Close Knit: Laura Napier settling in at The Crown

By Laura Napier

In the fridge ‘Eager Apple Juice’ next to a litre of Semi-skimmed milk.
“Sorry we don’t have Soya”
The decimal point on the till flashes, and the heavy drape rustles as someone enters the bar.

I am building a chronology of a pub I have never visited before through the conflicting stories, and memories you tell me while we sit within it. Every time I am certain of a sense of time, or truth, this shifts when I meet someone new. I am watching the present moment from a roundabout. I am introducing myself to the building, and to you as a stranger. I am observing the disposable minute detail of an empty morning interior, and collecting your memory of the past here.

On reflection, a third of my way into my residency at the Crown, it has taken me by surprise. Experience, and time in the Crown have been crucial to developing my project. I could never have predicted the memories and stories you have shared with me so far, or the amazing coincidences that have occurred, or the wonderful welcome of the staff and patrons.

This is the story of a pub through the people that use it. A portrait of a building through its fictional inhabitant, a portrait of the area, and the change it has seen.

I have no idea what you will tell me next, but I look forward to meeting you.