my Local - Adrian Brown
The Constitution is in Pimlico on Churton Street, just three doors down from The Mekong restaurant where Cindy and Howard host the finest Vietnamese cuisine in London. But that's later, after the pub.
When we first lived here, The Constitution was run by an Irish couple, whose St Patricks Day treats of Colcannon and whiskey made the place a star among the hotel district tourist pubs and the Cockney Geezer football pubs. No music either. They left under a cloud of gossip.
In over a decade, there's only been one fight (two months ago - drunk chap fights his drunk friend, less drunk regulars hold him down until the police arrive within ten minutes). There's a bunch of regulars that have been going there for years, but it doesn't feel like an old folks pub either. There's the woman who looks like Dot Cotton out of Eastenders, who'll tell you where the secret chairs are kept. Then the chap who once came to see me at work about this supposed alcohol problem that his doctor told him he had, but he did not believe me either. William Burroughs used to drink here. Although it was actually an eighty-something Irish guy in a hat like Burroughs used to wear.
There have been a few fly-by-night tenant landlords/landladies since the Irish couple left, but the current one has given us back the same local crowd feel. This Summer, they installed a TV, and it's the most pleasant place to watch a rubbish football match - which is a staple service of the Local these days. There's a discreet music policy - not too loud, unlike the other pubs in the area - mostly the VH1 television or the indie/ soft rock tastes of the predominantly Eastern European female bar staff. And you can sit outside on a nice quiet side road.
Since I left Birmingham twenty years ago, it's the first pub where I might pop out for an hour to drink a pint while I read a book. Or wait for a take away.
Adrian Brown - Birmingham native