london pubs

HELP US: Irish Theme Pubs

We’re keen to hear from people who drank at, worked in or were otherwise involved with Irish theme pubs in England between the 1980s and the early 2000s.

Here’s a list of specific pubs and chains we’re interested in:

  1. Flanagan’s Apple, Liverpool — converted from a warehouse by local entrepreneur Bob Burns it opened in 1984 and is still trading.
  2. Minogues, London N1 (Islington) — formerly the Islington Tup/Tap it was converted into an Irish pub in 1986; it became the Pig & Butcher in 2012.
  3. Mulligan’s, London W1 (Mayfair) — an Irish pub from c.1991.
  4. Waxy O’Connor’s, London W1 (Covent Garden) — opened in 1995; still there, still massive.
  5. Mid-1990s chains: Scruffy Murphy’s (Allied-Domecq), Rosy O’Grady’s (Greene King), J.J. Murphy (Whitbread) and O’Neill’s (Bass). We’re really interested in what they were like in their prime which ran from about 1994-1998.

Guinness promotional clock, South London.

And, going back a bit further, because it can’t hurt to ask…

  1. Any of the Murphy’s pubs that operated in London between the 1930s and 1980s, e.g. The White Hart on Mile End Road. (More info.)
  2. Ward’s Irish House, London W1 (Piccadilly Circus) — in the basement of the London Pavilion where you will now find Ripley’s Believe it Or Not.
  3. Any branch of Mooney’s, found across London up until the 1970s, e.g. at 395 The Strand.

Comment below or, even better, email us at if you can help.

PS. We’re also still after reminiscences of theme pubs (especially the Nag’s Head, Covent Garden) and prefabs.

Main image adapted from ‘Flanagan’s Apple’ by Adam Bruderer via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

Beer history pubs

A Longshot: Prefab Pubs

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!

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.

Beer history london pubs

HELP US: Theme Pubs

We’re keen to talk to or exchange emails with people who worked at, drank in, or were involved in the management, design or administration (brewery side) of the pubs listed below.

The time frame we’re interested in is between 1945 and, say, 1980, so please pass this request on to any industry veterans, or veteran drinkers, you might know.

No recollection is too insignificant — we need all the material we can get.

It’s best to email us via or comment below and we’ll work something out.

  • The Bull’s Head, Handforth, Cheshire (bullfighting theme)
  • The Chelsea Drugstore, King’s Road, London (futuristic, boutiques)
  • The Dolphin, Liverpool (submarine)
  • The Gallopers, Bradford, West Yorkshire (fairground theme)
  • The Golden Arrow, Beckenham, Kent (train theme)
  • UPDATE 01/12/2015: The Horseless Carriage, Chingford, Essex (vintage cars)
  • The Lord Protector, Huntingdon (Cromwell themed, apparently)
  • The Malt & Hops, Finchley, London (hops/farming)
  • The Nag’s Head, James St./Floral St., Covent Garden, London (theatre)
  • The Printer’s Devil, Fetter Lane, London (printing)
  • The Sherlock Holmes, Northumberland Street, London (er, Sherlock Holmes)
  • The Stonehouse, Sheffield, South Yorkshire (Elizabethan street)
  • The Warrior, Surrey Quays, London (space age disco pub — see below)
  • The Yorker, Piccadilly, London (cricket)

The Warrior, Surrey Quays.

This won’t be the last request of this sort in the coming months but we’ll try to space them out…