Hairy Houdini

Sometime fairly soon after I arrived, they decided that I could go the park for some fun, albeit on a lead. I took dad off to the park with me and I was in my element. It was a lovely day and there were plenty of people there. I was getting quite a few admiring glances and comments from people in the park, mostly telling dad how handsome I was. I had proud ears. He was talking to a lady about me and I was getting a bit bored so I pulled backwards away from him. As he started to pull the lead and harness, I managed to wholly back out of the harness and I was free. Dad looked at me and said “Sit”, but he knew it was pointless. I was off across the park towards the woods, and nothing was going to stop me. His heart sank like a stone. Dad shouted after me, but I was only interested in the woods and the wonderful array of animals and smells in there. I saw Dad chasing me and I kept on running around and keeping well clear of him. Sadly he realised quite quickly that chasing me was a game, and he stopped. I was in the woods, I was revelling in the smells and sights in there and it was great. Every now and then I could hear Dad talking to people asking them to look out for me. Now, this was cheating as far as I was concerned. I saw a couple of Muntjack deer and decided to try and chase. Then I saw rabbits and squirrels, so chased them too. Before too long I knew I was in trouble as Dad had called mum and she was on her way. It was time to enjoy my last time of freedom. I was wandering around in the woods and saw a rabbit to chase. What I didn’t see was the barbed wire and I felt it cut my ear and chin. I yelped and this clearly alerted everyone to my whereabouts. I was bleeding from my ear but it didn’t hurt that much. In any case, I was concentrating on chasing rabbits so I didn’t overly worry.

That was fun!

I was getting a bit tired and rested in a small clearing in the edge of the woods at which point I felt a human hand reach down and grab my collar. That was it, fun was over and I had been recaptured.  I repaid the kind lady by dripping blood all over her coat sleeve. I was returned to the collar and harness. They weren’t very impressed when I saw another squirrel and tried to chase it. I think they were more worried about the blood on my ear chin and foot. Its because my ears are quite large, that I am good at flicking blood everywhere. By the time we had returned home there was blood on me and both my parents. We looked like extras from a zombie horror film. I heard them talking about some nasty disease called Tetanus and said I might need something called an injection.  So I went to the vets with them. The vet told them I was ok, but I would need the injection. Now, I don’t like them so I squealed like a girl and got to have my meds by mouth.

Escape no.2

We went to the park but this time I had both humans in tow. When we arrived, it was again such a lovely day, there were plenty of people around and I was really quite excited to see them and to play. I ran round the back of dad who went to change hands with the lead. I seized the moment to dart backwards and the lead was dropped. Dad called to some people to stand on my lead, but they didn’t listen to him. I try not to listen to him most of the time so I don’t blame them to be honest. At this point I decided it was a good time to have another explore of the park and surrounding woods and I took off like a racing snake, the lead trailing behind me. This was fun, there were so many places I remembered from my first escape and I wanted to revisit them again. Of course the humans were not best pleased that I had escaped again, but this time it was different as they didn’t chase me. I heard them say, you go one way, I’ll go the other and we will try to corral him. They have these phone things that they can talk to each other from a long way apart. This is unfair!

The park. Now, where are all the squirrels?

I was running around the park and having fun, sniffing in the hedgerows and long grass. There were so many scents that I didn’t know which one to smell first. Then I saw a rabbit and it wasn’t moving very much. I went a bit closer and he still didn’t move, which I thought was strange as rabbits are usually quite afraid of me and run away. Then I saw that it was actually dead, and no it wasn’t my fault. So I went to sniff it and see what had happened to him. Sadly for me I forgot that I was supposed to be running around like a fur possessed. A lady nearby managed to grab my lead. I was recaptured, how thoughtless of me. A basic error and I was resigned to being reunited with my humans quite soon. Most unfortunately for me, the next sight was mum coming toward me, with a relieved look on her face. Apparently I was captured by the only lady in the park who thought it strange that a dog would run around free, whilst still got his lead attached. One phone call to dad and it really was all over for me. I thought they would be angry, but they were relieved to see me. Not sure I thought the same in return to be honest, as I was having great fun and adventures off lead in the park.

