Whatever became of the computerised pub?

Dig if you will a picture, of all of us down the boozer, not having to shift our arses at any stage other than to go to the toilet. That was the vivid picture painted by Tomorrow’s World back in 1965 as the show revealed for the first time the ‘computerised pub’, based in London’s fashionable Hackney Wick.

‘Nothing is safe from the tide of automation’ warns the reporter as we see what those in the know assumed would become the standard in years to come. Groups of friends sit around, ordering their drinks via a simple telephonic system, with a vast phone directory of booze acting as your guide.

Looking for something a bit more crazy and complicated like two cherries and a cube of ice? Don’t worry – dial 100 and the waiter will come along. Looking to start a punch-up with the bloke at the next table ‘cos he’s been eyeing up your bird? Thankfully there doesn’t seem to be an automated way of making that happen... yet.

Oh, and we don’t know why the presenter and the woman are holding hands at the beginning. It was a different world then...

[Dave Lee]


  • heywood j.
    We have apple cider, that must computerised, surely ?
  • The B.
    Hackney was not "fashionable" in 1965, the new media cretins started moving in around 10 years ago.
  • will
    maybe an epilepsy warning may be useful here?
  • Court
    They're still about - in the USA anyway. In your 'booth' on the wall there's a little touchscreen tv for you to watch 'sports'. Just touch the screen and a menu comes up allowing you to order whatever you want... Here's one: http://www.liteco.com.au/#/Gallery2/?catID=399&imageID=3920
  • Mark C.
    A pretty standard early use of technology, doing stuff 'because we can', before they came to their senses and realised that it was actually quicker and easier to just go to the bar. Not all that much different from ordering takeway online, mind. Hackney Wick still isn't fashionable though - especially now they've flattened half of it to buld the Olympic site.

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