Hassrale Trips - Tower Hamlets(2)

Date: Tuesday 2nd May 1989

Hassrale Logo

This trip explores Bethnal Green the name of which was originally Blithehale. The name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon 'blithe' meaning happy or pleasant, and 'hale' a nook or retreat. Some people would doubt whether this is an apt description of the present day Bethnal Green. However there are plenty of pubs. A lot do not sell real ale but there are plenty left to enable a pleasant trip to take place. Some of the pubs provided basic food but there were many restaurants and take-aways on the route.

The times in brackets are the approximate times of leaving the pubs.

Bethnal Green tube station is on the Central line. Take the Bethnal Green Road exit out of the station. Cross the road and turn left down Bethnal Green Road until you come to the first pub.

1. Old George - 397 Bethnal Green Road [18:30]

Beers: Ruddles Best

Originally 'Ye Old George' and dating back to at least 1742 it used to look over farmland! Pleasant spacious one bar pub. There was plenty of food on the night that we did the trial run but unfortunately only available to the private party taking place.

Turn right out of the pub and cross the road.

2. Marquis of Cornwallis - 304 Bethnal Green Road [19:15]

Beers: Ruddles County, Trumans Best

Fairly recently decorated in comfortable bland style with island bar. No food available.

Turn left out of pub, cross the road and turn right into Barnet Grove. Walk right to the end, turn left and right into Horatio Road. The next pub is at the end of the road on the right hand side.

3. Marksman - 254 Hackney Road [20:00]

Beers: Pitfield Dark Star, Theakstons KB, Guest beers

This is a small side street local which dates back to Victorian times. The site has been used as a beer retailer's shop since at least 1865. A local legend relates that the pub was named after the French marksman who shot Lord Nelson dead at the battle of Trafalgar. The adjoining street, now called Horatio Street was formerly called Nelson Street. Pies and sandwiches are available.

Cross the road, turn right and walk to the end of Hackney Road. Then turn left into Cambridge Heath Road to the next pub.

4, Hare - 505 Cambridge Heath Road [20:45]

Beers: Websters Yorkshire, Trumans Best

Don't argue with the barmaids, they are bigger than you! They're friendly though. Pies and pizzas available. There is a good juke box.

Turn right out of pub and cross road to next pub.

5. White Horse - 235 Cambridge Heath Road [21:30]

Beers: Wethereds Bitter

Small one bar pub opposite Cambridge Heath BR station. Darts board and a good juke box. Food may be available.

Turn left into Bishops Road, cross road and turn right into Russia lane. Walk through housing estate to Approach Road and turn left to next pub.

6. Approach Tavern - 47 Approach Road [22:15]

Beers: King & Barnes Sussex, Courage Directors, may have Pitfields Dark Star

Popular young pub. Upstairs room which is used as a theatre. Pub built in 1861 at a cost of £1953! Has been in the hands of the King family since 1928 when the present owners father took over the tenancy from Barclay Perkins which subsequently became Courage. he bought the freehold in 1975, since when it has become an even more lively and friendly two bar pub.

Turn left out of pub, bear right into Old Ford Road walking past York Hall (former home of the Pig's Ear festival). Turn right into Cambridge Heath Road back to Bethnal Green tube station.

Survey Team: Barbara Waby, reg Wright, Dave Saffery

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