Where’s My Boozer Gone? – The Story So Far

The Geezers have started research on their project Where’s My Boozer Gone?  At this point we are establishing pubs in Bow which have closed in the last 20-30 years.


We have got pictures for most of them which we have posted below.


Do you remember them?  Did you socialise in them?  Did you work in them?


Let us know about it. We are interested in your stories and memories for an exhibition we will be mounting at the Idea Store in the Roman Road and at other venues in the Borough.


We will also be producing a booklet.


Please send us your stories and comments in the Comment section at the bottom of the post, or contact Ray Gipson or Barrie Stradling  by telephone or email.


[email protected] Tel: 020 8980 9588

[email protected]


We are researching pub histories in the Local History and Archive Library in Bancroft Road.


Our next step is to do interviews with people who socialised or worked in the pubs.  How important were they to individuals in the community and to the community as a whole?


Please let us know if you’ve got stories to tell. And we are still looking for pictures for

The Earl of Aberdeen – Grove Road

The Horns – LeFevre Road

The Lady Franklin – Old Ford

The Royal Standard – Eric Street

The Marquis of Cornwallis

The Three Colts or Old Three Colts 450 Old Ford Road


Here’s the pubs we’ve found so far:



Caledonian Arms




Location of Pub- 62 Fairfield Road

Opened – 1851   Closed – 2000

Brewery? – Watney’s Brewery

What Is It Now? – Residential Use

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?


Information so far

This former Watney’s Brewery pub had been present since at least 1851.It stood alongside the former Bryant & May match factory,  scene of the famous ‘Match Girls’ strike of 1888. Nearby stands the statue of Prime Minister Gladstone; despite the clean-up efforts of the local council, he usually has red hands to symbolise his role in the ending of the strike which was said to have been “paid for in blood”. This pub must have been witness to many of the events of the time. It closed in 2000 and stood derelict for a long time, but has now been converted to residential use.




The Aunt Sally




Location of Pub- 2 Midlothian Street

Opened – Closed – 2000

Brewery? – Watney’s Brewery

What Is It Now? – Food Outlet

Was it known by any other name?  The Outpost. The Twilight Zone.

The Melody Park Inn.

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?  Karaoke. DJ. Gay Bar.



Information so far




The Ordell Arms




Location of Pub- 22 Ordell Road

Opened – ?   Closed – 2001

Brewery? – Courage

What Is It Now? – Residential Flats

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?


Information so far


No hand-pumped beers.




The Hand and Flowers





Location of Pub- 72 Parnell Road

Opened – 1881  Closed – 2009

Brewery? – Whitbread

What Is It Now? – Food Outlet

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?


Information so far

This pub was present by 1881 and belonged to the Whitbread Brewery. It ran into problems in 2006 when it was closed on the recommendation of police who said that a seven month surveillance revealed to them that the pub was notorious for “fights, drug-dealing and drunkenness”; this despite always looking completely deserted and harmless whenever I passed by. By 2007 the leasehold was available for £60,000 whilst the pub limped on until final closure in 2009.




The Black Swan




Location of Pub- 148 Bow Road

Opened – 1882  Closed – early 1970’s

Brewery? – Hodgson’s/Smith Garrett Breweries

What Is It Now? – ?

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?


Information so far

The Black Swan was situated at 148 Bow Road. This pub was present by 1822, at which time it was almost certainly in the ownership of the nearby Hodgson’s Brewery. By 1915 the brewery had become Smith Garrett’s Bow Brewery. On the night of 23 September 1916 this pub was completely destroyed by a direct hit from a bomb dropped by a German Zeppelin in one of the very first ever air raids on London, with the loss of several lives. The Zeppelin itself was later shot down over Essex and the crew surrendered – they are said to have been the only uniformed German troops to have set foot on English soil during the First World War. The pub was rebuilt in 1920, although was from then on said to be haunted by the ghosts of the former landlord’s two daughters who had died in the air raid.   The pub closed and was demolished when Bromley High Street was widened in the early 1970s.




