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Anthony Cairn’s Lost East End Pubs

February 21, 2019
by the gentle author

When I discovered Antony Cairns‘ series of pub pictures, I realised I had found a kindred spirit. His soulful photographs manage to record the death and evoke the life of these lost hostelries simultaneously.

An East Ender who studied photography at the London College of Printing in the nineties, Antony printed these intriguing pictures using the Van Dyke Brown process which was commonly used at the end of the nineteenth century when these pubs were in their prime.

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The Albion, Bow Common - (1881-2005)

The Railway Arms, Sutton St - (1881-2001)

The Conqueror, Austin St/Boundary St - (1899-2001)

The Rose, Woolwich

The Flying Scud, Hackney Rd – (1874-1994)

The Crown & Cushion, Market Hill, Woolwich - (1840-2008)

The Victoria, Woolwich Rd, Charlton - (1881-?)

The Tidal Basin, Canning Town – (1862-1997)

The Marquis of Lansdowne - (1838- 2000 & now being restored)

Photographs copyright © Antony Cairns

You may also like to take a look at

Alex Pink’s East End Pubs, Then & Now

More East End Pubs, Then & Now

The Pubs of Old London

6 Responses leave one →
  1. February 21, 2019

    Yes indeed one does feel a terrible sadness when confronted with the abandoned and derelict state of these once thriving establishments. The sounds and smells of a century of clinking glasses , chatter and laughter lie embeded in their walls and the memories will be there even after they are long demolished. However I haveto say the Victoria in Charlton does, to my mind, now have a passing similarity to the Bates Motel. Although I am sure good times were had by all its past customers without a thought of what went through the macarbe mind of Alfred Hitchcock.

  2. Jill Wilson permalink
    February 21, 2019

    Very atmospheric! And I recognised The Albion straight away as seen in Doreen’s painting.

  3. James Thorp permalink
    February 21, 2019

    The picture of The Victoria, Woolwich Road is particularly fine as Paul has already intimated. Just how many pubs has London lost since the second world war, and still they continue to disappear.

  4. Mary permalink
    February 21, 2019

    Another wonderful set of images and I love the fact that there is hope in the last image with the Marquis of Landsdowne being restored.
    Having lived in Bow in the 1970s and now a keen amateur photographer I love the East End photographs you publish GA. I only wish I had photographed the East End back then, but as a student living in London I had other things on my mind!

  5. February 24, 2019

    There is something so evocative about these old meeting places, all the sounds, smells and silent witnesses to what was going on in the neighbourhood. Oh for time travel.

  6. Marilyn permalink
    February 27, 2019

    I do remember the Flying Scud from what seems to be a past life. i used to pass it when riding the bus on my way to work in the West End on a journey that started out in Hackney Wick.. I used to look to the sign outside with the sail boat. i never went into the pub, just liked the look of it. i now live many, many miles away in Ohio but love to look at the pictures on this website. It is so sad to see the demise of these pubs that probably once had such fun times. But, like the rest of us, times marches on and we must adapt to change.

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