CATFORD CRAWL - Thursday 14th January 1993
This is an area of South-East London that has been visited by HASSRALE before, but that was a long time ago and anyway not having gone on the former trip myself, I shall try again.
The area is accessible by trains from Kings Cross/Blackfriars Thameslink to Catford (upper line) or Charing Cross to Catford Bridge (lower line, confused yet?) on the Hayes line. Trains for Thameslink are e.g. 17.14, 17.36, 18.02, 18.26 from Blackfriars arriving 3/4 minutes later at Elephant & Castle... or... e.g. 17.14, 17.36, 17.58 from Charing Cross (and, similarly a few minutes later from Waterloo East then London Bridge), taking 18 minutes and 19 minutes respectively. There are trains earlier and later of course, but beware the first pub does not open until 17.30!
FFor the benefit of Mr Carter, the first port of call is close to both stations since the area will be somewhat of a mystery to him, I expect. To reach pub number one leave Catford Station and at Catford Road turn left alternatively from the from Catford Bridge leave the station on the platform side turn up the station approach road to find ....
1. The Copperfield - Catford Bridge [18.30]
Courage Directors and Best Bitter.
Formerly called the Railway for some reason, this has recently become a Chef and Brewer establishment. It is a sizeable one-bar pub in mock Tudor style. Originally multi-barred (like some of the clientele?) it has a QUIET public side with dartboard, pool table & quiz machine and a juke-box end which is a tribute to the ability of the acoustic engineer to seek out every corner of an area and saturate it with sound. However the beer is consistently good as is the service. F From here we exit to the right up Catford Road over the railway line (take care!), cross Ravensbourne Park then continue under the railway bridge and round past St Dunstans until we arrive at ...
2. The Blythe Hill Tavern - 319 Stanstead Road [19.15]
Courage Directors and Best; Greene King Abbot.
Very much a locals' pub, this sports 3 bars with a public bar at the front and a spli lounge bar at the back. Much racing memorabilia (dead jockeys, er locals etc.) and a convivial atmosphere. F Leave here and cross over Stanstead Rd where appropriate and turn left down Blythe Vale to join Catford Hill. Stay on the right, following the road round past the Blythe Fish Bar (not more vinegar?) and continue up the incline to find on the right ...
3. The Two Brewers - Perry Hill SE6 [20.00]
Courage Directors and Best Bitter; Ruddles County.
Large estate-type pub with two main bars and plenty of seating. Also has a patio and garden area which will be in great demand no doubt; many fruit machines to huddle around for warmth otherwise. F Exit stage left and retrace your steps down the road because, lo and behold, on the right is .......
4. The Rutland Arms, 55 Perry Hill SE6 [21.00]
Adnams Mild; Pilgrim Porter; Youngs Special; Fullers London Pride; Charrington Bass, IPA; Ruddles County.
Recently re-opened as a free-house, this was formerly a Charringtons establishment with a dubious reputation (details to be revealed on payment of the usual fiver etc.). Now has become a pleasant local (no riff-raff please) with a bar-billiards table in the small public area (no comment) and a reasonably quiet lounge bar. The landlord has been known to tinkle the ivories, but we may be lucky on this occasion. F From here I would recommend turning right and following Catford Hill along past various landmarks to be described on the trip. Cross the road at the pedestrian crossing by Majestics Wine Store and continue on down towards the railway bridge. Just before the latter we encounter.....
5. The Prince Henry, 20 Catford Hill [21.45]
It may have the external mien of a fizz palace, but it can be a pleasant watering-hole (also it breaks the trek back). Large one bar pub with a (disarmingly) clear glass frontage. Occasionally boasts cheap beer, but not the cask-conditioned variety I'm afraid. Sports two pool tables for the exhibitionists among you. F On leaving continue down under the railway bridge and cross over towards the stations.
FFor those in need of further refreshment I would recommend either the Copperfield (the name seems familiar) or the Catford Ram, a Youngs pub less than 5 minutes away (enquire the details from us in pub No. 5 ).
Return journeys are from either Catford or Catford Bridge Stations:
21.47, 22.18, 22.47, 23.18.....or.....21.35, 22.05, 22.35, 23.05 respectively
Survey participants: John Wright and Deborah Kirkwood; Dates: numerous!