Bombay Grab




Location of Pub- 246 Bow Road

Opened – 1805  Closed – early 19792/3

Brewery? – Hodgson’s/Ind Coope Breweries/Freehouse

What Is It Now? – Mosque and Islamic Centre

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?


Information so far

The Bombay Grab was situated at 246 Bow Road. This pub was present by 1805 and by 1817 had become the brewery tap for Hodgson’s Brewery, which had relocated to an adjacent site. Hodgson’s are of course famous as one of the pioneers of the export by sea of beer to the British colonies in India.  Indeed, the name of the pub is believed to be a corruption of ‘Bombay Gurab’, a kind of Indian coastal vessel which would also have played a part in the export beer trade.  The pub was rebuilt in 1933 when this whole area was redeveloped. After the Second World War, the licensee was James Charles Lane, a former champion weightlifter and wrestler.  By this time the pub was owned by Ind Coope. It became a free house in around 1990 and closed very soon after, in 1992 or 1993.  In these later years the pub had been quite a landmark, with its name painted on its roof in huge white letters, clearly visible from the adjacent Bow Flyover.  The former pub now houses a mosque and an Islamic community centre. The Bombay Grab was the name of a specific ship in the East India Marine.  The publican in 1900 was George Peter Hans, a Bavarian who took British nationality.




The Duke of York



Duke of York


Location of Pub- 129 Anthill Road

Opened – 1869 Closed – 2002

Brewery? – Smith Garrett’s Brewery

What Is It Now? – Private Residential

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?


Information so far

The Duke Of York was situated 129 Antill Road.  This pub was built in around 1869 and was owned by Smith Garrett’s Brewery of Bow.  It featured some very fine green tiling advertising that brewery’s products, some of which still survive and are almost certainly the best monument to that brewery that can still be seen today.  The pub closed in 2002 and was converted to private residential use.




Moulders Arms





Location of Pub- 50-52 Bromley High Street

Opened – Closed – 2007

Brewery? – ?

What Is It Now? –

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?


Information so far

Facing the pub about 50 to 100 metres to the left was a large house. My grandmother my grandfather my mum and her two brothers lived in this house from 1908 to 1914. There were about twelve rooms in this house and every room had a family. On the ground floor was one toilet which everyone in house had to use, but also, The Moulders arms clientele had to use it because the pub had no toilet. ( the good old days ) My mum told me that every weekend there was a continuous queue of people from the pub going past there room, relieving themselves in the one toilet whilst sing at top note for every ones enjoyment.




The Ancient Briton


The AncientBritonTheAncientBriton2


Location of Pub- 44a Glaucous Street

Opened – 1855  Closed – 2005

Brewery? – Charrington’s Brewery

What Is It Now? –  Residential Apartments

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?


Information So Far

The Ancient Briton was situated at 44a Glaucous Street. This pub was built in 1855 when Glaucous Street was first developed. By the twentieth century it was a Charrington’s Brewery pub. It closed in 2005 and was demolished in 2007, with flats being built on the site.




The Crystal Tavern


The Crystasl Tavern


Location of Pub- 25 Burdett Road

Opened – 1880  Closed – 1995

Brewery? – Taylor Walker Brewery

What Is It Now? –  Residential Use

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?


Information so far

The Crystal Tavern was situated 25 Burdett Road.  This was a Taylor Walker Brewery pub, established in around 1880. It closed and was converted to residential use in around 1995 and was demolished in 2010.




The King’s Head




Location of Pub- 8 Bow Road

Opened – 1885  Closed – 1970’s

Brewery? – ?

What Is It Now? –  Demolished with strip of shops

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?


Information so far

The Kings Head was situated at 8 Bow Road. The publican in 1885 was George Kemp. The pub was demolished, along with the strip of shops fronting on to Bow Road, between    British and Merchant Streets, in the 1970’s.




The Tenterden Arms







Location of Pub- 22 Devons Road

Opened – 1869  Closed – 2007

Brewery? – Truman’s Brewery

What Is It Now? – Residential Flats above Commercial Premises

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?


