wine Lodge—to many of us in the UK now, simply Yates: the preserve of suburban underage drinking, specials on blue WKD, a faint smell of sick and a little brawl or two outside come closing time. Seems things were pretty different there in the early 1980s, as this gorgeous image by Martin Parr attests. Clearly, this isn’t the same Yates we know and love/hate today: this pub in London’s Fitzrovia appears to be the genteel preserve of a single lone Nanna in her winter woollies, and a rather creepy looking chap peering around the corner. The image is taken from a book published last month by the Martin Parr Foundation and RRB Photobooks, Martin Parr – Early Works, an overview of the photographer’s black and white work shot between 1970 and 1984. As ever, the image demonstrates Parr’s enduring knack for capturing character, time and place in a single frame, with a gentle sense of humour and a distinct sense of Britishness.