Escape no.3

“I’m going out for a walk with mum so see you later” I woofed at dad. Its alright though as dad had some chores to do anyway. So we set off for our favourite field and woods for a really good sniff about. We went through the woods and around the edge of the first field and it was great fun. We got to the middle of the field and mum noticed something wasn’t quite right with my lead and harness so she told meet sit. Being an obedient beagle I of course sat, and when she looked down she saw that the clip on the lead and harness had come undone. She told me to stay, and I thought no chance this is a command too many, and decided that there were more interesting things to see in the next field. I took off again, like the racing snake that I am, and mum saw me in the next field before she could react fully. I had escaped and there was so much I wanted to explore. I knew she would cheat and call for help, but I wasn’t worried for a while. There was a farm nearby, and the fields were full of the lovely smells that I thrive on.

I saw the woods in the distance and they held plenty of intrigue for me, so I decided to head for them. I saw humans in the distance and they were talking to each other. Mum and dad had remembered from the last time not to chase me. I could see that I would have to use all my guile to avoid them for as long as possible. They were calling my name and someone had my favourite squeaky bone which was very tempting but I was keeping my distance. It was great to be free again, I was having such a good time in the woods, wandering through the clearing and then into the next section of trees. It looked familiar to me, as I had wandered through here before with mum. This section of the woods is full of squirrels and deer, so it was good fun and I was enjoying myself.  I found a trail and was strolling down the path not really looking where I was going when suddenly mum loomed large in front of me. Oh no, I need to run quickly and see if I can escape her clutches. I certainly wasn’t expecting her to dive onto me and smother my efforts to get free. I’d been captured again, indeed I had been rugby tackled by mum. The indignity of it! The adventure was over and so was my freedom and fun. A quick call to dad to tell him I was back in captivity and that was it. On a good note, at least I wasn’t injured and I had seen some places which I wouldn’t have seen with the humans.

Apparently it isn’t funny when we escape. Who knew? I haven’t escaped since which seems to have kept them cheerful and feeling that I am safe. I suppose I should admit that I feel safer now. And at my age, I should know better.

The adventure ride of life

It’s a lovely sunny day here today just over a week since my very good friend Raffa made her final, and longest, journey to the Rainbow Bridge. I seem to be contemplating many aspects of my life quite often recently. Maybe it’s because I am becoming older and apparently more knowledgeable. I don’t know, but if I may indulge you. This may ramble a little, but stick with it!!

There is so much war and destruction, death, famine and argument happening in the world at the moment that I am pleased I don’t seem to be directly affected by most of it. Maybe I live in my own little bubble, protected by those who love me the most, and thus unaware of much of the rigours of daily life for so many. I hear the humans in my house when they see or hear the news. Most of the time they are despondent at the state of much of the world, seeing the greed and avarice of an awful lot of people. Then they look at Lenny & I, and you can see their whole demeanour changes and often times a small smile will emerge.

I walk in the morning and get to see the lovely places in close proximity to my home. The leaves are yet to show on the trees, the stalks of the bluebells are just emerging through the ground in the hedgerows and the Snowdrops give colour to the brown and grey landscape of the fields and hedges in late winter. Everything seems to be without colour and form, but there is something of a stark beauty in it all. Even watching the plough carving patterns through the field, tilling the soil in readiness for sowing the crops for autumnal harvest, the gulls swoop and settle in the furrows to feed upon the worms and bugs that have been exposed to the air and sunlight. There is something about it which seems strangely hypnotic. The landscape changes from one field to the next or from one turn in the country lane to another. The countryside is being shaped by man and beast, and has been for centuries. We are strolling through on our journey. We know where we want to go, and hope to know how we are going to get there, but we don’t know what we will encounter along the way. It’s an old cliche but it’s like my life really.

I smell the deer, but cannot see it.

