Hassrale Trips: Spitalfields

Date: Tuesday 28th February 1989

Most of this trip takes place in or near Brick Lane. So, although there is not much food in the pubs on the trip, there will be plenty of opportunities for stopping off at an Indian restaurant for those who wish to do so. There are also takeaways including kebabs and fish and chips.

The first pub is a ten minute walk from Liverpool Street station. Turn left into Bishopgate, walk straight on to Shoreditch High Street passing Bethnal Green Road on your right, turn right into Boundary Passage and then left into Boundary Street.

1. The Ship and Blue Ball - 13 Boundary Street [18:10]

Beers: Pitfield Bitter, Hoxton Best itter, Dark Star and guest ale.

This location for the planning of the Great Train Robbery was not visited on the trial run so I only know of it by repute. It has been included because it is the only Pitfield tied house and is close to the next pub.

Go back along Boundary Street to Red Church Street, turn left and then carry on to Bethnal Green Road. The next pub is on the corner of Club Row.

2. Knave of Hearts - 25 Bethnal Green Road - [18:50]

Beers: Ind Coope Burton

The pub dates from 1880 when Club Row was the centre of the bird fancying business. The bird auctions which used to take place in the public gave the pub its nickname 'The Bird House' and until a few years ago rare birds uch as Goldcrests and Peregrine Falcons changed hands, illegally, in the bars. A ceramic cockatoo over the bar and a sign, 'Sale of wild birds is prohibited in this bar' are reminders of this past.

Turn right into Bethnal Green Road, cross the road, turn left through the arches, then left into Commercial Street.

3. Golden Heart - 100 Commercial Street - [19:30]

Beers: Trumans Best, Websters Yorkshire, Ruddles Best

A single bar pub, dimly lit, with loud music but quite convivial. Beware of the french letters on toilet doors. Has a real fire.

Turn left into Commercial Street and a few yards along is:

4. The Ten Bells - 84 Commercial Street [20:10]

Beers: Trumans Bes, Websters Yorkshire, Ruddles Best

This was the original name of the pub that was renamed 'Jack the Ripper' in 1975. Due to protests that the place glorified violence to women the pub has recently reverted to its original name. One of Jack the Ripper's victims, Annie Chapman was last seen alive in the pub and was later found dead in Hanbury Street, only a few yards away. The pub is decorated with reproductions of newspaper reports of the murders. There is an interesting ceramic mural entitled 'Spitalfields in ye olden times: The Weavers Shop'. There are other, blue and white, patterned tiles decorating the pub and there are friezes of gargoyles and flowers above the murals. Rolls may be available.

Turn left from Commercial Street into Fournier Street, then left into Brick Lane and then right into Princelet Street to the end of the road on the left is:

5. The Alma - 41 Spelman Street [20:50]

Beers: Youngs Special, Youngs Ordinary, Fullers London Pride

Friendly street corner local with a single curved bar. The pub sign looks more like an off-licence than a hostelry but you can't miss the Christmas lights strung along the front of the pub. Reasonably priced burgers are available. The landlord promised to have as many available as we wanted. NB. The trial team now won the fruit machine!

Cross the road down Spelman Street opposite and then right into Heneage Street.

6. Pride of Spitalfields - 3 Heneage Street [21:30]

Beers: Pitfield Dark Star, Fullers London Pride, Fullers ESB, Mr Harry and King and Barnes Sussex

An old Hassrale favourite undergoing yet another phase of alteration, or is it just the same one taking a long time? There is an outside drinking area but we will probably be too cold to take advantage of it.

Turn right out of the pub, then left into Brick Lane. The last pub is 100 yards along on the other side of the road.

7. Frying Pan - 13 Brick Lane - [22:10]

Beers: Trumans Bitter, Websters Yorkshire

Smells a bit like a frying pan but is very pleasant. Has a display of strange minature frying pans. The toilets are marked 'Private'!

You may now like to finish the evening off in one of the vast selection of curry houses in Brick Lane if you have not already succumbed to the temptation. For those who wish to go straight home Liverpool Street is ten minutes away and Aldgate East five minutes away.

Survey Details:

Date: 10th November 1988

Team: Barbara Waby, Edmund Featherstone, Ann Harper, Dave Saffery, Paul Tiffany, John Wright and Reg Wright.

Back to 1989 Trips