Saturday, November 16, 2013

Local Works - Save our Pubs

We know that more than a few of our local councillors are somewhat partial to the odd pint of real ale and that Redbridge has been suffering from this problem. We also know that they are very concerned about the proliferation of Betting Shops and Payday Loan Sharks, and are to commit funds to the setting up of a local Credit Union Scheme shortly. We do not expect our council to have to borrow any money for this so I’ll wager this proposal will go down a treat and they will lap it up.

From Local Works

Dear Alan

Your community pubs are in trouble. Each week, 26 pubs close down. In London alone, over 400 have been demolished. Many more are converted into betting shops, payday lenders or supermarkets.

No consultation is required to knock down a community pub, or to convert it. As a result, we are losing any viable and popular pubs that are the heart of local communities.

What can be done to reverse this frightening trend? We’ve teamed up with our coalition partners, the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) to work on a solution. We want to use the Sustainable Communities Act to change the law so that planning permission is required before a pub is demolished or converted. This would give local people a say in what happens to their pubs. We need to make some noise and let councillors know how much we want this. Can you take two minutes to write to your councillor?

Proposing this change to the law under the Sustainable Communities Act gives the strongest chance of it happening. Central government can’t just say no: it has a duty to try to reach agreement with an independent panel. Submitting this proposal is our best hope for saving our pubs.

Three councils have already resolved to submit the proposal, and we would love to see more following suit. So can you take a few minutes to let your councillor know how much you’d like to see your local pubs protected?

Many thanks,
Steve Shaw
National Co-ordinator, Local Works
For the record:
I think it may be a good idea to list those pubs that have already been lost – I’m sure I don’t know them all so please let me know in the comments. I'll update here as we go along.

The Doctor Johnson, Longwood Gardens
The Maypole, Chigwell Row (update Now re-opened, late 2014)
The Bald Hind, Hainault Road, Chigwell
The Cauliflower, High Road Seven Kings (update Now re-opened, late 2014)
The Joker, Seven Kings
The Lord Napier, Goodmayes
The Old Hainault Oak, Romford Road
The Greengate, Newbury Park
The County Arms, Horns Road
The Retreat in Chigwell Road
The King's Head, Chigwell
The White Hart, Woodford Bridge
The White Hart, South Woodford
The Woodman, Snakes Lane East
The Prince of Wales, Grange Hill
The Badger, Manford Way
The Bell, Ley Street
The Red Cow, Ley Street
The Plough, Ilford Lane
The Fir Trees, Hermon Hill
The Seven Kings Hotel, High Road
The Haw Bush, Barley Lane
The Kings Head, High Road Seven Kings


  1. The Maypole is the one at Chigwell Row - not Fencepiece Road.

    The one at the end of New North Road was the Old Hainault Oak.

    I do not know of one at the bottom of Horns Road, but the one by Youngs Road was the County Arms, previously Horns Tavern.

    Others lost include The Retreat in Chigwell Road,
    King's Head in Chigwell,
    White Hart in Woodford Bridge.
    White Hart in South Woodford,
    Woodman in Snakes Lane East,
    Prince of Wales in Grange Hill,
    Badger in Manford Way,
    Greengate in Newbury Park,
    Bell in Ley Street,
    Red Cow in Ley Street.
    Plough in Ilford Lane,
    Fir Trees in Hermon Hill,
    Seven Kings Hotel in High Road,
    Haw Bush in Barley Lane.

    1. Apologies - The Retreat was in Chigwell Row (Retreat Way) not Chigwell Road.

  2. Bottom of Horns Rd if memory serves was the Green Gate

    1. To the best of my knowledge the description "bottom of Horns Road" has usually applied to the dip at the intersection with Hamilton Avenue and Buntingbridge Road. The Greengate is/was at the junction of Horns Road with Eastern Avenue (now McNastie's).

    2. I and Anon were referring to the southernmost point of Horns Road where the sun shines ...

  3. How could I miss the White Hart at Woodford Bridge?
    Thanks for info - I'll update the main post as we go along

  4. I know there was a vociferous local outcry from the community served by the Lord Napier - to no avail.

    Strangely it was to be demolished for the erection of flats, I believe, and presented as a done deal, so I was surprised to go past it several weeks later that it was up for sale as a Commercial site ...

    Unfortunately, I then realised that the barstewards had deliberately removed the roof! Obviously, after a few very hard downpours in the preceding weeks, there is obviously no way that anyone could re-open it again as a pub - it clearly been well trashed.

    I think this deliberate vandalism is one of the things that CAMRA is seeking to have outlawed.