This morning my younger brother (ok he’s not actually my biological brother but I allow him to live here with me, and he’s a Beagle) was walking with my dad. In the corner of one of the fields there was a tree snapped in half in the recent wind and it was now laying across the normal path. They knew they could get past it, so just strolled around it and continued with their journey. No harm, no problem and on they go. Around the next corner, another tree was broken due to the winter storm and this time it lay across the path and into a particularly muddy puddle. They just got their feet and wellies wet, dad looked down at Lenny, smiled, gave Lenny’s ears a tickle and on they went. They returned to the top of the hill which overlooks the town and the trees and hills form a lovely natural framing of the town. Lenny and dad stopped and just looked, not for long but for long enough. Then they looked at one another and thought “I reckon Raff would have loved this view”. Dad smiled knowingly at Lenny, who wanted to get on and sniff and snooter.

I have lost some wonderful friends to the Rainbow Bridge and with each one that makes the longest journey maybe I become more reflective. To meet many of these friends and just to know others, for sometimes, a few years, makes me feel happy. I am happy that I have had the chance to share some of my life with them, and equally I have shared some of their life too. We’ve walked, we’ve woofed and we’ve had fun. Few cares in the world have been able to dampen our spirits. Even when the humans meet up, they talk, drink too much coffee, eat cake and generally have a good time. Their worldly worries seem a little decreased.

Losing Raffa hit me hard, I will make no bones about it. She was a very good pal and we shared many adventures with her when we met up. Maybe it was her approach to life that resonates with me now more than it has done over time. Life is there to be lived, have adventures every day, have fun and see things. #LiveLikeRaffa was our hashtag last week. I am going to follow it and see wherever life takes me.

We are all on life’s adventure ride and I want to make the most of it before it is my turn to get off. I hope that didn’t ramble too much.

Postcard from London

A few years ago I sent a postcard to my good friend, Raffa the Beagle, who lives near Liverpool. It was a postcard of London with a tick list of sights to see, including Big Ben and the Tower of London amongst others.

I wonder how many I will see?

A couple of weeks ago, we heard from Raffa who said that she was going to come to London to try and tick off some of the sights, and she asked me if we would like to be guides. Of course I couldn’t think of another fur in this house who had been to London so I volunteered my service and took Lenny along to carry the bags.

It came as somewhat of a rude shock to Lenny that we were unceremoniously woken up at 6 am on a Saturday. After a very brief walk locally we were marched up the hill to the train station so we could whizz into London. Fortunately it was a lovely sunny day but it was a bit chilly. After we arrived in London, we strolled through Regents Park towards Euston Station so we could greet Raffa and her mum in true beagle fashion by a huge arooo in the middle of the station concourse. Raffa was in her chariot as she cannot walk as far as she could do when she was a young pup.

We immediately wandered off to find the tube station as Raffa had always wanted a trip on a tube train.

Raffa and her protection on the tube

We got off the tube at Moorgate and strolled to the Guildhall (original meeting place of the Guilds of craftsmen for the City of London), Royal Exchange (the original stock exchange), Bank of England (where Raffa keeps her pennies), Mansion House (official residence of the Lord Mayor of London) and then on to Leadenhall Market (poultry market from Victorian times but now a boutique shopping area) where we made our first pit stop for some coffee to warm up the humans.

We started the next leg by walking down to the Tower of London which was very busy with visitors, and where Lenny managed to see a pesky squirrel but forgot to tell me & Raffa. We then crossed Tower Bridge.

We went along the side of the river, making our way through the throngs of tourist visitors on the south side of London Bridge. We showed Raffa the replica of the Golden Hinde ship (Francis Drake’s ship), the Clink (original dungeon prison in London) and then went on to see the rebuilt Shakespeares Globe theatre.

Now for the exciting part as we crossed the Millennium Bridge, also known as the wobbly bridge, and saw St Pauls Cathedral in its glory directly ahead.

Having strolled past the cathedral we went down Ludgate Hill and into Fleet Street (famous for printing) and managed to get two tables in a pub for some lunch snacks, as well as warming ourselves away from the chilly wind. Suitably refreshed we set off and found ourselves in the middle of a wedding procession coming out of the nearby St Bride’s Church, accompanied by a brass band. This surprised us all. We continued along The Strand and dad managed to stop pedestrians crossing the road, as he told Lenny to “WAIT” and they thought he was talking to them. We continued towards Trafalgar Square to see Nelson’s Column and then off to Whitehall (government area) to stop at Horseguards Parade to see a member of the Household Cavalry, who was watching Raffa to make she didn’t misbehave.