Information so far



The Three Tuns



The Three Tuns



Location of Pub- 185 Bow Road

Opened – 1823  Closed – 1999

Brewery? – Hodgson’s/Whitbnread Breweries

What Is It Now? – Residential Flats above Commercial Premises

Was it known by any other name?  Ye Olde Three Tuns

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?


Information so far

The Three Tuns was situated at 185 Bow Road.  This pub was present on what was then Bow High Street in 1823, at which time it was owned by the Hodgson’s Brewery of Bow. By the late twentieth century it was a Whitbread Brewery pub, popular enough to be enlarged into the neighbouring premises in 1985, and in its latter years it affected the name Ye Olde Three Tuns. But in 1999 it closed and was converted into residential use.




Bromley Arms





Location of Pub- 51 Fairfield Road

Opened?    ?     Closed – 2005

Brewery? – Watney’s/Shepherd Neame Breweries

What Is It Now? – Residential

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?


Information so far

The Bromley Arms was situated at 51 Fairfield Road.  This pub was present by 1861 and closed in 1997.  It had been a Watney’s Brewery pub until 1989, when it was purchased by the Shepherd Neame Brewery of Faversham, Kent.  It stood derelict for a while after closure, until converted to residential use in 2005.




Morpeth Castle



Morpeth-1920MORPETH CASTLE 2006



Location of Pub- 69 Cadogan Terrace E9

Opened?  1860     Closed – 1990

Brewery? – Truman’s Brewery

What Is It Now? – Residential

Was it known by any other name?  Manhattan’s/Butlers

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?

 Information so far

The Morpeth Castle was situated at 69 Cadogan Terrace. This pub was established by 1860. It was a Truman’s Brewery pub and still exhibits some brewery signage. Although at the time still owned by Truman’s, by 1983 the pub had been renamed Manhattan’s. By 1986 the name had been changed to Butlers, and the pub closed in 1990. By 1992 it had been converted to residential use.

Bridge House



Location of Pub- 14 Bow Common Lane

Opened?  1878     Closed – 2000

Brewery? – Watney’s/Bellhaqven Breweries/ Freehouse

What Is It Now? – Residential

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?

 Information so far

The Bridge House was situated at 14 Bow Common Lane. This pub was present by 1878. It was a Watney’s Brewery pub until around 1990 when it was sold to Belhaven. The pub closed in 2000, after a final short period as a free house, and has been converted to residential use.

The Earl of Ellesmere


Location of Pub- 19 Chisenhale Road

Opened?  1866     Closed – 2001

Brewery? – Taylor Walker/Godson’s Breweries

What Is It Now? – Residential

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?   Music and Dancing

 Information so far

The Earl Of Ellesmere was situated 19 Chisenhale Road. This pub was present by 1866, at which time it obtained a licence for music and dancing. It was a Taylor Walker Brewery pub, although by the 1980s it stood opposite the modern-day Godson’s Brewery. It closed and was converted to residential use in 2001.




The John Bull



JohnBull-1987JOHN BULL NOW


Location of Pub- 490 Roman Road

Opened?  1850     Closed – 1996

Brewery? – Taylor Walker Brewery

What Is It Now? – Estate Agents

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?   Music and Dancing


 Information so far

The John Bull was situated at 490 Roman Road. This pub has stood on Roman Road since at least 1850. It was a Taylor Walker Brewery pub and, despite always seeming busy, it closed in 1996. The premises now serve as an estate agent’s offices.




The Needle Gun






Location of Pub- 215, then 527 Roman Road

Opened?  1828    Closed – 2011

Brewery? – ?

What Is It Now? – Hotel

Was it known by any other name?  The Trader

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?



 Information so far

The Needle Gun was at 215 Roman Road but it later became 527 Roman Road through road renumbering.  The pub was established in 1828 and in recent years was renamed the Trader (2007).   By 2011 the pub had become a hotel .




The Lord Palmerston






Location of Pub- 45 Hewlett Road, Old Ford Road

Opened?  1866    Closed – 2002

Brewery? – Charrington’s

What Is It Now? – Residential

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?



