Hassrale Decennary - 1979-1989

Date: Wednesday 11th October 1989
Place: London - Central Occasion: Hassrale Celebrates

This day marks a momentous day in the history of HASSRA it was the natal day of that marvellous institution known to many as HASSRALE. Old timers say that this very day 10 years ago a few hardened drinkers gathered in a room in John Adam St and formulated a plan for a 'Real Ale' Society, this plan was brought to fruition in the George in George Ct.

To celebrate this great day in our history we will be holding an all day celebration which will start off in the area of the Strand, which marks the birth place of the great idea, and moves in the evening to the Elephant and Castle, the current centre of health and social security activities.

I hope that all members will try to make at least one of the pubs on the days route as in many respects this may turn out to be something of a swan song for the great days of Hassrale. The mooted dispersal of HQ and the creation of autonomous agencies all tend to reduce the possible membership of HASSRALE. It is possible that HASSRALE will still be here in 10 years time but I suspect that it will be a greatly changed organization. If it no longer exists then I would hope that those of us who are still capable of drinking will assemble in London for old times sake.

Onto the day itself, we will assemble at Embankment Stn at 10:00 where we will lay a can at the cardboard box of the unknown dosser underneath the arches Moving on to Tiananmen(Trafalgar) Square we will stage a mass demonstration against the foreign conglomerates who are threatening to strangle the production of real ale It should now be time for the first pub to open at 11:00 for this I have chosen the Chandos in St Martins Lane. After a brief ramble the intention is to start the main trip in the George followed for those that are interested by a crawl around the Strand & Covent Garden area.

Note in the following the times shown are those for leaving the pub.

1. Chandos - 29 St Martins Lane [11:30]
Beers: Sam Smiths Old Brewery Bitter

A large pub, somewhat touristy pub, ware pickpockets. This should be fairly quiet at opening time, this will give us time to reflect on the past triumphs and disasters of Hassrale and we can attempt to remember the names of all those who have fallen by the wayside.

2. Welsh Harp - 47 Chandos Place [12:00]
Beers: Charrington IPA & Bass

A small one bar pub has a row of irons seats which some people may enjoy sitting on. This pub is notable for having a back door which can be accessed through the door marked toilets.

3. George - 2 George Ct [12:45]
Beers: Charrington IPA & Bass

This has been designated the start pub for those who can only manage a half day. It is a two bar pub, the bar upstairs specialises in food. On recent visits this pub has been fairly crowded so if you want a seat I would advise getting here early.

A number of people will want to spend there whole lunchtime here soaking in the atmosphere of this former haunt of long gone Hassrale members, for those that prefer the Hassrale crawl a number of pubs now follows. Lunchtime in a area like this tends to be somewhat crowded so don't expect to find seats in any of these pubs till after 15:00 or later.

4. Griffin Tavern - 9 Villiers St [13:15]
Beers: Tolly Cobbold

Large pub, split level bars, usually crowded as right next to Charing Cross Stn. Does food but I remember it as being expensive.

5. Peacock - Maiden Lane [14:00]
Beers: Charrington IPA & Bass

An early Hassrale pub, used to have two bars downstairs now knocked into one. There is also an upstairs bar for the curious. Contains a number of luxurious leather couches if you can get near them. This pub used to do good food, including quite reasonable Sunday dinner, but as it is not Sunday I don't think that is relevant.

6. Coach & Horses - 42 Wellington St [14:30]
Beers: Ruddles County, Websters

A small though convivial pub, note the stained glass windows at the back of the pub. Limited seats, but this is a Hassrale trip.

7. Nell of old Drury - 29 Catherine St [15:00]
Beers: Courage Best & Directors

Narrow one bar pub opposite the Theatre Royal, I can't remember much about this pub apart from being a little inebriated there.

8. Opera Tavern - 23 Catherine St [15:45]
Beers: Taylor Walker & Burton

Very much a theatre theme here, lots of posters and the like. This pub gets very busy in the intervals at the theatre over the road. It is said to have an upstairs bar but I have never seen it myself.

Leaving here we cross south of the river via Waterloo bridge, unless anybody fancies a dip.

9. Hole in the Wall - 5 Mepham St [17:00]
Beers: Adnams, Batemans, Everards etc

A large pub underneath the railway arches at Waterloo, excellent range of beers if a bit noisy at times. Two bars the one at the back is quite large. A useful pub for those waiting for trains at Waterloo or who require a pub open all afternoon. The range of beers varies but usually includes those mentioned.

On leaving the Hole in the Wall we make our way down to the Elephant and Castle, a 1, 68 or 188 bus will do, to the Wellington where the main evening activities will take place.

10. Duke of Wellington - Rockingham St [23:00]
Beers: Taylor Walker, Burton

According to the SE beer guide a gem, with wood panelling and iron columns. Fairly small one bar pub with central island bar and lots of potted plants. The main events of the evening will be drinking, consumption of a light buffet laid on at the expense of HASSRALE, speeches by various members of the committee. These speeches will necessitate numerous toasts, not the buttered variety. At the grand finale a magnificent Hassrale pewter tankard will be raffled. This tankard has been donated by Hassrale, members who turn up will be entitled to one raffle ticket which they should demand off their nearest committee member. An added attraction for the evening will be the eating of a special Hassrale celebration cake which has been produced by one of our members.

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