    1. Nonsense. It just needs a new roof and a drying out period before it is re-plastered ...

    2. Removal of the roof is a classic dodge for legally avoiding payment of rates on empty commercial property.

  5. I'm not sure if The Shannon Centre should feature in the list. It always had a main bar - a pub, albeit in name - plus two large entertainment areas.

    Since it was sold by the original owners, that main bar obviously became a public bar (previously it was members only).

    Every time that I pass the door there is still an 'A' board promoting Happy Hour or similar so unless there has been a very recent change of which I am unaware, I think it is still open.

    I'm having some mobility problems at present, so I won't be popping down there any time soon to check up on it but I'll keep an eye open when I do.

    Incidentally, the name of the place seems to have become Shannons (yuk) from the signage and the bar retains it original name of O'Connor's Bar, although the present incumbent seems incapable of spelling it correctly on his boards ...

    1. I thought I'd read somewhere it had closed. I'll take it orf.

    2. As I said, it was definitely open (O'Connor's Bar) until recently and I will check for signs of life the next time I pass.

      Possibly you are getting confused with what used to be known as The Shannon Suite, originally part of the Shannon Centre, with a separate entrance in Farley Drive?

      This became the Nite Spot or something similar and now has an entirely different name. However, I think the site has been split into separate operations and this part may well have closed. I think it was being used for mainly Asian events.

      I haven't seen any reference to anything happening on the top floor for some time, either.

      This retained its former name of Bertie's for quite a while but I've no idea if that ever changed.

  6. The Bald Hind @ Chigwell

  7. What might be a better question how many pubs do we have left?

    1. You have missed out the Horns in Horns road, I don't think we have any independent pubs left in Dedbridge! certainly not in the east of the borough

    2. If you mean the one on the corner of Youngs Road that was the County Arms. Or was there another one?

    3. The County Arms was previously known as the Horns Tavern - and that used to appear as a destination on some journeys on the 691 trolleybus route.

    4. How could you all miss out the Dick Turpin in Aldborough Road North.
      Wonderful Pub "as was" Mann Crossman &Paulin xxx Bitter

    5. John - the Dick Turpin is still there, and Ron Jeffries and others had quite a fight to ensure that the name remains on display. But I agree that it is now vastly different from the old DT owned by Roy Perkins. Its current minimalist, stark appearance is singularly unattractive and does not dispose one to make a second or subsequent visit. The Camelot (previously Beehive) at Lambourne End is owned by the same company, and has the same "corporate" external appearance, thus ensuring that one drives straight past it.

    6. Had my stag do in the old Dick Turpin in 1961. Lovely old pub then, fondest memories. Did some courting in the old Retreat, Chigwell Row, lived near old Maypole, Barkingside. Lots of good pubs about then!!

  8. Does anyone happen to know the full story on the Maypole, Chigwell Row? The talk is that it will re-open once a dispute is settled with the landlord.

    1. Sorry no, but others may. Word is it was a license dispute but that was last March which is a long time for such matters.

  9. Maypole Chigwell Row:- There are numerous rumours going about the Maypole. Only today someone mention the court case has been heard and went in favour of the lease holders. This is not so, the court case is not due to be heard until Aug 2014. there has been further rumours the owners wish to pull it down and build houses. The Maypole pub is of Historical interest as it is mentioned in Barnaby Rudge over 100 times, There are some reference that it was the kings head, however where the Maypole stands today there used to be another pub with the same name but stood further back, When Dickens wrote Barnaby Rudge this pub was still standing and could have been what dickens wrote about, It must have been substantial as it used to be a stop of place for coach and horses. What dickens describe looking out the window could been seen from either the Maypole or the Kings Head. One has to ask themselves would Dickens get something so drastically wrong as the Pubs name when writing about it. Personally I doubt it, one thing a writer does is to make sure his facts are right before publishing. Parts of the current Maypole are listed, It is believed the lease holders wish to re-open it as a public house, there have also been enquires regards its purchase and turning it in to a restaurant. To lose the Maypole to housing would be an injustice to the local community. The Maypole may not look its best at the moment but it could be turned into something magnificent. I say no to housing we have already lost so many public houses this is not progress we need to keep the old with the new. Chigwell is mentioned in the doomsday book, let's keep our heritage.

    1. well said I agree,plus it is a good looking place better than any modern day building designer could do

  10. The kings head, seven kings high road, next to the old LT bus garage. Where aldi is now

    1. Thanks for reminding me about this post - some good news. The Maypole in Chigwell Row and the Cauliflower both re-opened late last year 2014.