The London Eye across the river was spied, then Big Ben and Westminster Abbey were ticked off before we ended up at Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately the Queen wasn’t at home otherwise we would have popped in for a cup of tea and a cucumber sandwich (without crusts of course).

To finish we wandered slowly up The Mall back towards Trafalgar Square and took a London Black Cab to return to the train station at Euston. We woofed a sad cheerio to Raffa and her mum as they boarded their train back to Liverpool and their home.

Our journey home on the train passed like a blur, mainly due to Lenny and I having walked nearly 13 miles in total and being very tired. It was worth being really tired though, as we showed Raffa around London and she ticked off all the sights on her postcard except one. No Yeoman of the Guard Beefeaters were seen at the Tower of London. We hope we did Raffa proud as she managed to see nearly everything on her postcard list.

So close to getting all the sights.

Finally I have to admit that Lenny was so good, given it was his first trip to London. He managed the trains, tubes and strolling around with great aplomb. We took ages getting from one place to the next as so many people wanted to say hello to us and give Raffa, Lenny and I many tickles. He dealt with the sights, smells and noises of London without fright or fear. I am proud ears of him.

Return to Ashridge.

Today we decided that we would take Lenny to Ashridge. This is a National Trust estate between Tring and Berkhamsted, so quite close to where we live. We have visited Ashridge before Lenny arrived and given that it is now 2 weeks since his little operation, we thought it might be a reward for him not licking or chewing stitches whilst he’s been under house arrest.

Setting off in the car, I just dived into the boot so Lenny could understand that the car isn’t bad and, usually, there are good things when we stop and are let out to run around on the end of leads. He’s still a little sheepish about getting into the travel crate, but when he’s in, then he’s fine. In fact he is travelling better now and tends to lie down for a chill and relax. Mum and dad noticed that sometimes we sit up in our crates and lean onto each other as if to reassure ourselves that everything is ok. We are gradually getting Lenny more accustomed to travelling in the car. It was twenty five minutes to Ashridge this morning and he was really good.

When we arrived and the boot was opened I could immediately smell familiar scents. I told Lenny in no uncertain terms that this was going to be fun and it was a pity that we would be on the end of leads, as we would be able to run for hours. However we had to make do with pulling mum and dad around for a while, so this was almost as acceptable.

This is ace.

Across the common and round the edge of the woods we went. Lenny was enjoying all the scents and sights I had told him about. We were looking out for critters in the long grass, but I think they had been warned we were around today. The only downside was that we weren’t allowed in the woods as this was deemed to be “too exciting” for us. We were panting like a couple of steam trains but this doesn’t excuse mum and dad’s meanness at banning us from the woods. I mean, what could we possibly go wrong with a pair of beagles in the woods?

Wonder if that’s where the deer live?
Told you it was fun, didn’t I?

After a couple of hours it was decided we should return home. We slept most of the way back home so we had a great time and it was a good way to show Lenny another place we can enjoy. We took a slightly longer route home so it would test Lenny a bit more in the car. Forty minutes or so and he passed with flying colours.

Return to Jeffrey Johnson’s pubs

As many of my friends and followers will remember, I saw a blog a while ago on Spitalfieldslife.com relating to some old pubs photographed by a gentleman called Jeffrey Johnson. As a result in April 2019 I sent my dad off to London to investigate if the pubs were still present and, if not, find out what is there in its place.

There were a number of extra photographs in the collection held at the Bishopsgate Institute which hadn’t been published. So we decided it was about time dad was allowed another day off and we packed him off to stroll through the streets of London. Thirteen miles of walking later, this is his report on a number of pubs and other buildings some of which appear to have ceased any existence and others which have changed their use.

All the original photographs taken from the 1960’s – 1980’s are the property of Jeffrey Johnson. All the new photographs are the property of me, @rescuedogdexter.