 Information so far

The Lord Palmerston was situated 45 Hewlett Road. This was a quiet, backstreet Charrington’s Brewery pub, established by 1866. It closed in 2002 and has been converted to residential use.




Top O’The Morning





Location of Pub- 62 Frances Terrace, Wick Lane then 129Cadogan Terrace E9

Opened?  1864    Closed – 2013

Brewery? – ?

What Is It Now? – ?

Was it known by any other name?   Mitford Castle

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?



 Information so far

Mitford Castle The pub was present by 1864 at 62 Frances Terrace, Wick Lane in 1878.  Later address is at 129 Cadogan Terrace.  It had been named Top O’ The Morning since at least 1983.  Closed as a Pub by 2013, although possibly earlier.





The Matchmaker






Location of Pub- 580-586 Roman Road

Opened?  ?   Closed – 2010

Brewery? – Freehouse (Wetherspoons)

What Is It Now? – Poundland

Was it known by any other name?

What Activities Did Pub Used To Have?


Information so far






  1. I have been looking for picture of the pub that was a few doors away from where I lived in Devons Road, we called it the Queens. It was only corner of Devons a Road and Purdy Street. It would have been demolished around late 50s. The other end of the terrace is The Duke of Cambridge. The Queens was next door to tobacconist sweet shop called Williamsons.

  2. My Grandma was licensee of The East London Stores Crisp St E14
    A beer, wine and cider house, that must have been unusual.
    About 1944, she moved to The Harry Tavern, Brunswick Road about 1950. She died in 1959 . My Dad was licensee of The Crown and Cushion ,Farnfield St, Poplar from about 1944 /1949, The Newcastle Arms Isle of Dogs From 1949/ 1960 and The Harry Tavern from 1959. All Taylor Walkers.

  3. Does anyone remember a little pub in Timothy rd Bow. We never knew the correct name but we called it Shackladies after the brother and sister that ran it, It is all Mile End park now. We lived I Pauls House, a little block of flats next door

    1. Hi Maureen. I don’t remember the pub, but do remember Pauls house. My friend Roger Clarke lived there in the late 1960. They moved when the stadium claimed the land.

    2. Hi Maureen I remember it too. My Mum would go on the outings.. My Aunt Rose & Uncle Jim Burke owned the grocery shop on the other side of the road.

      1. Hi Gloria
        I remember Rosie Burke.I went in there every day.There was also a lady called Lotte there.I can picture them all now.What a gossip shop it was

        1. Does anybody remember The Earl of Zetland in Burdette Rd.I had my wedding reception in there in March 1962.

          1. Yes. It was owned by Fox family, went out with Son Johnny. My sister and brother in law drank in there

          2. If the Earl of Zetland was the pub in Burdett Road just before the railway bridge then yes I do remember it. A friend of mines parents either ran or managed it, this would have been about 1962 – 63. It had a very large room on the first floor that a group of us used to gather in and play records and a couple of them used to practice guitar playing. It had a garage attached to it and my friends father said if we painted it inside (whitewashed it) we could strip down any cars we bought for any repairs. Well we did whitewash it but we never did buy any cars. Strange how relating something like this can suddenly bring back the memory of a smell, I can distinctly remember the smell of whitewash as I type this.

          1. Oh my goodness! Lotte Reynolds was a big blonde lady. She helped Aunt Rose in the shop. Next door lived the Wrens, loads of them and along Timothy Rd there were the Wisbeys, Stiffles, Mrs Clutterbuck,Ada Mahoney and lots of them I can’t remember names of. We used to stand in Turners Rd to watch the catholic procession.I went to school in Seager Place off of Burdett Rd and then on to Coborn.So many memories

          2. Hi Maureen. Yes that was my Mum. Every one called her Aunt Rose although she was my Great Aunt. I remember all the names too. I went to Daglish St(Sir William Borough) then Martin Frobisher.

    3. An answer for Maureen Copeland. Shacklady’s was the St Dunstan’s Arms 48 St Dunstan’s Road which was re named Timothy Road—don’t know when. I was born in 1946 & my Dad’s parents lived next door or next door but one at no: 52. We moved away in 1958 but I well remember going to the back room of the pub while the family were having a drink. I think the landlord was Ted Shacklady. It was my Grand dad’s second home!! I remember the flats & there was a school over the back.

