Love Your Local

At Brockley Central, we try to keep business and blogging separate. We may spend more time than is strictly advisable from a career development point of view blogging at work and infuriating our colleagues with lengthy diatribes about why everyone should move to South East London but we try to keep our clients off this blog.

However, in this case, it's highly relevant.

Lately, our colleagues on the Stella Artois account have been putting the rest of us to shame. From launching airships to 4% beers, they've been busy. Now, they're helping to save London's pub culture:

Stella Artois is proud to announce the launch of its exciting new community awards scheme, ‘Love Your Local’. The competition, which is being spearheaded by Jason Flemyng aims to celebrate the role that pubs play in being a key part of their local communities and supporting responsible drinking.

The competition will run throughout London for the next three months. Pub goers will get the chance to nominate their favourite London pubs for the new Stella Artois award of “London’s Best Loved Local” The competition will celebrate the role pubs play in their local communities.
Jason Flemyng, actor and London landlord, says, “Love Your Local is a really positive campaign for pubs and communities which can demonstrate how pubs reach out to their customers and play an important role in promoting responsible drinking. I am excited to be part of this celebration of ‘the local,’ and keeping it where it belongs, in the heart of a community.

Stuart MacFarlane, President of InBev UK that produces Stella Artois, says: “Stella Artois is proud to support this major new award for London pubs. The competition will recognize and reward pubs that are the lynchpins of their local communities, offer a welcoming atmosphere for their customers to relax in and socialize and of course support responsible drinking.”

The prize is worth winning - as well as some guaranteed exposure in the Evening Standard the winning pub will get some money for venue improvements and a lovely plaque to put on their wall.

http://www.loveyourlocal.co.uk/

Now, given our connection to this promotion, we can't suggest which pubs readers might like to nominate, but it seems to us that there are some obvious candidates around here. Despite the dramatic loss of pubs in Lewisham, there are still places that have gone out of their way to work with local people to create great community pubs. And one or two that haven't.

It takes a couple of minutes to nominate a pub and it would be great to see some support for our best locals.

85 comments:

Headhunter said...

Well, I've nominated the Greenwich Union. Not completely local - about 25-30 mins walk away but I love it. Sorry but the Wickham just doesn't completely cut it, although I would be very sad to see it go

Hugh said...

I went to the Wickham once (last year) and it stank of piss from the men's bogs.

I decided not to go there again.

westsider said...

Well I like the Wickham and they've made a lot of progress recently, but I reckon the obvious candidates are

Jam Circus - they even changed their beer based on what people on here said

The Amersham - quality music in New Cross again

Moonbow Jakes - alright, not a pub, but serves beer and is a priceless part of Brockley

The Royal Albert - great, traditional pub

The Honor Oak - fingers crossed the talbot's as good

Maybe even the Brockley Jack, because of the theatre and the makeover, though I've not been in there lately

Headhunter said...

Yeah, I like the Wickham and do go there on occasions, but I think they missed the opportunity to do it up properly last year. There was a lot of talk about stripping it back, removing the frosting from the windows etc but in the end not a lot changed really. Having said that I love the quiz and they used to come round with sandwiches cut into perfect little triangles which was sweet.

Ah yes, Westsider, I'd forgotten about the Amersham Arms, Royal Albert and Jam Circus momentraily... Must go back and vote again. Do you think that's allowed?

Hugh said...

Hare & Billet - that's my kind of pub. Take your beers out on to the heath. Better still, take your own up there.

Brockley Nick said...

I love the Hare & Billet (and the Union, btw) but I prefer drinking inside - not too keen on sitting around that shadowy little pond - prefer heading over the other side of the heath for outdoor drinking.

Headhunter said...

H&B - yeah... Not a bad place but never really been too convinced what all the fanfare is about really. Have friends who think it's wonderful. It's on the edge of the heath, yes, but it's not as if there anywhere to sit outside unless you cross the road and sit out there and as Hugh says, you may as well just get some tinnies or a bottle from an offy and sit out on the heath with a picnic like a local, middle class drunk

Anonymous said...

I also vote for The Royal Albert - superb all round pub that illuminates a rather blighted part of New Cross Road. If only I could get friends to make the trip from other parts of London to visit!!