Wheatsheaf, Stoney Street, London Bridge

The pub was rebuilt in 1840. It was given Grade II listing in 1998 and then closed temporarily in 2009 for four years whilst the top storey was removed to allow another railway bridge to be placed directly above. Sadly the pub was caught up in the London Bridge attack in 2017.

Fullers pub, Monument

For a Fullers pub, there appears to have been a dearth of information on it. We believe it was called the Monument and was present until shortly after 1987. It was redeveloped as offices, a bar and Boots the Chemist amongst other stores.

Mappin & Webb, Bank Junction

The old Mappin & Webb building was designed in 1870 by a gentleman called John Belcher. It had listed status. Despite such protection, it was demolished in 1993 to make way for One Poultry which was completed in 1997. The building stands on the corner of Queen Victoria Street and Cheapside. It houses offices and, at one time, a rooftop bar.

St Ethelburga’s Church, Bishopsgate

First recorded in 1250 as St Adelburga the virgin, the church was rebuilt around 1411. At some time during the 16th century it had a wooden porch placed over the entrance to house 2 shops in order that the church could raise more money. The church was extensively damaged in 1993 when an IRA bomb was placed around 30 feet from the entrance and caused major damage to Bishopsgate. It was rebuilt in its original manner after a public outcry over plans for the building to be removed and altered significantly. The church is Grade I listed. It is now a Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.

Magpie & Punchbowl, 86 Bishopsgate

A short distance along Bishopsgate from St Ethelburga’s was situated the Magpie & Punchbowl. It occupied a corner plot with one of the old alleyways prevalent in London through history, being Clarks Place leading to Wrestlers Court. This hostelry was another victim to the IRA bomb which devastated Bishopsgate in 1993. It was rebuilt and incorporated into an office block. However this was also subsequently demolished and is now part of the 100 Bishopsgate office project.

Aldgate office block

Aldgate is a ward in The City of London. It is bounded on the east by the line of the former London Wall, part of which remains and can be seen in an office just out of view in the photographs. The area bounded by Aldgate (the street itself) and Duke’s Place is now pedestrianised. The office itself is somewhat of a mystery regarding who owned it, or who was housed within.

The Rising Sun, Tower Bridge Approach

The Rising Sun appears to have been located in the Tower Hill, Mansell Street and Shorter Street triangle. The address was 12 Royal Mint Street, which is to the left of the old photograph. Due to the building of an office it was not possible to obtain a similar view to the original photograph, however the view toward Tower Bridge and St Katharine’s Way is clearly shown. The pub was closed in 1969 but was still present to be photographed in 1977.

Old Red Lion, 24-29 Whitechapel High Street, E1

Situated next to one of the entrances to Aldgate East Underground station, the Old Red Lion was built around 1835 and demolished in 1983. The older picture shows the pub between the Underground entrance and Lloyds Bank, and the P&O London office of Beagle House rising ominously to the rear. Now it is all swept away, with Aldgate Tower standing on the site. The entrance to Aldgate East remains (remodelled) on the right side of the latest photograph.

Christ Church Spitalfields E1

The church hasn’t changed since the original photograph was taken. However the surrounding area has altered significantly. The London Wool Exchange, in the row of buildings to the right of the church in the first picture, is now a glass office block with only a facade of the old brick frontage remaining. Spitalfields Market to the left of the pictures now houses a number of boutique shops and restaurants along with a market.

Turks Head, 308 Brick Lane E1

Located at the northern end of Brick Lane a pub has existed on the site since approximately 1790. Originally addressed as 1 Turk Street before Brick Lane was extended. The pub was still open in 1968 and demolished sometime thereafter. The location of the pub on Turk Street appears to be on the corner of Virginia Road and Chambord Street.

Manchester Arms, 155 Hackney Road E2

A pub was on the site sometime prior to 1872. It had a name change in 1991 and was subsequently closed in 1994. It became retail premises and has been a ladies hairdresser, a taxi office and currently is a barbershop.

The Sporting Life, Wilmot Street, E2

Located close to Bethnal Green Overground station, a pub has been present since before 1792. The pub was originally called the Lamb. Its name was changed in later years to The Sporting Life. It was closed in 1993 and converted to residential use.

