Express Tavern

Kew Bridge Rd
Brentford
HE8 0EW

The WhatPub link is here: WhatPub/Express Tavern

The Pub Heritage Group link is here: PHG/Express Tavern

The Express Tavern featured on the Daytime Crawl of Chiswick and Brentford in February 2005, the Daytime Crawl of Middlesex in February 2007, the Way Out West: Daytime Crawl of Ealing and Brentford in February 2012, and the Ancient and Modern: Daytime Crawl of Brentford, Chiswick and Hammersmith in June 2016.

Although this pub is not a listed building it is on the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) London Regional Inventory of Pub Interiors of Special Historic Interest and the description is as follows: “Recently lightly redecorated with no changes to the original fittings - a model example on how to bring a pub up to the high standards liked by customers but respecting the historic interior. The Express was rebuilt in mid-Victorian times and old photographs show three original entrances. Now the sole, central doorway leads into a lobby with a mixture of Victorian and (perhaps) 1930s glazing. The right-hand room retains its original bar fittings but it was a much smaller room. There were some rearrangements in 1994 when they removed a partition that created a tiny private bar on the right hand side, which was accessed from the now disused right hand door; part of the partition has been re-sited onto the right hand wall. Also, the bar counter was cut short by about 18 inches so the right hand part of the bar back fitting now has no counter in front of it; and a small piece of wall removed to give access to the tiny private parlour with a marble fireplace situated behind the servery. The doorway to the former landlord’s parlour has a fascinating double-sided clock over it, surrounded by brown painted and gilt glazing bearing the name of the pub. This decoration suggests a date of about 1870 and, if so, then perhaps we have here some of the earliest surviving pub fittings in London. Note the large ceiling rose painted green. The left-hand room has a fine marble fire surround fireplace, original fixed seating and original counter. The third room behind was remodelled in Tudor style in 1932 judging by the date scratched on a ceiling beam and has a 1930s brick fireplace. This room has seen the most recent change with fresh fixed seating and partitions with good but modern stained and leaded panels. Look for the little peep-hole in the door to the serving area. Apparently this was used to call for drinks when the room was in use for private functions, for example, meetings of the brethren of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes whose horns still hang proudly over the door to the front bar. The initials RA incised twice on the beams are of Robert (Bob) Aldington whose family acquired the pub back in 1882 and still own it to this day. Draught Bass has been on sale here for many years - note the illuminated sign on the exterior - and it is still the biggest selling real ale in the pub.”.