Sunday, 8 January 2012

A pint in the pub at the end of the line

I've invented very few traditions. I've kept some going in the family, like having ham for Christmas breakfast, but I'm struggling to find more than one which is truly, and uniquely, mine. I've occasionally been known not to take the most direct route home after an evening out, but I'm sure I'm not the first person to whom this has happened. My theory which is mine and belongs to me has nothing to do with brontosauruses. It is that you should enjoy a pint in the pub at the end of the line.

Tube Map, courtesy TfL

Yes, it's the London Underground Map. It was drawn by a young draughtsman called Harry Beck and first published in 1932. What's really clever about it is not that it replaces complicated curves with simple straight lines, but that it brings the suburbs which closer to town. A physical tube map would look a bit like this (it's a bit out of date):

Geographically accurate Tube Map, courtesy

So what that meant is that people were encouraged to go from Central London to the suburbs for leisure: Beck's map made it look like it wasn't that far. London Underground campaigned for people to do so too, with posters such as this one.
"Kew Gardens", 1934 Maurice A. Miles, courtesy London Transport Museum

So where was I? Oh yes, pubs at the end of the line. I've been allured to the countryside via the tube regularly, so it's worth having a pint when there - hence the tradition. Maybe it's a good thing that the tube doesn't go out quite as far as it used to. Until 1936, the Metropolitan Line went all the way to Verney Junction in Buckinghamshire - about 52 miles from Baker Street! But it would have been a journey to an interesting pub - The Verney Arms, now a private house, is shown below:

Verney Arms, courtesy Wikipedia author Ravenseft under the GNU Free Documentation License

But there are many interesting places. Kew doesn't count as it's the penuntimate station on the District Line - but it has a fantastic restaurant in The Glasshouse. Richmond does though, and it has some lovely pubs by the Thames. Here's one of them.

The White Cross, Richmond, courtesy

Richmond. Ever wondered why it shares a name with William Hague's constituency in Yorkshire? It used to be called Sheen until Henry VII built a palace there, and named it after the fact that he was Earl of Richmond. The area around the palace also became known as Richmond. But Sheen survives, in the name of East Sheen, to the east of the town. Not to be confused with East Cheam, home of Tony Hancock in Hancock's Half Hour.

But I digress. Epping. No I wasn't swearing. Eastern terminus of the Central Line. ( And really in Essex (unlike Ilford and Romford which say they are in Essex, but have been part of the greatest city in the world for decades) - and clearly different from most of London from a picture of its High Street.

Epping High Street, courtesy Epping Forest District Council

And here's a pub in Epping which looks interesting...

The Spotted Dog, courtesy

And how many of you have just thought of what's below? With one final change of subject, cheers!

The Woodentops, BBC, via YouTube standard license.

No comments:

Post a Comment