Monday, 20 June 2011

The Beer With No Pub!

The World's End in its heyday
Back in the days of my youth, one could go on a pub crawl without leaving the borders of my neighbourhood- The World’s End, and that, considering the area is not much larger than Vatican City, is quite an achievement. The names of these ’boozers’ rang like  poetry to a working man's ears- The Roebuck; The Kings Arms; The Wetherby; The Riley; The Stanley Arms; The Man in the Moon; The Globe/Water Rat and The Sporting Page. Yes, the locality almost had more pubs than Rome has churches!
Our local band outside 'The Kings Arms'
The World’s End was a small working class enclave, lying on western end of affluent Chelsea's Kings Road. This community, which somehow was cut off from its East End cousins, consisted of hard labouring people, whose main source of income was working in the factories that lay on the banks of the Thames, or cleaning the houses in the surrounding well-to-do boroughs. Though small in size its history is huge in stature; from being renowned in the Victorian era for its Cremorne Gardens, a pleasure park which was destroyed by Victorian Puritanism; to being a major target for Hitler’s bombs in WW2, the old World’s Enders took the upheavals, and danger with an insurmountable working class spirit!
'Oi! Watch me beer!'
Most of the tight interwoven home bred families have long disappeared, and the shabby houses they lived in have become mini mansions, for prices that the old tenants could not have afforded in one thousand life times! Streets have vanished with huge apartment blocks now standing where they ran. Most of the pubs have become fancy high priced restaurants, a betting shop, and one has become or was, the residence of a major rock star, (hint-…Adams). But, the one thing that had survived through all this progress was the motive behind the areas unusual name- that is, survived until now!

An elaborate name such as ‘Mayfair’- or to be named after some Earls hunting call-‘Soho’, was not to the liking of the first ‘commoners’ to inhabit the area; so true to their nature, they  named it after their local tavern -‘The World’s End’! And now this almost last remaining link to the areas past has been turned in to an American Diner! And according to the critics not a good one at that-LINK. For me, a World’s Ender, you couldn’t shock me more if you turned Buckingham Palace into an amusement park, (who knows at this rate-that could still happen in my life time!). The pub that has survived the harshness of the centuries has fallen to a ‘chicken wings and hamburger’ invasion. I realize that this is becoming the fate of many pubs across Britain, but there are not many communities which can  boast being named after a local

From the list I quoted in my first paragraph, only two pubs remain-The Riley and The Sporting Page. These days the humorous  expression "the pub with no beer", can be replaced with a bitter, "the beer with no pub"

Most of the  'Modern Love' clip was filmed in the World's End vicinity.
A big thank you to World's Ender -Chris Pain for the historic photo's

If you have enjoyed this post, please be so kind and  press my Face Book like button on the top right hand side of this page. Thank you. Warmest wishes, Alex Johnson

1 comment:

  1. Don't worry Alex! The American diner at the World's End will last as long as its last few incarnations ... I give it nine months at the very most.