Amanda said...

I saw that Stella airship yesterday, hovering around the Sainsbury's in New Cross. Actually I remember Stella Artois used to sponsor open air film nights, I went to one in Victoria Park once, to see The Fifth Element.

About pubs, my local is the Wickham so it'll get my vote, but I like The Royal Albert very much.

Brockley Nick said...

When all of London is at your disposal, where better to visit than New Cross Gate?

Amanda said...

Hell yeah! New Cross Gate is where it's at Nick.

I was kinda hoping they'd do a flydrop and send down some alcoholic freebies, in satchets of course.

But riots on the streets probably don't contribute to a regenerating town.

Brockley Jon said...

Hugh - the gents in the Wickham stink of piss? Who'd have thought it!?

The Royal Albert is by far the best local round my way (top of the conservation area) but as it's a bit cool, kooky, and generally not visited by middle-aged cockneys (and doesn't serve Stella if I recall) then I doubt it has a chance.

The Wickham, though definitely flawed, is probably a much better bet, with its mixed crowd and variety of events involving the local community. And what with it being within Stella-staggering distance, it gets my vote!

Hugh said...

Jon, not the gents. The pub itself stank of piss vapours wafting in from the gents.

Anonymous said...

I would dispute the following 'The prize is worth winning - as well as some guaranteed exposure in the Evening Standard the winning pub will get some money for venue improvements and a lovely plaque to put on their wall'.

Is that really worth winning?Exposure in the Standard? A plaque? no doubt covered in the Stella branding and I bet the money is nothing that will make any difference to the pub concerned.

Save your nominations.

wife beater said...

'save your nominations'

who will help to save London's pub culture then if not a professional client of the site's proprietor?

Tom said...

I have a real soft spot for the Wickham, and not only because I live a 100m away from it. It does what a locals pub traditionally does - ie nothing much - but it serves beer and generally has a welcoming attitude.

There's always a bit of drama there though - I never go in there expecting a quiet pint. And no, it's not classy but it is very unpretentious, and not in a rough way.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - It's £5k for the winning pub, plus a load of other benefits, listed on the site. Publicity in the standard of no value? I guess you don't run a pub.

@wb - not actually my client but I thought it was the sort of initiative some people would like to hear about and I wanted to be transparent about the connection.

Anonymous said...

White Hart in New Cross get's my vote, with lapdancing its a no brainer (well, yes, really, a no-brainer)

wife beater said...

"publicity in the standard of no value? "

it might be of value, but how does that relate to saving london's pub culture?

the likely winner will no doubt notice an increased revenue stream (largely through a bunch of middle class standard reading bores demanding leather couches, jenga and overpriced pitted olives), and therefore i agree the value of the pub itself in terms of the present value of it's expected cash flows will undoubtedly increase, but that wasn't the stated objective of the campaign, which was to 'save london's pub culture'

one could argue the very influx and prevalence of that type of transient clientele and the type of pub it engenders, is one of the main reasons that london requires its pub culture to be saved in the first place

Brockley Nick said...

It's a genuinely interesting questions - this initiative aside, I am constantly amazed when, for example, readers of this site, who I think are in general keen to support local business and committed participants in their local communities, confess that they haven't ever set foot in, say, the Wickham Arms. I think the Wickham is a great pub, but some people have said that it looks offputting (admittedly they sometimes have some unwelcoming looking types sat out on their terrace in the afternoons). If this blog has helped to persuade a few of those people to give it a go, that's a good thing, I hope.

I don't see that olives or leather sofas are inherently incompatible with traditional pub culture. Pub culture is about going to the pub, not about eating pork scratchings and sitting on sticky chairs when you get there, surely?

tyrwhitt michael said...

I was going to vote for the Talbot but it won't win with one vote so I'll have to go for the Wickham and its delightful barmaids.

Hugh, since they put a few hundred toilet blocks in the urinal the urine odour is noticeably reduced.

wife beater said...