Hat & Feathers 2 Clerkenwell Road EC1M

A pub has been open on this site between 1782 and 1990, then closed for around 17 years and reopened between 2007 and 2011. It is now closed again and there seems to be no sign of any re-opening. A former Taylor Walker pub.

Princess of Wales 1 Bridport Place, N1

This was a difficult pub to locate due to the lack of information available from the initial picture. There are a number of pubs called Princess of Wales. The pub was bombed in 1944 during WWII and was completely demolished. Left derelict for a considerable period of time, housing now occupies the site.

Blue Coat Boy 415 City Road, EC1

The pub was known as the Blue Angel at the time of its demolition in 1990. Offices now occupy the space, with a home-brew pub called the Brewhouse & Kitchen on the ground floor.

Kings Arms, Gard Street, off Moreland Street EC1

A Banks & Taylor pub. Appears to have been opened around 1810 and closed in 1974. Subsequently demolished to make way for flats.

Cannon Brewery 160 St John Street, EC1

Founded in 1720 by Rivers Dickinson, John Dickinson & Richard Dickinson. Two of them were then declared bankrupts in 1817. It changed hands a number of times more. In 1863 it was owned by George Hanbury & Barclay Field. It became a Registered Company in 1895 with 110 public houses allied to the brewery. The business was acquired by Taylor Walker in 1930 and became Ind Coope (London) Ltd in 1960.

The White Horse 90 Fetter Lane EC4

A pub was present by 1766 and known in the early years as the Oxford House as it was the starting point for the stage coaches heading for Oxford. It was rebuilt in the style of the first photograph around 1899 and subsequently closed and then demolished in 1989. An office was built in its place, which was again demolished and replaced by the office seen in the latest picture.

The Globe, 1 Hosier Lane, Little Britain EC1A

Locating this pub was interesting. It is shown as No.7 Hosier Lane, however records show it as No.1 Hosier Lane. The building believed to currently occupy the site is shown as No.23 Hosier Lane. Located to the south of Smithfield Market, the former Charringtons pub had been open between 1869 – 1961.

Old King Lud 12 Ludgate Circus

The pub was built in 1870, purchased by Isaac Levy in 1894 and became part of the Chef & Brewer chain of pubs, selling Whitbread beer. A couple of closures followed for refurbishments until it was closed permanently in 2005 and turned into mixed use office and cafe.

Baynard Castle, 148 Queen Victoria Street EC4

On the corner of Queen Victoria Street and St Andrew’s Hill just south of St Pauls Cathedral, the pub was renamed Cos Bar in 2006 and is now a bar and restaurant called Rudds Bar.

We hope you enjoyed our walk through some of the lesser known parts of London. Sadly too many of the establishments have disappeared from sight, however their presence is maintained through the photographic records.

Vanishing pubs of London

As some of my readers will know, I have been to London a couple of times and enjoyed exploring the city very much. So when, some time ago, my dad saw a blog written by The Gentle Author, our inquisitive nature came to the fore. The Gentle Author is a blogger and writer, based in Spitalfields which is on the boundary of East London and the City. The blog in question related to some photographs taken by a gentleman called Jeffrey Johnson. Mr Johnson subsequently deposited the photographs with the Bishopsgate Institute. They were taken in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s and were of various pubs in London. Whilst looking through the photographs, we realised that some of the pubs were no longer there. As a result of our interest, we decided I would send out my Research Assistant, also known as my dad, to investigate whether the pubs were still standing. If they were no longer there, what is in their place, we wondered.

Over a few days dad photographed, we believe, the locations of the pubs and this blog deals with what he found. I must at this point say thank you to both the Gentle Author and to Bishopsgate Institute, without whose assistance and guidance this blog entry could not take place. The photographs are arranged in the order in which they originally appeared, with Jeffrey Johnson’s picture being shown first.

The Hoop & Grapes, Aldgate

It is the oldest licensed house in the City of London, dating from 1593. Originally called The Castle, then the Angel & Crown, then Christopher Hills and finally the Hoop & Grapes. This is a reference to the sale of both beer & wine and was given the name in the 1920’s. The pub is a Grade II listed building.

