It is time once more for HASSRALE's celebration of the festive season in the form of the customary evening pre-Christmas trip. (As in previous years if anyone wishes to arrange anything even closer to the 25th, then feel free).To save any confusion we shall adopt the same route as the last four years i.e. along The Cut then up towards Waterloo station. Unfortunately this year there is a greater chance of actually completing the trip due to the demise of the Anchor and Hope (see below). As usual we shall start off at its junction with Blackfriars Road, but as last year the prospect of using Southwark Station on the Jubilee Line extension is tantalisingly close, but not a reality (yet). Approximate leaving times are shown in [ ].

1. The Ring - 72 Blackfriars Road SE1 [18.30]
Ind Coope Burton; Tetley Bitter + Guest Beer.

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 is resplendent in its glory with every appearance of being operational without actually being open! 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 (generally in good condition). On leaving, turn left along The Cut, crossing where appropriate. This time however we shall not be able to call in at our regular port of call on HASSRALE jaunts, the Anchor & Hope, because as discovered on the evening of HASSRALE's 20th Anniversary and subsequently confirmed, the establishment is closed, boarded-up, surrounded by hoardings and has had all identification removed! So, sadly continue on down The Cut, to find on the right past the Young Vic ...

2. The Windmill - 86 The Cut [19.15]
Courage Directors and Best.

Another two-bar pub handy for the theatres, seats outside (not heated I'm afraid). Can become busy when the shows finish and also presumably at Christmas!Turn right down Windmill Walk, cross Wootton Gardens under the railway viaduct, the over Brad St. On the left at the corner is ....

3. The Kings Arms - 25 Roupell Street [20.00]
Marstons Pedigree; Theakstons Best; 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 summer use.  ¶ 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]
Bass; 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. ¶ Turn left down Cornwall Rd past yet more building works for the Jubilee Line extension and immediately right down Sandell St (now a no-through road for cars). At the junction with Waterloo Road is ...

5. The Wellington Tavern - 81 Waterloo Road [21.15]
Various beers, but should include Youngs Special, Adnams Broadside and Bitter.

Used to be a “Burke's Free House” like the next establishment, but has now branched out. Can be fairly busy of an evening anyway. It has also recently undergone a further re-furbishment, 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 four years, but still no sign of the elusive skittle alley (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+e]
Morlands Old Speckled Hen; Youngs Winter Warmer, Special and Ordinary; Everards Tiger; King & Barnes Sussex + others.

Not many have made it this far in previous years, 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.

¶ Well that's all folks. Across the road is Waterloo Station with access to mainline Northern & Bakerloo tubes. 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.

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