All About Us…. PART 2 .... This covers a 5 year"ish"period 1975 until December 1980
(I have decided to publish this now as it is really taking time for me to get pen to paper, I hope you find it interesting)
I will add more as I remember!!
After Urban’s sad passing away in May 1974, there would be a lot of planning as to how we should take ourselves forward.
The obvious closest solution was to come to an agreement with Urban´s wife Debbie regarding his one third share of ownership. We did finally reach a solution which kept everybody pretty happy all round. Gunnar (our accountant) and I took over Urban´s shares, finally in 1975, giving us each 50% ownership. Just to jump forward some years, Gunnar and I came to an agreement in 1982, which resulted in us (Lena and I that is) taking over complete ownership. As luck woud have it, after years of fighting to survive, our fortunes turned and by 1984 we had managed to build up a very profitable business. More later!
The first thing I did after Urban´s very sad and untimely departure was to give Graham Walder, who had been working for us for quite a few years, the position of manager. In retrospect this was a very good decision as Graham from then on did a very good job of running the daily routine as well as covering all the background necessary paperwork. Of course, we were still on the “nyckterhetsnämdens” black list, meaning we still had to apply on a yearly basis for an extended license, as if it were a completely new application.
We by this time were running pretty smoothly, now with Lena, Morsan (Lena´s mum) and me really in complete control. However we were still dogged by the regular, every 3 months or so, visits from the teetotal authorities and the licensing authorities. There were always some kind of derogatory remarks, which if we didn’t fix, our license was in jeopardy! However, the county council licensing department with Gunnar Månson and Kaj Fredenmark in charge were always on our side, and had many arguments with the teetotalers, who had an ultimate veto re our license.
This eventually led us, for some reason, to be forced to close at 9:30pm sometime during the late 70´s. Obviously the teetotaling society, who were the ultimate deciders, thought that we were a bad example of how the general public would like to spend their leisure time by socializing, ie drinking. Unfortunately for us, we were the only Pub of it´s kind in Stockholm (until 1989 when Stockholms council opened up allowing anybody to open a "pub") and although we had a fantastic base of genuine guests, enjoying a new found social life, we did get a few unsavoury types which took the shine off our hard work. However between the late 70´s and the mid 80´s we were extremely fortunate to have a fantastic following, and the queues to get in would sometimes reach round the corner into Storgatan. Here again the teetotaling society decided that we had too many guests in our serving area, it was not accepted that guests be allowed to "stand by the bar", so there were always some kind of penalties imposed on us. We were, however, given breathing space by our friends, the Stockholm Council, who always stood up for us, after many heated discussions with the teetotalers. (This was told to me personally by the head of the licensing authorities, thanks Gunnar Månson). Theoretically we were not allowed to serve alcohol directly over the bar, but again this was a grey area and we were allowed to get away with it.
This also led to the introduction of our "reward system" the GREEN CARD. Given to all our regulars, this entitled queue jumping when we were "full up", but this didn´t come without it´s own problems. The word "discrimination" was bandied around on a regular basis, but it did give all our regulars a sense of "importance". There are afew Green Cards still in circulation, now being held onto by our older generation of customers, merely as mementos of the old days. Could be worth a fortune Ha Ha!!
Regarding this situation, I will fast forward to autumn 1979, when after another regular visit from Gunnar Månson and Kaj Fredenmark said to me…. We have finally fixed your license!!! From 1st of January 1980 your permanent license, allowing us to stay open until 11pm, has been granted. They then explained that we would NEVER need to apply for a renewal, and that our license was only in danger if we didn’t follow the rules/law. Well I nearly got up and gave them both a really big hug, but decided against it, not really appropriate! They did however, at the same time, tell me not to apply for a new license should we want to expand, ie build another British Pub in Stockholm. Obviously they had had their work cut out just fixing things for us, the Tudor Arms. I am very greatfull to these guys who went out of their way for us. They both had a feeling for the British way of life, and thought this would be a great asset in Stockholm.
