Drink is in our genes

IN reply to Paul Eilich’s question about why Newcastle has such a drinking culture (‘‘First lessons in pub life’’ Letters 25/5), you need only look at the electoral roll or telephone book. It’s all in the breeding – the majority of names are Anglo-Saxon. Most came from mining and steel-making backgrounds – people who worked hard and rewarded themselves with a well-earned drink. I have heard of people who would not drink water, dehydrating themselves at work so the first beer didn’t even touch the sides.

Which English towns still drink hard and have aggressive reputations? Predominantly coal and steel cities. Although many here have not worked in those industries, they were raised and influenced by mentors who had. I presented my observations for a second opinion to a learned friend who is researching early Australian history. His answer was: ‘‘I’ll drink to that.’’

Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek

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