"I don't see that olives or leather sofas are inherently incompatible with traditional pub culture"

once again, try not to focus on the signs, but the substance

the point is that the type of pubs that i refer to, are generally quite transient & rootless - they appear from nowhere, specifically target the better off section of the community (potentially pricing other members of the community out), and generally seem to have less of a shelf life than your more traditional type pub which has grown with the community and has a history rooted in it, they are then resurrected every few years by another bunch of folk who do the same thing

if you think that kind of thing adds to the general stock of 'public goods' and stable social assets for a community and therefore leads to a 'saving of the pub culture', then fair enough, all i'm saying is that others might see it as contributing to its decline

Brockley Nick said...

Sorry WB, but you are the one focusing on the signs, rather than the substance, by singling out such trivia as the type of bar snacks they serve. Sofas and olives just reflect changing public tastes. They are still compatible with a pub rooted in the local community. If the Wickham starts serving olives, that doesn't make it any less of a traditional pub. If the Talbot redecorates and starts serving good food which attracts the type of people you dismiss, is that contributing to decline or rescuing it from decline? Answer, the latter.

Anonymous said...

Sigh, it's that "signs" guy again who thinks he's smarter than everyone else.

Bea said...

Anyone posting with such an incredibly offensive tag should have their opinions discounted automatically!

Anonymous said...

ah bea, you've got something new to get upset about, but is the name within the remit of the conservation guidelines?

drakefell debaser said...

Bea, I don’t think it relates to how the person behaves, at least I hope not, but more to do with a common nick name for Stella Artois.

One thing this topic does raise is that we have lots of very good drinking holes around us, some with leather sofas, olives etc and some without which caters for all moods and preferences.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a picture of the Wickham arms that they can post in this thread. The pub hasn't be registered at the love your local site and nice pic would help.

Tressilliana said...

I agree with Bea. I don't care whether it used to be a nickname for Stella Artois. Just not funny and not acceptable, then or now.

Anonymous said...

It's a bit sad that there's no love for the Barge.

The Brockley Telegraph said...

god I hate all these politically correct types. Its just a frigging name after all. If that offends you then god knows what you've been doing walking around London.

I quite like the barge as it really is my local. I prefer going to ecosium which has better reasonably priced red wine than either the TM2 or the barge.

Tressilliana said...

Just a frigging name, eh, Andy? And what if somebody popped up here with the name of 'Gaybasher'? Would it be PC to object to that, (as you could count on me to do, I should add)?

Tom said...

it's a fine balance to be struck between the two, and I would say most of the pubs in Lordship Lane now only cater for well-heeled 20-somethings, spilling over from Clapham.

A couple I've been to recently do seem to manage the apparently possible - the Commercial in Herne Hill, and the Herne Tavern, between E Dulwich and Honor Oak.

The Brockley Telegraph said...

I wouldnt object to it either. I regularly bash (in a jovial way) my partner everytime he forgets to make me tea in the morning :0)

Now if it was meant seriously, now that would be an issue. But just by using the words as a name does not imply that is the case.

By likewise I called bea 'honey' (a play on her name) but it makes me a sexist pig so maybe it should be deleted - consistency et all.

Brockley Nick said...

Anon, there's a photo on the flikr group, linked to on the photos tab.

Headhunter said...

Tom - I like The Commercial in Herne Hill too and they do seem to manage a good balance. Did the pub quiz there and did relatively well.

Even won the "free round of drinks" round. The question was, to the nearest under estimate, "how many people per year are killed globally by falling vending machines?" How's that for trivia?! We got the closest under estimate...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and Boom Bye Bye is a harmless little ditty, it's all just entertainment after all. FFS.

Brockley Nick said...

@hh - you have to tell us the answer to that now!

Anonymous said...

Aaargh. Can't believe I bit.
Sorry all.

Bea said...

As I said at the time I didn't feel particularly bad about being called "honey" although I did understand why some thought it condescending.

However, "wife basher" is in a totally different league and can in no way be regarded as amusing or acceptable - nick name or not.

Anonymous said...

Wife Beater? You sound more like a bishop basher to me.

drakefell debaser said...

I used to go to the Vanbrugh Tavern near Maze Hill station when I lived round there and they did a good quiz on Mondays, the chosen night wasn’t the best though given Tuesdays was often a struggle. The pub is very good too. Can anyone tell me who has the best quiz nights in Brockley and when are they on?

Headhunter said...