      1. Hi Ken
        I was born in 1943 and I also sat in the back room of Shackladys. I remember the Perkins family. They were either next door or next door but one. The Hawkes family were next door to them and Ria Ward was next door to that. I was friends with Rita Hawkes. I remember watching them dance in Shacks after they had played shove halfpenny. I used to look at a couple from the perkins family dance. They might have been your mum and dad. She had very dark hair.Rose Shackllady used to give me sweets.

        1. Hi Maureen,
          I hope you don’t mind me contacting you but you might be able to provide me with some information about my family, My name is Graham Shacklady and the family who ran the Shackladys would have been my Great grandparents and Rose by your time frame was most likely my Grans mother. Was the pub called “St Dunstans Arms” and do you have any photo’s.

      2. Hello to all interested in Timothy Road. I found two pub Beano Outing photos for Shackladys, and also one for an Edinburgh Castle women’s group (does anybody remember this Methodist Church, just round the corner in Rhodeswell Road) in ” Cockney Beano Booklet 2013″. Maureen, I spotted your Mum, your Nan and your cousin Linda’s Mum in the beano photos. Who else can you recognise I wonder!

        1. Hi I went to Edinburgh Castle club and went on trip to Stratford upon Avon with them. Can you post pictures. My Aunt Rose had a Grocers shop in Timothy Rd opposite Shackladys and My Mum went on Shackladys I lived in Turners Rd

        2. Hello Jennifer
          What a lovely surprise. I have tried unsuccessfully to find you on facebook. Please contact me on my e.mail.
          [email protected].
          Where have the years gone. Briefly, we live in Welwyn in Hertfordshire. As you know we had Lorraine, then Lisa and then Billy. Four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Remember Andy’s opposite Stepney Green station. Please get in touch Jen and we can catch up.
          Maureen Copeland nee House

  4. The Railway Tavern at 30 Grove Road? As a small child, living in Morgan Street, this was my family’s watering hole on special occasions – such as Christmas. Naturally, we children never saw the INSIDE of this pub! Sad to see this is now being used as flats!

    1. Kathleen, do you come from a large family and do you have a brother who was a wine waiter at a posh hotel in the west end of London? Alan.

        1. Ok Kathleen, thank you for the reply. I thought you may have been one of the Noble family who lived opposite the corner shop, I myself lived in Lichfield road from 1947 – 1970. Gordon Noble was a server at Holy Trinity church as was my brother who is now 78.

  5. Great site, I went to Bow Boys school so the picture of the Caledonian Arms is of particular interest to me, this was and still is located between Hartfield Terrace and Paton Close but I’m sure you knew that. Years of attendance were 1958 – 1963. I lived in Lichfield Road Bow E3 and another pub close by was The Railway Tavern in Grove Road on the junction with Morgan St which is now also residential but I believe it still has some signage set in the walls reflecting its past.

  6. I was a driver in bow garage opposite the bromley arms it was always full of Busmen, mainly on their breaks. The pie shop in bow road was the best. when it moved to leytonstone, Leslie’s mum Dolly worked there. I still go now get frozen pies and liqueur to have at home.

    1. Hi Colin, just wondered if you would remember my mum? Her name was Angela Lyons and she worked as a clippy on the buses. She used to drink in the pubs near there and also played darts.

  7. I lived in sandall house a block of flats next to the Lord Palmerston on Hewlett Road from 1987 to 1990. Kay was the landlady, John the barman and Dick the potman. We played in the Thursday night dart league and enjoyed regular lock ins. The clientele were rough diamonds. Typical friendly East end pub that made us very welcome while we lived there. Everyone had a name – mick the doc, vic the gas, Roy the boy and Lenny the sledge to name a few. Was sad to hear a big part of my life had been turned into flats.

