Hassrale Trips:-

Hassrale Trips - Kings Road Part 1

Date: Monday 8th August 1994

This must rate as one of the longest thoroughfares in London, hence as apparent from the title the assault will be mounted in more than one charge i.e. at least two, possibly more. The area has a reputation for attracting moneyed types, but we could prove to be the exception. The more perceptive amongst you may note that no pub on the itinerary is actually on the Kings Road. The reason is simple, the ones that we trialled were noisy, lager drinkers's emporia for youngsters (pass the Sanatogen wine, somebody!). However excursions down the side streets (they can't touch you for it) proved fruitful. Simplest access is from the Sloane Square end and I would recommend arriving via Sloane Sq tube station, buses are likely to be slow in the rush hour. On emerging from the station turn right and you will see pub number one on the north side of the square. It's probably easiest to use the crossing at the start of Clivenden Place just round the corner.

Approximate leaving times are shown in [].

1. The Royal Court Tavern - 8 Sloane Square SW1 [18:30]

Beers:- Charrington Bass, IPA, Worthington Best, Ruddles County, Hancocks HB

The Range of beers may well be different; all but one had changed in the six weeks between trials one and two. A large popular establishment attached to the Royal Court Hotel. Has a main bar by the entrances and a seating area at the back with a food counter, but no sign of service in the evening. Affords good views of the traffic jams in the square, especially as the windows slide open sideways for increased ventilation (fumes). Can get quite busy due to the residents using the bar (how dare they) and from those attending the Royal Court Theatre.

On leaving, turn right and keep on the north side of the square, cross the side road then round to the west side, cross the minor road and turn right along Kings Rd. There is a bit of a trek down which is devoid of any watering holes, especially as the Markham Arms is now a Abbey National buiding society branch. The fifth turning on the right past the barracks is Smith St and down on the left near the junction is..

2. The Phoenix - 23 Smith Street SW3 [19:15]

Beers:- Courage Directors, Best, Ruddles Best, John Smiths, Worthington Best (not available on trial)

Pleasant, quiet side street pub, with wooden picnic site tables outside. Inside it is comfortably appointed with plush seating. A long L-shaped bar area with a pool table across the far end of it. There were numerous signs (menus) alluding to food, but no actual evidence of the stuff. Not at all busy on the trial, one can relax and read the daily newspapers on display for the customers perusal.

Turn right down Smith Terrace and right into Radnor Walk. Turn right into Redesdale St, at the junction turn into Flood St and on the right is..

3. The Coopers Arms - 87 Flood Street SW3 [20:00]

Beers:- Youngs Special, Ordinary

Formerly a Watneys house, this has now become a popular drinking establishment. One large bar area, with a three sided bar counter and sundry individual tables on a bare wooden floor. Fairly bare overall, including a stuffed bear in the corner with a bull's head above the bar to keep it company. Flowers (no, not Whitbread) on the tables and publications scattered on the ancient work-bench in the centre. Crisps served in small earthenware bowls (none of yer common packets here).

Cross over Flood St and go down Alpha Place. Turn right into Chelsea Manor St and further up on the left on a corner (I forget which) is..

4. The Beehive - 60 Chelsea Manor Street SW3 [20:45]

Beers:- John Smiths Bitter

Not a vast range of beers, but a pleasant and comfortable establishment with something of an estate pub feel to it, probably because it seems to border on one. The original building was bombed during the war so this one is fairly modern. One large carpeted bar area with a separate games room at the back with pool table and pinball machines. Not at all busy on the trial.

Now turn left up towards the junction with Kings Rd (remember that?), cross at the pedestrian crossing by the Town Hall and go on up Sydney St. Just on the corner of Britten St is..

5. The Wellesley Arms - 70 Sydney Street SW3 [21:30]

Beers: Courage Directors, Best, John Smiths Bitter, Wadworth 6X

Another former Watneys pub, perhaps word has got round about Websters. It is now a Clifton Inns (i.e. Grand Met still) and has just i.e. mid-July, re-opened after being refurbished. Still a cosy street corner hostelry, with seats outside as well as a comfortable U-shaped bar area inside, again with plenty of seats. Pleasant and light at the front or suitably sombre and woody further in. Festooned with military memorabilia - bugles, medals, paintings, bodies (whoops, customers) etc.

On leaving walk along Britten St, across the end of Chelsea Manor St (north) and on the right find..

6. Builders Arms - 13 Britten Street SW3 [22:15 or whenever]

Beers:- Brakspears Bitter, Adnams Extra

Britten Street is named after the architect of St Lukes church (the mini cathedral that you passed down the road) and the pub is reputedly named in honour of the fine sober artisans that built the church (or the pub). A traditional two bar pub for "locals" rather than the Kings Road cruisers. The Long bar is the public bar with its linoleum covered floor, while next door is the lounge which is more plushly appointed. The garden is a tiny courtyard to the rear. There are also bench seats at the front overlooking the quiet back street. Minimal background music and an unobtrusive TV complete the picture.

That also completes the trip. Retracing your steps to Chelsea Manor St you can turn left down to the Kings Road where I would suggest taking one of the many buses heading east back to Sloane Square as its a fair old walk otherwise.

Survey Details:- Trial run Wednesday 1st June; participants - John Wright & Edmund Featherstone

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