The London Pubs Group
Promoting historic pub preservation and good pub design in London. Follow @LondonPubsGroup
The London Pubs Group was established in the early 1990s to promote the preservation of historic and architecturally important London pubs. Meetings are held regularly (six times a year) and are open to any CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) members who wish to attend.
At present the meetings are held at Royal Oak, Tabard Street, SE1 (near Borough underground station). Crawls are also arranged about six times a year and are open to all, whether CAMRA members or not. The crawls usually concentrate on historic pubs but occasionally new or refurbished pubs are included in order to assess the quality of the design.
Pub Design Awards
JD Wetherspoon's Greenwood Hotel in Northolt has won CAMRA's Pub Design Award in the Conservation category. Jane Jephcote, Chair of CAMRA's London Pubs Group and member of the Pub Design Awards judging panel presented a certificate at the Greenwood Hotel, Northolt, on Saturday 31 March 2018. As well as the Greenwood Hotel, London pubs also won two other awards - The Fitzroy Tavern, Fitzrovia, won the Refurbishment award after Sam Smith's Brewery restored it to its late Victorian glory, and the Sail Loft, a newly built Fuller's Brewery waterfront pub in Greenwich, won the rarely given New Build award for its tasteful modern design. Well done all three.
Next pub crawl
Wednesday 21 August 2019. Evening Crawl of Holborn, Bloomsbury, Farringdon and Clerkenwell
Our previous pub crawl was...
Saturday 22 June 2019. Hark the Herald: Daytime Crawl of Whetstone, Barnet, Cockfosters, Enfield and Winchmore Hill
London's Heritage Pubs
The CAMRA Pub Heritage Group (PHG) maintains a record of those pubs that contain interiors of historic importance. They are separated into three categories: those with an interior of National Importance (NI); those with an interior of Regional Importance (RI); and those with an interior of Some Regional Importance (SRI). The London listings are split into seven geographical areas, and the links to this magnificent seven are here: Central; East; North; North West; South East; South West; West.
The London Pubs Group maintains a fourth category of those pubs that do not meet the requirements for the three categories maintained by the PHG, or are awaiting assessment for promotion to those categories. This is known as the London Local Inventory. The London listing, including all four categories and lists for London boroughs, is here: The London Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors Index (although all the pubs currently on the London Inventory are listed, in some cases the information is not yet complete). The Local Inventory Selection Criteria, and how to nominate pubs for the Inventory, is here: Local Inventory Criteria
Campaigning to save historic London pubs
Many historic pubs in the capital have been closed down for redevelopment spelling the loss of centuries of heritage.
Saving Your Local Pub
CAMRA has produced a comprehensive guide spelling out the processes that can be used to attempt to save a threatened pub. It can be found here: Saving Your Local Pub
Assets of Community Value
ACVs - the best thing since sliced bread? What could be sexier than SI 2015 No 659? To be honest, these things probably haven't been said in the context of the new protections afforded to pubs registered as ACVs, but there is absolutely no doubt that ACVs are now much more important than they were. Read what Geoff Strawbridge, Greater London CAMRA Regional Director, had to say about pub protection in the June/July 2015 issue of London Drinker: Protecting Our Pubs
As always, the devil is in the detail. Read the seminal analysis that James Watson, CAMRA's London Pub Protection Adviser, produced for the Oct/Nov 2015 issue of London Drinker: James Watson on ACVs
Then in 2017 further protection for pubs was introduced:
Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017
The Lords introduced an amendment to the Neighbourhood planning Bill that would remove certain permitted development rights. The Government adopted the changes, bringing them into force by way of a Statutory instrument. Thus with effect from 23 May 2017 owners or developers were prevented from demolishing a pub, or changing its use to anything else, without first obtaining planning permission. This was a massive campaigning success.
Mayor of London supports London's pubs
In June 2018 the Mayor of London called for a united effort to help save London's pubs. Read about it here: Mayor of London on Pubs
The Alchemist, London SW11
This is another example of a developer apparently trying to ride roughshod over planning regulations. See what Jane Jephcote, Chair of the London Pubs Group, had to say to Wandsworth Council in response to the 2016 retrospective application to demolish this building: The Alchemist - Planning Objection. But in September 2016 Wandsworth Council gave retrospective approval to the demolition of the building, and subsequent rebuilding to include residential accommodation on the upper floors, but included a condition that the ground floor had to remain in pub (Planning Class A4) use. The story didn't end there. In December 2018 Wandsworth Council refused an application to change the use of the ground floor pub area to business/professional, cafe/restaurant, or takeaway business(es), because of the loss of a community asset. Having apparently not got the message, in March 2019 the owners submitted a further application, this time to change the use of the ground floor pub area to Planning Use Class D2 (Assembly and Leisure). Once again, much to their credit, Wandsworth Council refused this application because it would "result in the loss of a public house of historic and community value". An appeal to the Planning Inspectorate will possibly be the owners' next step.
Articles on Historic London Pubs
Articles on heritage pubs are always welcome. We currently have a number of articles including one on the artist Mick Smee, who has produced a number of paintings of heritage pub interiors.
If you wish to submit an article and/or a photo for this page, please e-mail them to Jane Jephcote at ku.gro.puorgsbupnodnol@ofni.
- Read the Articles
The Old Pack Horse, Chiswick, W4 -Photo taken by Kim Rennie 2005