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The Gentle Author’s Dead Pubs Crawl

November 2, 2018
by the gentle author

As the darkness closes in, it delights me to go on a dead pubs crawl around Spitalfields and beyond, paying my respects at former hostelries and listening for the clinking glasses of the phantom regulars. In recent years, The Well & Bucket and The Crown & Shuttle have returned to vibrant life, convincing resurrections long after I had given up hope – which permits me to believe there may still be the possibility of life after death for other lost pubs in the neighbourhood.

The Ship & Blue Ball, Boundary Passage, where they planned the Great Train Robbery (1851-1994)

The Frying Pan, Brick Lane (1805-1991)

The Crown, Bethnal Green Rd (1869-1922)

The Britannia, Chilton St (1861-2000)

The Laurel Tree, Brick Lane (1813-1983)

The Well & Bucket, Bethnal Green Rd (1861-1989 & resurrected in 2013)

The Dolphin, Redchurch St (1835-2002)

The Jolly Butchers, Brick Lane (1839- 1987)

Seven Stars, Brick Lane (1711-2002)

The Duke of Wellington, Toynbee St (1851-2018)

The Queen’s Head, Fashion St (1825-1936)

The Crown & Shuttle, Shoreditch High St (1861-2001 & resurrected in 2013)

Sir Robert Peel, Bishopsgate Without (1871-1957)

The Queen Victoria, Barnet Grove (1856-1993)

The Grave Maurice, Whitechapel Rd (1723-2010)

The Lord Napier, Whitechapel Rd (1878-1983)

The Black Bull, Whitechapel Rd (1812-2006)

The Ship, Bethnal Green Rd (1856-2000)

The Artichoke, Jubilee St (1847-2001)

Lord Nelson, Buross St (1869-2005)

Mackworth Arms, Commercial Rd (1858-1984)

Kinder Arms, Little Turner St (1839-1904)

The Crown & Dolphin, Cannon St Row (1851-2002)

The Old Rose, The Highway (1839-2007)

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry was a coaching inn called The Artichoke prior to 1738

You may also like to take a look at

The Alphabet of Lost Pubs A-C

The Alphabet of Lost Pubs D-G

The Alphabet of Lost Pubs H-L

The Alphabet of Lost Pubs M-P

The Alphabet of Lost Pubs Q-R

The Alphabet of Lost Pubs S-T

The Alphabet of Lost Pubs U-Z

13 Responses leave one →
  1. November 2, 2018

    Dead Pubs Night Crawl! Wonderful!

  2. Ian permalink
    November 2, 2018

    The well and Bucket had a U shaped passage that ran from the cellar, out under the footway where it turned almost back on itself into a small underground room. The roof was held up by riveted iron beams with brickwork arches between them. I was one of two engineers checking out basements for pre-existing damage along BG Road prior to a proposed road reconstruction. The roof was in a dangerous state, you could pull pieces of the iron beams with bare hands, so I believe it was pumped full of concrete to make it safe and so that the footway didn’t collapse.

  3. Di Corry permalink
    November 2, 2018

    Some familiar places and lingering memories amongst these photographs ……….

  4. J Parham permalink
    November 2, 2018

    And not forgetting The Queen’s Head, known locally for many years as George the Pole’s and now a part of Tayab’s on Fieldgate Street. The Britannia near by the Old Town Hall on Cable Street, and The Old Red Lion just a couple doors eastward from the former Black Bull on Whitechapel Road.

  5. November 2, 2018

    Such vicarious pleasure in seeing these. with a strong dose of regret at their passing. I was amazed by the long tenures of some of these old buildings.
    Thank you.

  6. Paul Loften permalink
    November 2, 2018

    The pubs on Bethnal Green Road were a magnet for the local lads and lassies in the 60’s and 70’s . The Green Gate was always packed to the brim with a live band and it spilled out into the street. Bobby Moore owned the Salmon & Ball on the corner. After closing time Bethnal Green Road was alive with the young ladies in the mini skirts walking home and the road was full of cars slowly cruising with the boys wiuth their heads out ofthe windows , all ready withe their chat up lines. Its probably the exact spot where ” Ello John got a new motor? ” was born.
    .it was place to rival the buzzing posh side of London, the Kings Road . I am sure that nobody said that there.

  7. Gary Arber permalink
    November 2, 2018

    The demise of the East End pubs started in the 1950’s. All of the pubs ran a loan club, customers came in every week to pay their subs, they took out loans during the year, they paid interest on these and this built up throughout the year and at Christmas the clubs paid out and everyone had cash for their festivities. The club money use to be banked through the pubs account weekly. In the 1950’s the brewers stopped this happening and as the amount of money at paying out time was large the clubs had to hire security. These costs killed the clubs and they all packed up.
    When the members came in each week came they all had a drink and as they were friends they spent time together. After the clubs closed people only came in for occasional drinks and the atmosphere faded, Club members also paid weekly bar money, this was paid out by the pubs at Christmas in beer, wine and spirits. After the clubs closed the takings of the pub dropped and they started to go under.

  8. Marcia Howard permalink
    November 3, 2018

    Some wonderful names, although rather incongruous to see such establishments as lauderettes in place of the public bars

  9. Ian Silverton permalink
    November 4, 2018

    Gary Arber,that’s just what happened,all so true,we lost all the Monday Nights trade,as it was,and the big pay outs at Christmas, Publicans lost out BIG time back then,but some like my friends Pub the Prince of Wales in the Broadway Hackney, made a great successful Monday Nights,from the closure of other pubs in the area doing away with it, payout and the End of year stash,was usually Over seen by a Uniformed Police Officer,from the local nick,at Bethnal Green, that’s now a pub I think LOL

  10. Ian Silverton permalink
    November 4, 2018

    Paul Lofton, remember that moment in time very well,THE Green Gate,with Peters and Lee singing,the Twins Brian and Kenny Bird,running the venue,along with there Familly, think Butch was the compare,at the time, the other Twins R&R used it as there office Monday or Tuesday nights,made the mistake of going in there one night, all very sinister,but they bought me and my friends a drink,and we had a chat with them,as they new us from living near them and using my Dads pub,we left in a orderly fashion.

  11. Chris Connor permalink
    November 4, 2018

    Also the Gun in Spitalfields itself. Now merely a memory buried under another incongruous piece of glass and metal.

  12. Susan Goulden permalink
    November 4, 2018

    Remembering The Grave Maurice, from my medical student days, in the late 70s/early 80s, at The London Hospital.

  13. Jude permalink
    November 6, 2018

    Brilliant post! Sad, poignant but somehow pleasing to see remnants of times gone by. Incidentally, my ancestor lived on frying pan alley and would known quite a few of these pubs (though probably too poor to drink in them). Thank you!

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