20th Century Pub pubs

Blue Boy Down

From the Brewers’ Journal, 17 June 1959:

The choice of name in this new House, built by the Bristol Brewery Georges & Co. Ltd., is of interest as it was chosen in an attempt to establish some sort of cultural connexion in an otherwise rather featureless housing estate.

Boarded up front bay window of the Blue Boy pub. Barbed wire around the perimeter of the pub.

Many of the roads in the neighbourhood bear the names of great English writers and it is intended that “The Blue Boy” should be a central pivot of this motive. Above the door to the large bar is a pleasing and colourful wall plaque. Elliptical in shape it is in fact a hand-painted reproduction on glazed frost-proof tiles of Gainsborough’s painting of the Master Buttall better as “The Blue Boy”. It is framed in painted hardboard that accentuates it and effectively separates it from the surrounding brickwork.

A feature of the House is that, with a considerable fall from east to west, the cellar is provided with a natural unloading deck for lorries on to which barrels can be rolled direct.

Debris, including pub furniture, in the pub yard.

Indoors the basic colour of the two principal bars is, naturally, blue. In the public bar the bar front is of recessed oak slats with the recesses painted Alice-blue, a motive which is echoed in the fabric of the bar furniture. The floor area immediately in front of the bar is of coloured ceramic tiles. The Lounge is a light and pleasant room with a large bow window and an original fireplace in black eggshell tiles with brass studs and mahogany surround. An interesting architectural feature of this room is a slender column which has the appearance of providing support to the ceiling above the large bar. In fact the bay has a cantilevered roof. The “Blue Boy” theme is reiterated in the lounge by a frieze of stylized Blue Boys in silhouette, white against blue.

A highly topical experiment has been attempted in the provision of a Skittle Alley. It is tapered from the delivery end, which is wide to allow for the congestion of players around the bar, to the skittle end which is narrow to assist concentration on the pins and prevent distraction. A folding screen can be used to turn the service area of the alley into an additional overflow bar when skittles are not in progress.

Another feature worthy of operation is the Garden Service from a special bar which possesses a clear view of playground and garden through plate-glass doors. The Assembly Room, on the first floor, is an all-purpose room for social occasions intended to be the centre of much of the local community life. Behind it the tenant’s kitchen is conveniently placed for the service of cooked meals, and a lift from kitchen to downstairs service area is intended to encourage and assist in an efficient supply of sandwiches and snacks.

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