Thursday, November 27, 2008


Cundy's ex-Tavern, Silvertown, London

I take quite a few photos of pubs which are now closed - ie, shut down, closed for good, gone forever.

It started with pictures of particularly interestingly abandoned or derelict buildings - like this one:

the ex-Victoria, Charlton, London.

the back of which looks like this:

Its hard to imagine this one not remaining closed.

This photographic habit of mine has grown in the light of what seems to be a trend - the demise of the great British local.

the ex-crown & shuttle, just off Brick Lane, London

the Village Blacksmith, Charlton, London & the Mitre, Islington, London.

The Prince of Orange, Ipswich

As my collection of photos grew, I even thought of starting a Flickr group. Only to discover - of course! - that there is already more than one group devoted to this theme.

the ex-Thames, Greenwich & "Safa House" (don't know what it was as a pub) Deptford.

This (below) is a pub we sometimes used to visit in school lunch breaks. No, not to drink - they used to do market research on ice-cream - free ice cream, in return for evaluation of the relative creaminess, tastiness .. of various samples.

The ex-Rising Sun, Catford, London

The ex-George, Catford & The ex-Green Man, Bromley - both London

The ex-Old Friends, Greenwich

Fear ye not, however.
There is still an abundance of pubs in old Blighty, many of them good and should any of you ever visit, I would be more than happy to buy you a drink in one of them.

More happily 'Closed' - my bureau.

this fairly recent post has a picture of the heaps of assorted "stuff" which used to make the bureau un-shuttable and the drawers inaccessible.

And here it is now, after lots of sorting and lots of filing and lots and lots and lots of shredding

I read/heard somewhere that we in the UK have more shredders per capita than anywhere else in Europe. I wonder what that says about us.

When I'm finished working at my newly spacious bureau, or writing, or sitting and feeling smug - I can close it like this:

I am very pleased with myself.

does that mean i need to get out more?


tut-tut said...

But if you do go out, everything seems to be closed!

The notion of a tidy desk is extremely appealing, especially as mine is just over my shoulder (but out of eyeline) and is not especially neat, nor can I shut it up into a lovely piece of furniture.

Just finished cooking and cleaning up Thanksgiving dinner here. It was delicious, if I do say so myself.

Barbara said...

Is drinking going out of style over there? How else can you explain so many closed pubs?!

You get a gold star for getting organized! Now, can you keep it that near?

Squirrel said...

HHaaa ! Tut Tut's comment made me laugh (and forget what I was going to say!)

You inspired me to document buildings and their transitions .

The Dotterel said...

No, Barbara - it's Alistair Darling's fault. (But then, everything is!)

R.L. Bourges said...

I say: enjoy smugness (and neatness) while they last. They too shall pass... :-)

re pubs: the same trend is apparent with bistros in France, but the hold-outs are definitely worthwhile.


Gary said...

Congratulations on cleaning up the bureau. I'm sure it feels much better this way.

It always puzzles me that new buildings go up right next to, or replace, these older magnificent buildings. I suppose it is cheaper to tear down and start from scratch but as your photos attest these older buildings have much character and beauty that is seldom replicated by the newer construction.

Ah well, they live on in your photographs (and memory) at least.

And if and when I get to you for a visit I def want to do a pub crawl!

ArtSparker said...

Those buildings are so beautiful - I hope at least a few of them find new management. I am going to have to google Alistair Darling, I assume he's someone in governement - I fell very adult when I have clean surfaces - on the rare occasions.

Akelamalu said...

There are so many pubs shutting down it's such a shame!

herhimnbryn said...

What stories those buildings could tell!
As I type I can remember the smell of an english pub.
Enjoy your tidy desk. Am lookig for a bureau like that for myself. I like all the little 'hutches' for 'stuff'.

Chick said...

All those closed sad...I'm glad to know that there are so many still open & that you'll by me a drink when I visit someday : )

Love your bureau.

Coffee Messiah said...

Yikes, kinda looks like buildings out many closing, since money is so tight and so many losing their jobs.

Cool buildings though and would hate to think they'll get torn down (like they do here) . ; (

As long as you can find what you are looking for, does it matter really, about being "too" tidy?????

Lynne said...

We have a bureau similar to that at the cabin which we use as our computer area. Don't you just love it? Like I said before, we have a secretary that is similar but it stands in our front hallway holding phone books, mittens and gloves. If I had another spot for it it would make a grand writing desk.

I think little accomplishments (like cleaning your bureau out) have much to be said for them.

The pubs look forlorn and sad. A passing of a whole generation while others take over. Just like all the bowling alleys and drive-in movies closing because no one goes anymore.

Reya Mellicker said...

What a wonderful theme and what great pictures! Wow. Ghosts LOVE old funky pubs so much. They must be partying like crazy in there.

Your desk is magnificent. I salute you!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

I love the closed series!!

I am most impressed with the neat and tidyness - you have every right to be pleased!!

very interesting tidbit about the uk and shredders - just the kind of info that I love finding out - useless info but interesting. I think it says that you take good care protecting your identity!

Barbara said...

I just went back and read my comment, trying to make sense out of the obvious typo "NEAR". Was I trying to type CLEAN? Sometimes brain synapses are unexplainable!

goatman said...

I too wonder what accounts for the closing of these local "watering holes". Less drinking and carousing or more drinking at home where it may be a lot cheaper? Either way, these old pubs would make fine restaurants or coffee shops with very little rework needed.
Your photo-documentation is very interesting.

lettuce said...

it looked delicious tut-tut, i saw pictures! :-)

barbara, i'm doing well so far...
(i read it as clear :-))

hey thanks squirrel.

dotterel, just Alistair? poor darling. ;op

rlb, tempted to say humnphhh. i'm fighting the entropy so far. Sorry (and a little surprised) to hear that the same is happening in france.

Gary i always think that too, these old buildings have so much character. along with the damp and dry rot, i spose. And i firmly hope its when, not if. (hmmm, sure i've said that to you before)

ArtsParker thats funny - it makes me feel adult too! :-)

tis, lamalu. :-( There was something about this in the weekend paper actually - claiming that 37 pubs a week are closing!!!

having the little hutches clear and usable is the best thing, herhimnbryn. and theres space for a Fix-it Mouse in one, and a Clanger in another....

I certainly will Chick!

CM, up to a point (sometimes a point of quite high tolerance) i agree with you. but after that point, i find the mess stressful, even if i can still find stuff

lynne, we never really had drive-in movies much over here. But the bowling alleys - i don't know that they're shutting down in the same way.

reya, the thought of the ghosts partying inside has me properly cheered up!

mousey, i think it indicates the depth of british paranoia

goatman, i think its a combination of factors. Drinking is cheaper at home - plus more sophisticated home entertainments - encroaching privatisation? - smoking bans in pubs - staying away from disorderliness and binge drinkers....
Definately a phenomenon though.

edward said...

Cergie likes Buttons.

lettuce said...

hello lovely eddy

Steve said...

OMG -- how did I get so far behind on your blog? Congrats on the shredding. :) The bureau looks wonderful.

And you know the pubs are one of my favorite themes in your photography. They're such sad photos. I think they speak to the worst aspects of globalization and our growing alienation from our own communities. (We have the same alienation, though perhaps not displayed in quite the same way.)

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