Notes from West London · Trivia

Dead Pubs of West London

Five years ago I was involved with a Quiz Night at my children’s primary school and put together a round called Dead Pubs of Chiswick. People still say nice things to me about it. It was a bit of fun, and that’s one of my two criteria for a successful quiz round.

I took photos of a number of local buildings which used to be pubs, or have been built on the site of former pubs, or had been converted from something else into bars in the previous 15 years. These photos were presented as a slideshow on a large screen. The challenge was to identify what the buildings used to be. For anyone who grew up around here it was fairly straightforward. My brother and I had had at least one pint in each place before it closed down or changed name (with one exception) and wouldn’t have needed any help identifying their earlier incarnations. Most people in the room did not grow up round here so could not be expected to have this local knowledge. I created a table with the ten names we were looking for so that each team could match them with the images. This fulfilled the second of my two criteria for a successful quiz round: no team should get zero. For the two buildings that had been converted into bars in the previous 15 years we wanted to know what they were used for previously.

Here’s what the instruction sheet said:

Instructions

We will show you photographs of 10 buildings around Chiswick as they currently are. At the bottom of the page is a list of what these buildings used to be, listed from A to J. Match up each building with the appropriate letter. Clues, hints and obscure local facts will be given as the round progresses.

Current Name or Use (Location) Answer
1 Ladbrokes (High Road)
2 Le Pain Quotidien (High Road)
3 High Road Auctions (High Road)
4 18-20 [Empty] (High Road / Prebend Gardens)
5 All Bar One (High Road)
6 Landmark Cars (Hogarth Roundabout)
7 Carvosso’s at 210 (High Road)
8 Offices (Duke Road / Reckitt Road)
9 Nationwide Building Society (High Road)
10 The Duchess of Cambridge (Bath Road / Goldhawk Road)

Former Name or use

A The Feathers

B The Queen of England

C Police Station

D The Bolton

E The Hogshead

F The Emperor

G The Prince of Wales

H The Windmill

I Fire Station

J Pitcher & Piano

The Photographs

Here are the images from the slideshow, with some hints. (Unless otherwise indicated the names of the buildings are still the same in 2017.)

1 Ladbrokes, High Road

DeadPubs1

Close-up of Picture 1 (showing the balcony above Ladbrokes)

DeadPubs1_closeup

Hint: This pub was NOT called the Feathers. It’s also the only place where I never had a pint of beer. It ceased to be a pub before I was a teenager.

2 Le Pain Quotidien (High Road)

DeadPubs2

Hint: This building is on the corner of the High Road and another road. If you know the name of that road it will help you to identify what the pub used to be called.

3 High Road Auctions (High Road)

DeadPubs3

Obscure local facts: before its conversion into a triple-fronted bar part of this building was a carpet shop. There was also a café/bar which was previously known as The Macbeth and Café Flo.

4 18-20 [Empty] (High Road / Prebend Gardens); in 2017 this is now a restaurant / bar called Nova

DeadPubs4

5 All Bar One (High Road); its current name rather gives the game away

DeadPubs5

Hint: this building used to be something completely different, as you can probably tell from the clock tower.

6 Landmark Cars (Hogarth Roundabout); in 2017 this is a Tesla showroom

DeadPubs6

Obscure local facts: the pub that previously stood on this site was reputed to be Elizabeth Taylor’s favourite. Every now and then in the 1980s, as she passed through Chiswick on her way into Central London from Heathrow, Ms Taylor would be photographed in the pub holding a pint of Guinness and the snap would appear the following week in our local paper. In the 1960s a function room in this pub was used for the first read-through of a “Dad’s Army” script.

7 Carvosso’s at 210 (High Road)

DeadPubs7

Hint: this building used to be something completely different.

8 Offices (Duke Road / Reckitt Road)

DeadPubs8

Hint: if you know the original name of Duke Road you’ll have a very good chance of getting this one. Obscure personal fact: when my parents got married in the 1950s they had their wedding reception in an upstairs room at this pub.

9 Nationwide Building Society (High Road)

DeadPubs9

Obscure local facts: in its day the roughest pub on Chiswick High Road, site of many a lock-in. I loved it. Most of the time I spent in this place was after-hours in the early 1980s.

10 The Duchess of Cambridge (Bath Road / Goldhawk Road)

DeadPubs10

Hint: If things go to plan for the royal family this pub’s old name will become decidedly appropriate.

