Following the temporary cease-fire due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rivalry between Newcastle University and Northumbria reached a new level of intensity early morning yesterday.
The Hancock pub is, (or was) the dividing line between the two institutions; it served as a standard venue for most meetings and parleys between the two student bodies, like the famous “Newcastle Tory Society and Northumbria’s one Tory” meeting.
The confrontation is only the latest skirmish in the long conflict over who has jurisdiction over the Hancock. The Hancock has long been referred to as the Kashmir of Newcastle. According to Newcastle students it has long since been their own. After all, it is only just down the highly efficient cycle path-cum-pavement from their library. Northumbria have instead insisted it is their’s, a tangible claim made based on a building with their name on it being visible a Marjorie Robinson and a road away from the establishment.
It didn’t take long for conflict to spark up once the pub re-opened following lock-down. Students from both universities decided to choose it as their post-pandemic haunt, only for the disagreement to reignite once the first round of lukewarm Fosters were put-away. A pool related confrontation is said to have broken out close to 9 am, although these reports are unconfirmed.
All of a sudden, tragedy struck, any possibility of further conflict was wiped from the face of the earth early Wednesay morning, along with the pub itself. Residents were shocked to see a crater where the Hancock, plus its exclusive beer ‘garden’, once proudly stood. The only sign of what once remained was a broken pool cue and a black and white photo of a Chimp playing the fiddle. We can only wonder what song that Chimp would be playing today. ‘Give Peace a Chance’, perhaps?
The news came as a shock to both warring parties. A Newcastle student was quoted, standing tearful amongst the carnage, as saying “Where are we expected to go now? That beer garden was the closest we had to a rooftop terrace. Alright, it wasn’t a rooftop, but it had those red heater thingies, indie rock, and the wind cut right through it, so you know what I mean. Who are you anyway? Are you even a real reporter? Why do you smell like sulphur? Get away from me!”.
Strong words reader, strong words. A war that has cost so much yet achieved so little. Where will the destruction stop now it has finally begun? All we are saying, is give peace a chance.