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The Power of the Dog and Top Gun: Maverick among Lynn News Bar Man's favourite 2022 films





Bar Man by Jeff Hoyle

Another year begins, and one hopes that it will be an improvement on the last two or three. Still, looking back as one tends to do as the calendar changes and one’s birthday approaches, there were some highlights.

When days are not filled with work it is a real pleasure to visit the cinema and of the 60 or so films that I saw, the best was either The Power of the Dog and Top Gun: Maverick, both of which seem made for the big screen with fabulous landscapes in one and gripping aerial action in the other.

Jeff Hoyle
Jeff Hoyle

Books have also brought a lot of pleasure with Mick Herron, Dorothy L. Sayers and C.J. Sansom being highlights, but my absolute favourite being Travels with Charley, a non-fiction work by John Steinbeck. Still, nothing can beat a pint or two down the pub and here fortunes have been mixed. It is sad to see so many properties standing empty waiting for a new landlord to take over.

The Lattice House in town and the Winch at West Winch are a couple of the more prominent ones, but there are many more around the area. Even some of the ones that are open seen to be living on the edge and I am forever hearing rumours of the next one to close or being sent details of those for sale.

The months up to Easter with the high energy bills, bad weather and lack of customers will test the resolve of landlords like never before and I hope that they can make it through to spring. It’s not all doom and gloom.

Top Gun: Maverick. Pictured: Tom Cruise as Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. Picture: PA Photo/© 2019 Paramount Pictures Corporation.
Top Gun: Maverick. Pictured: Tom Cruise as Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. Picture: PA Photo/© 2019 Paramount Pictures Corporation.

The reopening of the Blue Bell in Stoke Ferry shows what can be achieved by a band of committed volunteers and the seamless takeover of the Gate at Fair Green demonstrates that in the right hands, pubs can be an attractive business.

The cause of cask beer has suffered with the cost-of-living crisis. I hear of pubs which no longer sell real ale and have experience of others reducing the range of beers that they offer. Fortunately, all the local breweries seem to have weathered the storm so far and with the increasing travel disruption and possible strikes, it may be that it becomes more attractive for bars to offer local products rather than mass produced ales from across the country. Anecdotal evidence suggests that local shops have experienced something of a resurgence, so let’s hope that pubs and breweries also benefit.

What hopes for the coming year, then? I have a degree of optimism. The war in Ukraine cannot last for ever and energy supplies from the east will either be affordable once more or replacements will be found. As I type on a Tuesday afternoon, 44% of the country’s electricity is being generated by wind power (wind turbines will never make any difference, someone told me last week. I beg to differ).

As days lengthen solar power’s contribution will increase. All we need is a sensible pricing policy to be implemented by the government. The strikes need to be dealt with by the current government or an election must be held. At least alcohol duty has been frozen until August when a new system is to be introduced. Our MP James Wild assures me that help is being given to small businesses. It is not just the hospital that he is working on. Perhaps we can welcome next Christmas in the Crown and Mitre, Lattice House or the refurbished Coach and Horses in Dersingham. Here’s to a better 2023.



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