Sir Walter Scott, 2 Broadway Market E8

The first reference we could find of the pub was 1851. The pub is now the Market Cafe. It stands on the corner of Broadway Market and Andrews Road, close by the Regents Canal.

City of Dublin Bottling Co., Dericote Street, nr Broadway Market E8

The building appears remarkably similar however it is clearly a private residence now. The history is somewhat shrouded in mystery, although we understand that it was part of the Guinness empire.

Knave of Clubs, 25 Bethnal Green Road E2

Grade II listed, present in 1735 the pub became a restaurant around 1994 before closing in 2001. It has since reopened as a bar & restaurant called Dirty Bones which is still open today.

Crown & Woolpack 394 St John Street, Clerkenwell

Believed to date originally from around 1851, the pub was open until 1990, then closed. It has undergone some refurbishment and is currently a hairdressers, called The Chapel.

Centre Page, Knightrider Street EC4V

Originally known as the Horn Tavern, the pub can be seen on the left when crossing the “wobbly” bridge from Tate Modern to the north bank approaching St Pauls. Another Grade II listed building, this time built in the mid 19th century. The other buildings in the area around the pub have changed significantly.

Brunswick Arms, Macdonald Road, Archway

The pub appears to have been on the corner of Macdonald Road & Vorley Road. It was demolished in the early 1980’s. The Archway Leisure Centre stands adjacent to the site and there is no trace of the pub. The flats behind the pub remain.

Queens Head, 31 Blackfriars Lane EC4V

The pub was situated immediately adjacent to the Thameslink rail line at Blackfriars. It was demolished in 1999 and now offices are in its place.

Crooked Billet, Wood Street & Chingford Road, Walthamstow

It’s believed a pub was on the site from 1742 – 1991. It was subsequently demolished for a roundabout known as The Crooked Billet on the A406 North Circular Road.

Old Bell Tavern, Pancras Road

The history of this pub appears to be difficult to come by and very little seems to be on record. The building has been swept away to provide taxi ranks and a pedestrianised area for King’s Cross and St Pancras stations. The German Gymnasium in the background of both pictures was the first purpose built gymnasium in England. It was built between 1864-1865 and today is a restaurant.

Magpie & Stump

Opposite the Old Bailey (or the Central Criminal Court) the Magpie & Stump was apparently nicknamed Court no.10 as it was regularly filled with detectives and reporters to discuss the proceedings. The old building has been replaced by an office incorporating the pub.

Mackworth Arms, 158 Commercial Road, E1

The pub was present in 1817 and closed around 2005. It’s latest use seems to be a clothes shop, however that also looked like it had been closed for a while.

Red Lion, 217 Whitechapel Road

Originally known as the Old Red Lion, the pub was present by 1839, when it became known as the Red Lion. It survived as a pub until around 1989 and is currently a shoe store under the name Sidhu.

Green Man, 7&9 Bucklersbury, St Benet Sherehog, EC4

The pub was situated in St Benet Sherehog, which now seems to be Sise Lane. It was demolished to allow the building of One Poultry, which was completed in 1997. There is another Green Man pub incorporated into the One Poultry development.

Marquis of Anglesey, 77 Ashmill Street, NW1

The address was changed prior to 1915 from 77 Devonshire Street to Ashmill Street. The pub closed around 2009 and became offices.

Bulls Head, 80 Leadenhall Street, EC3A

Demolished in 1990 to make way for an office development. Opposite Hartshorn Alley leading to Fenchurch Street.

White Horse, 8 Little Britain

Now known as 1 Little Britain. The sign is hidden behind the barred gate. There seems to have been a pub on the site since 1765, it was rebuilt in 1892 and closed around 1971. Converted to offices.

Olde Wine Shades, Martin Lane, EC4R

Now seems to be called El Vino The Olde Wine Shades, the pub remains on the same site. The establishment was built in 1663, so predates the Great Fire of London by 3 years. Due to the architectural and historical significance, it is Grade II listed.