  8. Ray, The three tuns in Bow Road was a popular pub for the Police from Bow Road Police Station in the 1980s and 90s. the licensees were Alf and his wife Maureen who moved on to run a pub in deepest essex. We were made really welcome and the regulars played shove halfpenny and darts. we held some charity nights there and I remember Alvin Martin, the West Ham footballer coming along and having a few drinks. it was a great pub at the time. Mind you we frequented quite a few pubs in the Bow area and most have closed now such as the Needle Gun, The Railway, The Ranleigh Arms in Roman Road, the Milton Arms to name a few. I still live locally and work in Bow (not a Police man anymore). I will try and remember more good memories and post them. PG

  9. Ray – think you wen to school with my brother Kevin Hart and also my brother in law Johnny Haggerty and you used to drink in the Milton Arms with both of my brothers Russell and Kevin – they want to know why the Milton Arms isn’t on your list?

  10. Hi sorry about his but can I use your site to pick brains. I lived in Lamprell Steet, Bow E3 and there was a pub there possibly no 18 am trying to trace the name f the pub which has since been demolished and probably built on. If anyone can help I would be grateful. Thanks Sal

    1. Hello Sal, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you, the site has been down for awhile as man who runs it has been unwell. I had a look on internet I could not find a name for the pub but if you put 18 Lamprell Street on to Pub History website on Google the address and some publican details come up, so it was 18, but for some bizarre reason I could not find a name for it, sorry seem to have hit a brick wall on this one, try Pub History site, that will give you some information, good luck, Barrie The Geezers Club

      1. Hi Barrie, thanks for checking on 18 Lamprell Street, Bow. I also am unable to find the name for this pub which seems strange but I will keep on checking. Thanks again Sal S

  11. The Rose and Crown on stroudley walk. I used to go in there in the late 90’s when it had an australian landlord. He was a good bloke who tried to turn the ailing pubs fortunes around by having regular live music on and quizzes etc. It never quite worked as the brewery would never invest any cash in the place. It probably suffered from it’s location not being on bow rd. Sorry i’ve no photos of it though.

  12. My Uncle was Wilheimur (Bill) van der Hieden. He was married to Ellen (Nell ) Brown (my fathers sister). Bills father Arnoldus (Ted or Van) was the Bird in Hands licensee ( to my knowledge) from at least the 1940s who handed over the running, if not the licence, first to Bill and then to their daughter Josephine (Josie) who held the licence when the pub closed. I remember and patronised the Pie Shop very well as Bill owned/ran a shoe / watch repairers next door. Bills son Arnold took over the shoe repairers when Bill and Nell concentrated on the pub. Arnold was a body builder who became a professional wrestler, sometimes billed as the “Champion of Holland” although I’m not sure whether he ever set foot there. Nell and Josephine were both were well proportioned, very generous and very popular with the pub clientele.

    1. Hi Peter. Great you are looking at our Web-Site. Yes the Railway Tavern bottom of Old Ford Rd. On our list for the next lot we are doing in the New Year. Had many a good night in there when Johnny Sargent with his Wife Doll run it. Keep in touch. Ray.

  13. Hi Chris. Yes I do remembers The Bird in Hand. Was a favorite of my Dad’s, that and The Little Drivers on the over side of Bow Rd, near Addington Rd. That was a ‘Dirty Dicks’ branch in them days. Where the Beer was about a penny cheaper than all the over Pubs in the area. The Drivers is still there now. Also remember the Pie & Mash shop.Great place. Followed it to Leytonstone for awhile. Ray.Geezers Club

  14. No mention of The Bird in Hand, 126 Bow Road. My Dad, Luit (Cyril) Hak owned the pie shop at 138 Bow Road and he used to park his car in the courtyard on the pub’s premises. My cousin, Leslie Shields occasionally kept his car there overnight. At the time, the pub was owned by William (Willie) van der Heiden who, I’ve just realised, must be of Dutch descent. By co-incidence, my grandfather (Heute Hak) who owned the pie shop before my father took it over, was Dutch. I’m guessing the pub closed down as part of the compulsory purchase order that destroyed the old Bow in the early ’80’s. Dad’s pie shop went with it but now my brother owns one in Leytonstone along with cousin Leslie.

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