The Answers

Current Name or Use (Location) Answer
1 Ladbrokes (High Road) G
2 Le Pain Quotidien (High Road) H
3 High Road Auctions (High Road) E
4 18-20 [Empty] (High Road / Prebend Gardens) J
5 All Bar One (High Road) I
6 Landmark Cars (Hogarth Roundabout) A
7 Carvosso’s at 210 (High Road) C
8 Offices (Duke Road / Reckitt Road) D
9 Nationwide Building Society (High Road) F
10 The Duchess of Cambridge (Bath Road / Goldhawk Road) B

Further notes and explanation

1 Ladbrokes / Prince of Wales

The white feather insignia on the balcony of this former pub is that of the Prince of Wales. Behind the building is a small road called Prince of Wales Terrace. When I showed the close-up of the feathers a number of teams on the night of the quiz chose The Feathers as their answer before I had time to give my most direct hint of the night:  “This pub was NOT called the Feathers”.

2 Le Pain Quotidien / Windmill

This building is on the corner of Windmill Road. Between its time as The Windmill and its current use as Le Pain Quotidien it was called Jack Stamps Beer House (no apostrophe) and Balans.

3 High Road Auctions / Hogshead

There had never been a pub on this site until 1997 when it opened as a Hogshead (part of a chain currently owned by the Laurel Pub Company). For a year or two, when run by an excellent landlord called Carl, it was the best pub in Chiswick. Later called Goodness (in 2006/7), it was empty for a number of years before it reopened as High Road Auctions.

4 18/20 (Empty) / Pitcher & Piano

After its time as the Pitcher & Piano this bar was called Revolution, around the year 2000, and it was empty for many years before reopening in 2016 as Nova.

5 All Bar One / Fire Station

This bar is now called The Fire Station. Fortunately, it wasn’t called that when I put this quiz together. The clock tower is where the fire hoses were hung up after use. The new Fire Station in Heathfield Gardens opened in the 1960s.

6 Landmark Cars (Hogarth Roundabout) / The Feathers

Just before its demise in the late 1990s the Feathers was an Irish bar, run by the same chap who would go on to run Jack Stamps Beer House (formerly the Windmill). My last visit to the Feathers was to see the All-Ireland Hurling Final of 1998, when Kilkenny lost to Offaly. Within a year the pub was closed. The building was demolished and lay empty for a number of years before becoming a car showroom.

7 Carvosso’s at 210 (High Road) / Police Station

The new Police Station, on the other side of the High Road, was opened around 1974. The traditional blue Police light, which hung outside, was moved to the new building at the same time. Both buildings featured as exterior shots in the BBC1 series “Dixon of Dock Green” which ran until 1976. The Gents Toilets at Carvosso’s are, apparently, where the cells were.

8 Offices (Duke Road / Reckitt Road) / The Bolton

Duke Road was originally called Bolton Road and was the site of the first Cato’s store. In the 1980s and 1990s Duke Road, like other roads in what is now called “The Glebe Estate”, had a range of shops (convenience stores, a sweet-shop, a piano shop), as well as this Charrington pub, all long gone.

9 Nationwide Building Society (High Road) / The Emperor

Bizarrely, although this was the roughest pub on the High Road, its upstairs room played host at different times in the 1980s to a gay bar and a small theatre. Both ventures passed me by, and neither lasted very long. By 1990 this had become what it is now, a branch of the Nationwide Building Society. The sign outside the pub had a picture of an Emperor butterfly. The grainy image below is the only photographic evidence I can find of the building’s previous life. It’s part of a family photograph taken outside Our Lady of Grace RC Church in the 1970s, on the day of my brother’s Confirmation. If you want to see the whole photograph leave a Comment on this page and I’ll arrange a way for you to see it but I’m not planning to post family snaps on this Blog for now.

Emperor_Sign

10 The Duchess of Cambridge (Bath Road / Goldhawk Road) / The Queen of England

The pub formerly known as the Queen of England is now the Duchess of Cambridge If all goes to plan for the royal family the current Duchess of Cambridge will become the Queen of England when Prince William becomes king. Over the last 40 years this pub / bar / restaurant has traded under more names than any other nearby, including Charlotte’s, Café Med, Pacific, The Stamford and The Brook, as well as the Queen of England and the Duchess of Cambridge.

 

 

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