Monday 18th December 2000

It is time once more for HASSRALE's celebration of the festive season in the form of the customary evening pre-Christmas trip. To save any confusion we shall adopt the same route as the last five years i.e. along The Cut then up towards Waterloo station. Although the Anchor and Hope has re-opened (under another name) it has changed so much that it is not worthy of inclusion and there may also be problems with The White Hart, so we may complete the trip again (as happened last year to my surprise). As usual we shall start off at the junction of The Cut with Blackfriars Road, but this year the reality of using Southwark Station on the Jubilee Line extension has formally materialised!. Approximate leaving times are shown in [ ].

1. The Ring - 72 Blackfriars Road SE1 [18.30]
Ind Coope Burton; Fullers London Pride; Youngs Bitter.

Famous one-bar pub built on the site of the former boxing venue destroyed during the Blitz. As alluded to above, Southwark Jubilee Line tube station opposite is not only resplendent, but open. The pub is festooned with photographs of former boxers. Hopefully one of the less busy pubs in the area and still one of the few remaining outlets for Burton (certainly in good condition on the trial). On leaving, cross the road at the traffic lights, then continue on down to the left along The Cut, past the Young Vic, to find ...

2. The Windmill - 86 The Cut [19.15]
Shepherd Neame Spitfire; Ushers Best; Courage Best.

This has recently undergone extensive and much-needed refurbishment in order to meet the competition of the former Anchor & Hope. This has resulted in the retention of the original two-bar layout including the archway between the two areas, but the "glasses" rail above the bar has been removed giving more of a wine-bar feel and emphasising the ceiling (dark blue/mauve). Good use has been made of the available space with a number of pine tables (all candlelit) allowing customers to partake of the comprehensive food menu. The first time that we've encountered a pub with TWO projection TVs side by side. Turn right down Windmill Walk, cross Wootton Gardens under the railway viaduct, then over Brad St. On the left at the corner is ....

3. The Kings Arms - 25 Roupell Street [20.00]
Marstons Pedigree; Ushers Best; Adnams Bitter; Tetley Bitter.

Decidedly popular (especially with Channel 4 employees) two-bar pub situated in one of the bijou back-streets of Waterloo. It has a further area at the back that used to be uncovered and housed a barbecue and bearing in mind the weather, was generally only suitable for occasional summer use. Nowadays being roofed in it is just as busy as the rest of the place. Continue straight ahead i.e. across Roupell St. then left along Whittlesey St. On the far corner is ...

4. The White Hart - 29 Cornwall Street [20.45]
Fuller's London Pride.

Two interconnecting bars of somewhat different character. The left-hand bar is brightly lit with gaming machines and a pool table, while the other bar is much plusher. Both are inclined to be busy, but the lounge bar is fairly comfortable. Unfortunately as we discovered on the trip last year, the hand-pumped beer was not available (although visits at other times have proved otherwise). If this situation pertains on the main trip we will rapidly move on to the next establishment. Turn left down Cornwall Rd (thankfully the building works for the tube have finished) and immediately right down Sandell St which is now open to traffic again, so watch out. At the junction with Waterloo Road is ...

5. The Wellington Tavern - 81 Waterloo Road [21.15]
Greene King IPA; Youngs Triple A; Adnams Bitter; Brakspear's Bitter.

Used to be a "Burke's Free House" like the next establishment, but has more of a student clientele, as indicated by the continuous music. Can be fairly busy of an evening anyway. It has also recently undergone a further re-furbishment which is minor and mainly seems just to have introduced more decrepit furniture, but this is a regular occurrence for this pub. Can become quite crowded (even outside of the Festive season) , we may not hang around here, hence times for arrival/leaving etc. are likely to vary even more than usual after this pub. It has undergone several make-overs in the last five years, but still no sign of the elusive skittle alley (this is a running joke, ask JC!). Now pay attention, pub number 6 is on Mepham Street, but access to this is limited so cross Waterloo Rd then walk up under the railway bridge and turn left where possible to come into Mepham St itself. Further up on the right is ...

6. The Hole in the Wall - 5 Mepham Street [10.00+]
Morlands Old Speckled Hen; Youngs Special and Ordinary; Everards Tiger; Adnams Broadside & Bitter; King & Barnes Sussex + others.

Not many have made it this far in previous years (and probably we will not find Mr Alman in here on a surprise visit this year ), but just in case you are one of the few people never to have visited it, this is a large two-bar pub right under the railway viaduct and overlooking Waterloo Station's Victory Arch. Beer generally in good condition, the rear bar has a juke-box, projection screen TV and several machines, while the front bar is less noisy (no juke-box) and plusher (note the revised table layout).

Well that's all folks. Across the road is Waterloo Station with access to mainline Northern, Bakerloo and Jubilee tubes (N.B. there is now access to the station from the Tennison Way entrance next to the pub, the Jubilee Line entrance is back on Waterloo Bridge Rd and down to the right past the railway bridge). Buses will take you across Waterloo Bridge to The Strand and points North, so have a safe journey home! Oh - and have a Merry Christmas.

Trial run (for a change - we normally blag the Xmas trip!) Edmund & James Featherstone and John Wright on Weds 29th November 2000.