Rush job




Paul Michael Browne

This picture was taken at my local pub in the area I grew up, just before it closed down. The pub had a negative reputation and was one my group of friends and I avoided, heading instead to the more culturally diverse, open-minded and hedonistic Birmingham city centre.

The pub had long been in decline, had sold off its bowling green out back to make way for flats and was under threat of gentrification for many years but somehow survived with temporary landlords and zero investment. It was during this time I developed a quiet affection for the place. Whenever I infrequently went back home I visited the pub, and would always find a chair jammed into the push bar of the emergency exit next to the Gents toilet. At first I dismissed this as rowdy behaviour, but over time found various chairs in the same position and accepted it simply as part of the dilapidated décor and unfriendly atmosphere.

I considered taking my camera on these visits to document the changing of these chairs as part of a project, which seemed almost like the changing of the guard, but the idea remained just that, until my final visit when told by the barman the pub was closing in days. All I had with me was my cheap phone with its low quality camera, but I wanted to take at least one picture for memory. Taking the picture quickly not wanting to be disturbed and unused to the settings, this is the result. What I realised when looking at the picture was that the upholstered chair was actually in surprisingly good condition, unlike the chairs throughout the pub, as if for the final few days of operation, only the
best chair for this peculiar job would do.

I haven’t edited this photo in any way.

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