Wapping to Tower Bridge Trip - Tuesday 25 June 1996
This trip revisits some old HASSRALE haunts in the docklands area of Wapping which many of you are no doubt well familiar with. It starts at the Prospect of Whitby and follows, more or less, Wapping High street back to St Katharines dock. Although the docks are no longer used for their original purpose many of the wharfs and warehouses have retained their original features and it is possible to imagine what the area was like in its heyday. The best way of reaching the first pub is to take the 100 which starts from Liverpool Street. I suggest you get off at Wapping tube station and walk from there. It isn't far, probably a five minute walk. Times of leaving pubs are in (-).
1. Prospect of Whitby (6.45)
Theakstons, Courage Best and Directors
A well known classic old docklands pub which has become, unfortunately, a landmark on the tourist trail. Judge Jeffries used to hold court here and sentence them all, no matter what the offence, to hanging hence his nickname, the Hanging Judge. A noose still hangs outside the pub on the riverside. It is rarely used these days except for objectionable tourists and lovers of keg beer. Features to note are the pewter bar top and flagstoned floor. There are tables outside if the weather is fine.
Turn left out of the pub down Wapping Wall, left into Wapping High Street, right into Wapping Lane and then left into Watts Street where you will find:
2. Turners Old Star (7.30)
Marstons Pedigree, Tetley bitter
This back street local get its name from the British painter, Joseph Turner. On the trial the Pedigree was £1 a pint or you could buy a four pint jug for £3. One bar pub, probably seen better days. The pub sign was missing for some reason.
Turn right out of the pub and then left into Reardon Path back to Wapping High Street. Take a right turn and a short walk away onn the left is the Town of Ramsgate. Unfortunately we have to miss out the Captain Kidd as the Sam Smiths is no longer available on handpumps.
3. Town of Ramsgate (8.30)
London Pride, Bass
A narrow, popular one bar pub which more or less marks the end of the old docklands area. The story goes that convicts were kept in the cellar here awaiting transportation to some place called Australia. Has a nautical feel to it and it was allegedly the haunt of press gangs in days gone by. Apparently Captain Bligh drank here with Fletcher Christian before they spilt up.
Turn left out of the pub and and head for St Katharines for:
4. Dickens Inn
Ruddles County, Courage best and Directors, John Smiths
A haven for tourists I'm afraid but at least there is plenty of room inside and out. Based in St Katharines dock this former warehouse was moved 75 yards some years ago to its present position and converted into a pub. Very popular and will probably be busy.
Well that's it. This was yet another of my (Geoff Wilson that is, not Reg Wright!) leaving London celebrations. This should be the last but who knows? Tower Hill tube is not far away.
Trial: 28 May 1996 - Geoff Wilson and Reg Wright
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