A Longshot: Prefab Pubs

Macro shot of 'Prefabricated Pubs' article from a 1949 brewery magazine.

Did you drink in or work at a prefabricated pub in the period immediately after World War II? If so, please comment below or email us at contact@boakandbailey.com!

We’re real­is­tic about our chances of hear­ing from any­one – you’d have to have been born no lat­er than, say, 1933; be active online; and be suf­fi­cient­ly inter­est­ed in beer and pubs to come across this blog – but it’s got to be worth a shot.

The pubs we’re talk­ing about were stop-gap mea­sures put up between about 1948 and 1955, most of which were lat­er replaced with more sub­stan­tial ‘estate pubs’.

Even if you don’t have per­son­al mem­o­ries of these estab­lish­ments you might remem­ber hear­ing your mum, dad, uncle or aunt talk­ing about them, and that’d be good to know about too.

And it goes with­out say­ing that sight of any pho­tos, post­cards, diary entries or arti­cles would also be very wel­come.

Here are some pre­fabs we know about whose names and loca­tions might help jog mem­o­ries:

  • The Aber­feldy Tav­ern, Poplar, Lon­don E14 (1948)
  • The Buff Orp­ing­ton, Orp­ing­ton (c.1948)
  • The Bunch of Cher­ries, St Albans (c.1948)
  • The Cher­ry Tree, Soham, Cam­bridgeshire (1947)
  • The Coun­ty Oak, Brighton (c.1948) – vague­ly Art Deco in style
  • The Crick­eters, Mitcham – orig­i­nal pub destroyed 1941, pre­fab erect­ed on site and retained as a store room when a new pub was built in 1956. Young & Co?
  • The Dew­drop Inn, Luton (1950)
  • The Gold­en Horse, For­est Lane, For­est Gate, Lon­don E15 (1948)
  • The Lord Raglan, Waltham­stow, Lon­don E17 (c.1946)
  • The Mar­quis of Loth­i­an, Nor­wich (1948)
  • The Moth­er Hub­bard, Loughton (c.1948) – two huts side by side
  • The Pol­lard Oak, Pol­lards Hill, Lon­don SW16 (1948)
  • The Rose, Bex­ley­heath, Bex­ley, Lon­don (Kent) (c.1941–1955)
  • The Sign of the Times, Fil­ton, Bris­tol (1953)
  • The Uni­corn, Ilford (c.1948) – two huts at right angles off a cen­tral tow­er
  • The Way­far­er, Fil­ton, Bris­tol (1953) – the same pub as the Sign of the Times…?
  • Names unknown ×6, Birm­ing­ham (c.1950)

UPDATED 16/05/2016: Sev­er­al new pubs added to the list.
UPDATED 02/08/2016: New pub added.

10 thoughts on “A Longshot: Prefab Pubs”

    1. If it was ever actu­al­ly built as a pre­fab – it was cer­tain­ly planned – it would have been up until about 1958. Do you have any old­er rel­a­tives who might remem­ber it in that peri­od…?

  1. The New Inn on Coven­try Road Yard­ley Birm­ing­ham remained as a pre fab until at least 1981 and was men­tioned in the Good Beer Guide in the late 1970’s

  2. The Mar­quis of Loth­i­an was as far as I can remem­ber was still open in the 1980s, I did­n’t ever go in there though. Also just tweet­ed you anoth­er pos­si­ble, The Robin Hood on the cor­ner of Dere­ham Road and Heigham Street in Nor­wich was bombed out in 1942 and ran from a lean-to pre­fab on the site once it was cleared. I’ve got a list some­where of all the bombed pubs in the city, it’s quite long as we had some­thing like 750 at one point although it was clos­er to 250 – 300 by the C20th.

  3. The Turkey Cock in Huns­don, Hert­ford­shire was demol­ished in 1943 by the Air Min­istry and the licence trans­ferred to a cou­ple of Nis­san huts on the Wid­ford Road, which was grad­u­al­ly trans­foremed into “The World’s Cra­zi­est Pub”.

    Click here for a report.

    There’s a nice pic here.

    Among the attrac­tions IIRC was a ver­sion of Michae­lan­golo’s “David” in the ladies’ toi­lets with a hinged figleaf – lift the figleaf and a bell rang in the bar …

    The pub was still going late in 1985 but closed soon after that, I believe. It was owned at the time by Ray­ments, Greene King’s Hert­ford­shire sbsidiary, so GK may have more details.

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