Dr Taylor - Senior Lecturer in Design in the School of Architecture and Design – brings his expertise to an episode of the series Trading Spaces that will have its first broadcast at 1.45pm on February 9. The programme will then be available via BBC Sounds and iPlayer.
Presented by cultural historian Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan, the series will look at the future of the UK's High Streets via the stories of five very different kinds of business. As well as pubs, the series will look at department stores, beauty salons, cinemas and toy shops – digging into the sometimes surprising history of each in a look ahead to a world changed by COVID-19.
“What seemed important to emphasise was the fundamental role that the pub plays in British culture. How it has always been a space that changed with society, but also offers a sense of continuity as it provides a place where people can really physically come together,” said Dr Taylor. “I had lots of material too about things like Gin Palaces, spittoons and George Orwell's vision of the perfect pub – but I had to be brief, as each programme is only 15 minutes long!”
A recent BBC news report highlighted the way many of the 39,000 pubs operating at the start of the first UK lockdown last March have closed or are struggling, while the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said an estimated 70 million pints of beer had to be thrown away during the first lockdown alone.
"Pubs and breweries are effectively having to pour their businesses down the drain," said Emma McClarkin, the BBPA's Chief Executive. She added that the licensed trade was "in limbo", with "no idea or clarity from government on when we can reopen again".
Trading Spaces will broadcast on Radio 4 from February 8-14 at 1.45pm.