The Dolls Head

Now I’d be the first to admit it, it’s a strange old pub is the Dolls Head. I know, I know, but it’s all on account of my old man, a strange old goat, who was the original proprietor of this establishment.
He bought it in the 70’s, and I must have been about ten or so when we moved in. I was just me and him by that time, mum had gone, fucked off with dad’s brother; He made out he didn’t care but you could see he was lying.

It wasn’t called the Dolls Head back then, it was called the Green Man, and what a proper old dump it was. We had to re-do it all ourselves. Well we had ton’s of help of course; I called him an old goat just then, and that’s because he was. A rather odd goat like bloke. He was never without company, always happy and laughing that dirty mucky cackle of his, letting slip with the easy smile, in just the right places; with that knowing twinkle in his eyes, the glint he used to call it.

So yeah we had lots of help, plastering, plumbing, all the joinery was done by this woman chippy he was ‘seeing’. All the electric work, glazing, painting, the lot.

When we opened he had a whale of a time, and so it went, for some time at least. I’d say we had a good seven almost eight years good times really, then it all went to shit. I was a stroppy teenager, he was a drunk randy goat, eventually his moral sexton just packed up and he lost his way. I couldn’t take it for long and left him to it.

Well I didn’t see him for must have been three years, and when I came back the place was shut up tight. I had to break in through the cellar doors, and when I got into the house and bar proper, the place stank. It was filled from floor to ceiling with shit. Junk, boxes, piles, packages, bags and containers of all shapes and sizes, and rubbish. I worked my way through the maze of tiny twisting animal like runs in the crapulous ruins until I found myself outside his bedroom door.

Now old habits die hard, and so I was loath to even open that door let alone step across it’s portal, but open it I did, and there he was.
Sitting on his bed, waiting, in a suit, sans tie, open collar, polished black laced shoes on his feet, long green waxed traveling coat across his lap and brand new suitcase packed on the bed to his left.

“Hello boy, I’ve been waiting for you to get back, now look after the place, open up and I’ll be back in a while.”

Then he walked past me and out. Ohh he did come back, several months later, by which time I’d moved some of his ‘stuff’ into storage. We talked, he never explained what happened or where all this junk came from, nor where he had been. He did say the pub is mine, I was to sell the crap and open the pub back up.

He popped back and forth, some time bringing new things back and stories to go with them, things we were not to sell, and amongst them was this.

Yep a big old fashioned glass jar full of dolls heads, after which the place is named, how he came about them though, well that’s a differant story.

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Lee Douglas

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