Blue Boy Down

The Blue Boy pub, Lockleaze, face on, in 2017.

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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