This is Gary Pearson. He’s the landlord of Radford’s busiest pub, the Marquis of Lorne. Photo by Alex Sturrock
’ve been the landlord here for about five months now. I was born and bred here and I’ve got two kids. One is 16 and the other is 14.
You get the odd incident, like any other town, but basically all the stuff about gun crime is a lot of rubbish. I’ve never seen it or heard it. We get a nice bunch of people in the area. Everybody just gets on with everything. It’s very normal life. My routine is: start cleaning about eight in the morning, then open up at 12 and finish about 1 AM. It’s hard work because this is the busiest pub in Radford. There’s a lot of students in Radford. And I think these millions of pounds are just for them. It just goes on building flats for them. None of the locals see anything like that. They’re putting money into the flats for students to make money back. They don’t lay anything out for the locals in case they don’t get it back. I can’t see where they’ve spent £55 million. They’ve knocked down factories to make way for students. They knocked down Raleigh and built the big student complex on there. My parents were born here. My father worked at John Player’s, the cigarette factory, my mother worked at Raleigh, who made the bikes. Raleigh went because profits dropped and that’s why they demolished it. To be honest about it nobody’s bothered about political parties or anything like that. They don’t vote. It’s a waste of time. When you look at the House of Commons it’s just like schoolkids arguing. One thing we’ve noticed recently is that we’ve got the Eastern Europeans hanging out down the road in Hyson Green. We get a lot of lads here from the building trade and they’re not very happy with the Polish coming onto the site because they’re doing work for half their wage and they’re getting laid off. So they’re stressing out about riots kicking off in the future if it gets too bad. We’ll just have to wait and see how it pans out. English people get about £80 a day and the Polish do it for about £40 or even less. It’s putting us out of work, in a sense. The Poles started to arrive some time ago, I’d say about four or five years ago. There’s a lot of Iraqis as well coming to Nottingham. They seem to be coming into one area. I should imagine the council put them here. I know a couple of guys who’ve been laid off because the Polish are taking their jobs. It makes you feel like a foreigner. GARY PEARSON