DOCKLANDS LIGHT RAILWAY TRIP - Wednesday 30th November 1988
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This could almost be called the anniversary Docklands trip since the original 'trial run' took place on Tuesday 27th October 1987! Anyway they said it couldn't be done and now I'm prepared to believe them.
The original intention was to make use of the much-vaunted Docklands Light Railway, but as we discovered on the most recebt trial run, due to continued engineering works the service does not run after 9.30pm. In the light of this we will confine our travel on this reluctant carrier to the minimum. The trip starts close to Fenchurch Street mainline or Tower Hill Underground stations at ....

1. The Three Lords 27 The Minories EC3
Youngs Special, Bitter and Winter Warmer.

An anonymous pub unless (approached from the North), this is a two bar establishment and we will rendez-vous in the upstairs (i.e. ground-floor) bar. Crowded with various perching places round the edge. Not as big as one might think so don't try and walk through the mirror! On leaving the pub turn left and travel down the Minories then cross the one way system by underpass to Tower Gateway station on the infamous DLR. Savour this trip (it's the only one we will be taking) to Limehouse Station. Alight from the train then down the steps, turn right and under the railway bridge we will find ...

2. Railway Tavern 576 Commercial Road
Charrington IPA

A cosy East-end pub with a single bar. Plenty of seating; no doubt everyone will be clustered round the real gas fire. Walls festooned with reminiscences of old railways - porters, accurate timetables etc. Only food seemed to be crisps and peanuts. Out of the pub and on to the Commercial Road we turn right and walk to the traffic lights, crossing North. Turn slightly left into Flamborough Street. Continue on towards the replica Albert Square and on the right is ...

3. Queens Head - Flamborough Street
Youngs Bitter & Special

A single bar pub with the slight possibility of food. Comfortable with a good juke-box and a number of seats (non-musical).

Now for the trek. We retrace our steps to Commercial Road, then cross back towards the Rotherhithe Tunnel (don't walk through, we've already done that trip). Travel down Branch Road, turn left onto the Highway then left onto Narrow Street. Across the swing bridge and continue down on the left hand side. Take the road on the left and there in isolation is ...

4. The House That Got Left Behind - 27 Ropemakers Fields E14
Ruddles County & Websters Yorkshire Bitter

An interesting pub done up rather like a cafeteria rather than a pub judging by the seating. Never seems at all busy. Does a good range of food (and incidentally is cheaper than the next pub). Extensive menu, a trifle pricey (for trifle), but looked very edible (the food not the menu). Food is available all sessions seven days a week. From here we troop back up to Narrow Street then cross the road to ...

5. The Grapes - 76 Narrow Road
Ind Coope Burton, Friary Meux & Taylor Walker

Small pub built right on (in?) the river. Another one bar establishment, quite narrow with limited seating at the far end. Lots of polished wood, but no carpets. Good views over the river (take some infra-red binoculars). The bar staff may be vegetarian since they regard ham and beef sandwiches as synonymous. On leaving we cross back over the road then continue east, turning left into Three Colt Street. Past St Annes church (designed by Nicholas Hawksemore) and on the left hand side is ...

5. The Five Bells And Bladebone - 27 Three Colt Street
Ind Coope Burton, Friary Meux & Taylor Walker

Large and comfortable, this is quite a busy, lively pub. Should be possible to find seating. It has a strong nautical theme (try the scampi fries!) with a few steamers around and about (or were they the clientele?). The pool table resides in an alcove built out of tea-chests.

This marks the end of our truncated visit to Docklands. On leaving the pub Commercial Road is to the left at the end of Three Colt Street. Buses run west towards Aldgate direction or east heading for East Ham and Barking. Alternatively heading east would take one to Stepney Green mainline.

Rest assured your intrepid survey team will be persevering with Docklands II (that's two not eleven) to Stratford! Now where's the Chairman, I must tender my resignation...

Compiled by John Wright

Survey team : most past and present members

Survey dates : which one?

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