Thursday, November 6, 2008

Last Orders

Borough Market

On tuesday night I went to a book launch party. I haven't been to one for a couple of years, but normally they involve standing in a big white room drinking lukewarm bottles of whatever the latest lager du jour is. This launch, however, was different. The free bar was mostly real ale from Youngs and Nethergate, and the venue was smack in the middle of Borough Market, ghostly outside trading hours without the familiar bustle of punters and vendors. The book being launched was Wheatsheaf RIP, a collection of photographic portraits of regulars of the eponymous pub by John Ross. The Wheatsheaf is closing because the new Thameslink rail development is being driven through the area, removing the boozer's top floor, part of the market's roof and a large part of the character and charm of this thriving pocket of soul and atmosphere. The Wheatsheaf is 237 years old, and is definately a proper pub - functional, friendly, popular and retaining lots of features like frosted glass leaded windows. It has two bars, simple decor, and great beer. The market traders can go in and not have to take their aprons off. In short, it ticks a lot of my boxes. But it's going, despite being grade 2 listed. Unfortunately, the railway couldn't be shoved through the nearby All Bar One instead.

7 comments:

Velky Al said...

And so more British heritage is destroyed in the name of progrss. Sad, sad, sad.

Ten Inch Wheeler said...

And so it goes, Velky Al. I'm not denying that improvements need to be made to the rail network - it's just they could have gone through a less useful building.

Joos de Littlemore said...

We can send a man to the moon....

So here is a Grade 2 building which is being destroyed, along with a slice of heritage. I wonder why they didn't just carefully take it down and rebuild it elsewhere....the technology exists!

A F-A said...

Great photo! I rarely found anywhere so comfortable!!!

ally. said...

it's good all this improved transport thing. first the astoria and the centrepoint fountains and a big lump of shoreditch high street and now this. what's the bloody point of new lines and stations if there's nothing there when you get out ?

Ten Inch Wheeler said...

Ally, the removal of the old Shoreditch goods yard and all the old brick arches completely changed that area's atmosphere - it's one of the reasons we left.

BLTP said...

Im torn as commuter from new cross i welcome improvements to london bridge it has been a bottle neck since 1850! but knocking down decent pubs and venues to build transport is nonsense.