Truman’s Post-War Pubs, 1967

This set of pictures and accompanying notes come from editions of the Truman Hanbury & Buxton in-house magazine, the Black Eagle Journal, published in 1967.

As before, we’ve tried to include information on when buildings were actually opened; credits for photographers and architects where available; and updates on how the buildings look 50 years on.

1. The Elephant & Castle, London

Exterior of the Elephant & Castle, a brutalist block.

We’re starting with a bit of a superstar pub — one many of us will have heard of, if not visited, and after which this whole area of London is named. We’ve got an earlier article from the Licensed Victuallers’ Gazette boasting about the modernisation of the pub in 1900. By the mid-1960s, when the area was being comprehensively redeveloped, that Victorian pub was doomed.

The idea for this uncomprisingly brutal new design seems to have come from the Greater London Council’s planners and the developer’s architect Ernő Goldfinger who suggested that ‘the public house should appear to float on glass’. Truman’s in-house architect, Frederick G. Hall, interpreted that instruction as above, his design being implemented by A.P. Ciregna. It’s nice that in this case we not only have an architect’s credit but also a photo of Mr Hall drinking the first pint pulled at the new pub while being applauded by brewery director Sir Thomas Buxton.

F.G. Hall drinks the first pint at the Elephant in 1967.

Footnotes: pumpclips have definitely arrived by this point but that they are tiny; note also dimple mugs, which had overtaken ten-siders by this point.

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GALLERY: Beer Ads From the New Elizabethan Era, 1951-1953

We’ve been collecting these beer advertisements from booklets and magazines published in the celebratory period from the 1951 Festival of Britain to the Coronation in 1953 and, though we’ve shared the odd one on Twitter before, thought we ought to collect them in one place.

A ten-sided pint glass on an inn-sign: "A health unto Her Majesty".
SOURCE: Illustrated magazine, Coronation souvenir issue, 13 June 1953.

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GALLERY: Not Always About the Beer

We spent the last week and a bit flying round the north west of England looking at (a) brewery records and (b) pubs.

Sign: Public Bar, Parlour.

We needed dinner near our hotel in Liverpool and stumbled upon Thomas Rigby’s, an inter-war pub interior where class distinctions and waiter service were alive and well.

The seal of the Birkenhead Brewery Company Limited.

On our way to Port Sunlight we stopped to wonder at the beautiful but empty shell of a pub half-swallowed by a bland 1980s building.

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GALLERY: Home Front Beer, WWII

We recently discovered the Imperial War Museum digital archive which is (perhaps surprisingly) crammed with pictures of pubs, beer and brewing.

Here are some of the best shots of ‘everyday life’ on the home front during World War II shared under the terms of their non-commercial license. (Click the ID numbers to go to the IWM website for bigger versions and more info.)

A mixed group of uniformed men and a barmaid.
Allied soldiers in a London pub, 1940. © IWM (D 1725)
A dimly lit pub with soldiers in discussion.
Home Guard members in a pub in Orford, Suffolk, 1941. © IWM (D 4852)

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GALLERY: Modern Watney’s Pubs from Matchboxes

These were carefully removed from matchboxes produced, we would guess, in about 1968, probably for sale in Watney’s pubs. (Any matchbox collectors who want to correct us, go for it.)

The Silver Sword, Coventry, which now looks like this.
The Silver Sword, Coventry, which now looks like this (Google Street View).
The Roebuck, Erdington, Birmingham, described in 2010 as 'like a wild west saloon'.
The Roebuck, Erdington, Birmingham, described in 2010 as ‘like a wild west saloon‘.

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GALLERY: ‘You Ought to Know Whose Beer You’re Drinking’

These two leaflet were among the lovely pile of ephemera Steve ‘Beer Justice’ Williams sent us when he moved house.

The Young’s leaflet is dated 1979 and the Fuller’s one, we guess, is of about the same vintage.

Most notable is Young’s rhetoric — ‘You Ought to Know Whose Beer You’re Drinking’, ‘We don’t go in for chemical engineering’ — which sounds, we think, rather modern.

Sorry about the crappy ‘scans’ — our scanner is broken so we had to use a camera. Still, they’re readable, which is the main thing.

PICTURES: Driving to the Pub, 1956

A slightly odd one, this: we came across an old brochure advertising MG Magnette saloon cars dating from around 1956 featuring the following two wonderfully of-their-time images.

MG Magnette parked outside a pub, with two female models.

This is the brochure’s centrefold; the pub is the Barley Mow at Clifton Hampden, not far from Oxford.

MG Magnette parked outside a pub while two women have orange juice. (And vodka?)Anyone recognise this pub with a ‘Smokeroom Bar’? It’s probably in Oxford, we reckon. UPDATE: @guidomax on Twitter says this is the Crown & Thistle, Abingdon.

GALLERY: Vaux Beer Mats 1970s-80s

Vaux was an important brewery in Sunderland in the North East of England which was founded in the early 19th century and collapsed at the turn of the 21st.

These beer mats all come from the massive bin bag of several hundred we acquired from Ebay a month or so ago and span, by our reckoning, about a decade from c.1971 to 1982.

Norseman Lager, 1970s.
The slightly sinister Norseman Lager, 1970s.
"Samson -- Heads Above the Rest"
That’s Jack Charlton, right? So there’s a deliberate joke here about Samson’s hair, right?

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GALLERY: More Brewing Aristocrats

These pictures of British brewing bigwigs all come from the 1900 Licensed Victuallers’ Year Book and follow on from this post from last June.

Sampson_Hanbury
Mr Sampson Hanbury, business partner of Benjamin ‘Ben’ Truman from 1780. (To be played by Michael Douglas in the upcoming HBO feature film ‘Behind the Mash Tun’.)
Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton.  (Nephew of Sampson Hanbury, and the Buxton in Truman, Hanbury & Buxton.)
Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton. (Nephew of Sampson Hanbury, and the Buxton in Truman, Hanbury & Buxton; really did not want to pose for this portrait, or could smell gas at the time it was being drawn.)

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