Thursday 17th August 1995
This is not actually part of a series (nor is it the one hundred and eleventh trip), but it has been preceded by two visits, one Hammersmith to Ravenscourt Park (22/1/88) and Hammersmith II (22/3/89) so apart from the occasional unofficial visit on Sports Days the area has been untrammelled by HASSRALE for some time. Access is best by tube (Piccadilly, District or Hammersmith & City) and depending on which line is used you may have to make your way through the new(ish) shopping centre where the bus station used to be. The intention is to head towards the river by Hammersmith Bridge so walk via the various pedestrian crossings etc. making for the route under the flyover and to the right of the Labbatts Appollo (was Hammersmith Odeon!). There are only five pubs on the trip partly because of travelling time, but also the intended first one (Oxford & Cambridge, 50 Hammersmith Bridge Rd) cannot be relied upon to have any real ale. You may wish to try it en route. Walk down to the right of the bridge onto Lower Mall, turn right and avoiding the many cyclists (a particular hazard along here) you will come to our first port of call. Approximate leaving times are shown in [ ].
1. The Blue Anchor - 13 Lower Mall [18.45]
Courage Directors, Best & 1945 (short term?); Wadworth 6X.
Popular single-bar pub overlooking the river with a separate dining area upstairs. Affords views of the bridge, but this is being refurbished still. There has been a pub on the site since 1722. Pleasant interior with old-style tiled floor, Victorian iron tables and chairs and much bric-a-brac around the walls. Pewter bar counter and stubby hand-pulls many of which refer to keg brews on adjacent founts. Many seats outside too. Gustav Holst wrote his Hammersmith suite within the place. On leaving continue along to the right, bypassing the Rutland which gets very busy and noisy. Beware rowers carrying boats across the pathway, they ignore mere pedestrians. Follow round the curve in the river and on the left is ...
2. The Dove (aka Dove Coffee House) - 19 Upper Mall [19.30]
Fullers ESB, London Pride & Chiswick.
Formerly a coffee house in 1796, also erroneously called the Doves when the pub sign was painted showing two of them instead of one. A busy hostelry with a very small public bar to the right and a "saloon" bar area to the left. Up a few stairs to the central area where there is an (expensive) food bar. This in turn opens out onto a lower area and an outside patio with the river rolling by. Rule Britannia was composed here and other literary works have been produced here too. Emerge from here and continue on in the same direction alongside the river until on your right is ...
3. The Old Ship - 25 Upper Mall [20.15]
Morlands Old Speckled Hen; Fullers London Pride; Wadworth 6X.
A large green-painted pub with a verandah and a further drinking area at the front comprising a number of benches and tables shaded by umbrellas. Former Evening Standard pub of the year in 1978, but probably would no longer be a contender. Strong nautical theme as borne out by the paintings and ships' memorabilia festooned about the interior. Rather loud video juke-box did tend to intrude unfortunately; an external perch would be preferable. Continue along to the right until the junction with the next road where right on the corner is ...
4. The Black Horse Tavern - 2 South Black Lion Lane [21.00]
Theakston's XB and Best; Courage Best.
Two large bar areas around an L-shaped counter. The southern end was very quiet while there was a juke-box at the other end. Very woody with pew style seats. There is a large garden bar as well. Food very much in evidence. Supposedly has one of the two oldest skittle alleys in the country (not in use though), a collection of ties (brewery?), a 400 year old chestnut tree in the garden and A P Herbert used to drink here (and at the Dove, and probably anywhere else that would serve him). Now turn right up South Black Lion Lane to the main road i.e. the A4. Rather than risk crossing this at traffic level (it has been done, just!) use the underpass to your left. This emerges by the junction of Peters Square and Black Lion Lane then head north along the latter where up on the left is ...
5. The Cross Keys - 57 Black Lion Lane [21.45]
Fullers Chiswick (£1-39), London Pride and ESB.
Large pub with a small public bar area at the front. This incorporates a dart board, while the main bar area is to the rear. This in turn leads to a semi-outdoor drinking area festooned with moose heads (this is not intended to reflect upon the type of drinker, nor their capacity for consuming Canadian lager). For the real stalwarts there is a proper "exposed to the elements" bit outside and to the left, but check the weather first. As mentioned at the start the trip comprises just five ports of call for the reasons given, however time permitting we may move on to try: The Carpenters Arms, just up on the left or The White Hart at 383 King Street which is just left at the junction. In any event you are now free to leave. There are various bus routes along King Street towards Hammersmith or Stamford Brook tube station is to the North, just along Goldhawk Road.
Survey details: Trial run Thursday 25th May 1995; participants - John Wright, Edmund and James Featherstone.
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