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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