Little Driver125 Bow Road
Although this pub is not a listed building, it has an interior recognised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) as being of some regional importance and the description is as follows: “Built 1851 of brick with a polished stone dado it was refitted c.1900 and is now a single space around an almost island bar servery but four sets of doors indicate it was originally a series of rooms and possibly an off sales. Some of the partitions survived up to about 1990 but now there are only ornate short screens either side of the right hand door. The Victorian bar counter survives with a noticeable change in its detailed front on the left hand side, but has been painted a mushroom colour in recent years (top not painted). There is an island bar back where the lower shelves look old and also an ornate bar back with ornate mirrored sections including some of a rose. At the rear left is an ornate Victorian mahogany fireplace with a carved hood and in the mantelpiece lozenge-shaped mirror with (back-painted) flowers and leaves. One pillar has an ornate capital. There is a massive ‘Hoare & Co’s Celebrated Stout’ gilded mirror on the right hand wall – Hoare & Co brewed at Smithfield and were taken over by Charrington who then went on to use the Toby Jug symbol that was originally Hoare’s.”
According to Pevsner’s Buildings of England the pub is of the same date as the former Bow Road Station next door, opened in 1869 but now a bookmakers. If you are lucky, you may see the cat who visits the pub but who is usually found in the rear garden.
The Little Driver featured on the Ornaments of the Orient: Daytime Crawl of Bow and Docklands on 24 October 2009, and the Bow Belles - Evening Crawl of Bow on 22 August 2018.
The WhatPub link is here: WhatPub/Little Driver
The Pub Heritage Group link is here: PHG/Little Driver