Well, enough of that. So what happened in the latter half of the 70’s? Just a few funny stories I can think of at the moment. On one occasion, when “The Onedin Line” was a very popualar TV series, Captain Onedin came to the Tudor Arms with a TV crew on a Friday evening, but when trying to gain entry, our then “doorman”, German Rolf, refused them entry simply because there was no room inside. So then, on insisting that this gentleman was a famous TV star, Rolf replied “I don’t give a f**k what ship he is captain of, you ain’t coming in! Charming.
Another very embarrassing episode regarding German Rolf on the door was when he refused entry to Gunnar Månson from the licensing authorities also on a Friday evening. The reason being that Rolf thought he was drunk! Well, Gunnar could easily have used his authority and called the police, but obviously gave us the benefit of the doubt. However, on the following Monday morning, I got a call from Gunnar, to which I could only profusely apologize for what happened.
During the 70´s we were very into sports, having 2 darts teams, Tudor Arms Golf, not to mention the forming of the Tudor Arms Football Team. I think darts matches were every Tuesday evenings, and being part of Stockholm´s premier league, we were often visited by Stefan Lord, the then World Darts Champion, but I can´t remember which team he played for. There would always be sandwiches and a pint for all. Our captain, Claes Göran Ullefors did a great job. Must also mention our great regulars, Svante Jacobs and his wife who were very involved at the top end of the Swedish Darts Association. In those days we had 3 dart boards up and running, sadly today not any more...
British golf professionals playing darts!
Then there was the golf. Towards the end of the 70´s I joined Täby Golf Club, and a group of 4 of us, Steve Harison, Alan Watson, Derek Hudson (who had the the lowest handicapp of us all) and me would meet up about 4 times a week, weekdays, at 9am for a round or 2. I was lucky to be able to get away beacuse mother in law, Morsan, took charge of the Pub. This led in turn to the start of a 3 way competition, the other hosts being Engelen/Kolingen owned by Bosse Parnevik and Glädjehuset, the university nightclub run by more friend of ours, including Lasse Eriksson. Our competition, The Tudor Arms Invitation Open, was started 1978 and won by a proffesional, Per Hansson, and played at Kevinge Golf Club. However, our most famous winner was Jesper Parnevik, who in 1981 took the coverted Silver Cup at the ripe old age of 16. This was his first golfing victory, and he then went on to be runner up at the Brish Open a couple of times many years later.
During the 70´s we had quite a few famous regulars including Liv Ullman and Warren Beaty who were on stage perforing a play at the theatre on Karlaplan. Most afternoons for about a year they could be seen sipping beverages and chating away in our dining room, in fact table 6 (LR6), I remember being very proud that such famous actors should grace the Tudor Arms.
Then there was Lee Hazelwood who visited us regularly for many years while on his tours, with a regular evening session at the Grand Hotel. He was always introduced on stage by another of our original guests from 1969, Charlie Davis.
Christer Hylfors with Lee Hazelwood sometime early 70´s (Note the Double Diamond lamp, probably worth a fortune now, if I knew where it was)
During the early 70´s, while Urban was still with us, being in the business as a famous DJ with all his connections, he would arrange "press conferences" for top pop groups at the time visiting Stockholm and Sweden. Once a week during the afternoons when we were closed, (In those days we closed at 2.30pm after lunch and reopened at 6pm, I think), we would have many of the famous 60´s pop groups visiting us, including Elton John (in with his friend George Best), Cliff Richards, AC DC, T Rex, Dave Bowie, Spencer Davies Group, Canned Heat, and many more. Sadly my memory is fading fast so will try to find our old Guest Book, and revive it! I do however remember the many really strange requests by some of the more prominent "stars" such as really strange drink mixes involving all kinds of colours and other "bits" mixed in. Another request was for peeled radishes, to which Lena told the guy to get lost!!
MORE TO COME