The Crispin, 1 Finsbury Avenue EC2M

The original pub appears to have been rebuilt in the 1980’s and was then redeveloped as part of the Broadgate Development. It closed permanently in 2012. We cannot find details as to when the pub was first noted on the site of Finsbury Avenue.

Blue Posts, 73-75 West India Dock Road E14

The area has changed out of all recognition from the original photo. Westferry DLR station sits just a little behind the location of the pub. The original pub was present by 1800 and extensively rebuilt by 1876. It was demolished around 1987 – 1988 for the widening of the West India Dock Road.

Ticket Porter, Arthur Street, EC4R

The early address shows as 5 Arthur Street West however by 1910 it was shown as 17 & 19 Arthur Street. It is thought that the name came from the Ticket Porters who’s job it was to carry goods across London. The site is now redeveloped as part of the Bank interchange upgrade. The latest photograph was taken from slightly further down the hill toward Upper Thames Street.

Weavers Arms, 36 Sun Street, Finsbury EC2M

There appears to have been a pub called Weavers Arms since 1869 when it was thought to be at 13 Crown Street. The pub appears to have been demolished as part of the Broadgate Development and is known as 3 Finsbury Avenue which has taken the place of the southern side of Sun Street.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog. As you will see, some of the pubs still remain and are open for business. However sadly many are closed, redeveloped or swept away in the tide of change and progress that is forever present in cities such as London.

The Gentle Author’s blog can be found at http://spitalfieldslife.com and the Bishopsgate Institute can be contacted through their website at https://www.bishopsgate.org.uk . They have many interesting articles and information for everyone to view and enjoy.

Wendover Woods wander

Come on, come on. The sun is up, the sky is blue, I am a Beagle, I need a view. What do you mean it’s only 7 am. Ugh lazy bones. Boing, boing, boing, arooo. The day has begun and here I am waiting on my parents to get themselves together.

Uh oh, this could be trouble, as I see both of them putting on their walking shoes. And dad has the car keys. I may live to regret waking them up “early” as there seems to be a steely determination in their eyes. They’ve not even had breakfast and I am being harnessed and made ready to go. What delights await me today? Into the car and off we go, through the lanes and past the rescue centre that I came from. Down the hill and I have no idea where we are. I have never been here before. Excellent a new adventure!

Somewhere new to explore.

As we park, mum is quickly around to get me out of the travel crate and my eyes take in the view. Trees, trees and more trees. This can only mean one thing. Squirrels. And walks. And fun. And shenanigans. OK that’s four things but hey I am a beagle and usually only count the minuscule amount of noms on my tongue.

It appears that none of us have been to Wendover Woods before so we set off at some speed. Well, not exactly speed as sadly I am shackled to mum. At least I have some leeway for pulling instead of having to drag dad around. The scents fill my nose, the sights fill my eyes, the sounds of the woodland creatures fill my ears, the gravel path is under my paws so I only need to taste some stagnant puddle water to have to full sensory experience.

Lets go on the Hillfort walk I hear them say. Pffft I’m not having that, we are going on the Firecrest walk and we divert quickly off the intended path. It’s mighty warm trying to investigate all the new places that I am trying my best to reach as quickly as possible so I am drinking plenty of water.

Dogs everywhere, having fun

There are so many other dogs out here enjoying it all, as well. Most of them are off lead so can wander in and out of the trees and undergrowth. I know I am not allowed off lead so will enjoy myself in my own special way. Come on mum, hurry up.

The lovely Chilterns

Through the woods and along the track, up hill, down hill and then around the zigzag bends. That’s a nice view they think, however I still have much dexploration left in my paws. There are so many smells here that I want to smell them all at the same time. More water and I am starting to slow a little. This is warm, but not that warm. Maybe I’m getting a bit old, who knows. Anyway, not to worry, we are off again and I can smell a squirrel in the trees. But which tree?


Slow down? Pffft.

All too soon we are climbing the hill toward the car and the inevitable return journey home, but there seems to be a large monster looking at me. I have my picture taken with the Gruffalo and we are off to the car for the return journey.

What do you mean, he’s behind you.

That was great fun. I didn’t know about Wendover Woods. I had such a good time and saw so many things. I am definitely going back.

Follow in my paw steps