The answer to the question was 6 I think, or we guessed 6 and it was, something like that. It was less than 10 anyway

Brockley Fox said...

moved to Brockley from newuquay in Cornwall not long ago, and was a bit worried about living in south london. (we DO here some awfull things down there). But! i'm really impressed with brockley. Its friendly, with quite a village like feel to it. I especially love all the trees and parks (hilly fields, the cemetery, ladywell etc). I am... pleasently, surprised by how nice the place is. AND convenient too!! Anyway, back to topic... well, Moonbow Jakes is just at the end of my road so its really my local, although i do often drink at Jam Circus too. I havnt tried the Jack since it re opened though. I did try the barge once... bt only once.. sadly.

Headhunter said...

Sorry I mean we guessed 6 and it was 8 or something like that

fred west said...

bea, the name wife beater is a common nickname given to stella, i'm sure given that knowledge you won't need a hand working out it's etymology

i chose it as i thought it was rather ironic that the producer of 'wife beater' material are trying to make out they care about local communities (remember their slogan - reassuringly expensive anyone?) when in reality it's just some cheap publicity for their brand, a brand that is indeed associated with aggression & binge drinking, something both our pubs & communities could do without

Anonymous said...

Fred, you'll be saying there's no such thing as the Lynx effect soon. Give it up mate, you're very boring.

Anonymous said...

in my country (USA) "wife beater" refers to the undergarment that you all would refer to as a man's white vest. Think streetcar named desire.

max said...

Both valid meanings according to this page:
http://tinyurl.com/6ymx5o

Bea said...

Fred – it’s reassuring to know that your tag was ironic – but I suspect your cellar stores more that just wine or cheap beer which would make you still a misogynist (and possibly a ghoul).

Anonymous said...

Is it likely that the tag was anything other than ironic? If the now self-titled Fred West is, or has been a wife beater, then he, and his spouse, should attract our concern and not be vilified.

Fred West however, was a brutal murderer who left friends and family mourning for their loved ones who were encased in concrete in his Gloucester cellar. As Fred West took his own life we can assume that this is not the real Fred West but someone using the name as an ironic 'nick'.

Bea said...

Anon: I disagree if the now self-titled Fred West is, or has been a wife beater, then he should be vilified and his spouse should attract our concern.

phenonoma over noumena said...

i'm surprised headhunter has survived so long without this kind of hand wringing

Anonymous said...

the wife beater has a problem, one that should be treated so that the vicious circle has at least a chance to be broken, saying anything less than that is cruel and unkind, as cruel and unkind as the spouse has been to his or her partner, for let us not forget that women are equally liable to abuse their husband, perhaps not with such a pejorative label attached.

The Brockley Telegraph said...

You know, its precisely this kind of debate over something that is/was completely meaningless that makes me want to go and slit my wrists.

Or at least yell or something. I mean, why are we still talking about this?

Anonymous said...

I've heard the term 'wife beater' used in reference to the white singlet favoured by trailer trash in movies. It often gets used in conjunction with another great term, 'an Australian passport' - as in 'He's got an Australian Passport' i.e. a Mullet.

Anonymous said...

I find 'wife beater' amusing, therefore it is so. It doesn't have to be amusing to you to be amusing to other people.

Transpontine said...

Good point Nick about the Wickham. I don't think people should feel obliged to spend time in some dive out of an obligation to shop locally, but I do think people might be pleasantly surprized if they actually tried out some of the pubs locally. On the other hand while I understand - and have sometimes articulated - concerns about gentrification of pubs, it makes me laugh when people think clean toilets, decent food and drink and comfortable furniture are some sort of crime against the proletariat! Its actually young working class people, as well as middle class people, who are aspiring to spend their money in somewhere half decent, rather than some stinking alcoholic cesspit.

Tamsin said...

Back to topic - the prize might not be worth very much but the general awareness raising for all local pubs and their plight is a good thing.

My problem with most pubs is the inevitable music. I want to be able to talk to the people I'm with - and hear what they say back.

Not local (and with the tourist trade not in need of support), but we've just had an excellent evening in Greenwich - going round their temporary (until the end of September)wheel (a mini version of the Eye), a walk along the beach - we it it at a low neap tide - and then an early meal with a 15-year old in the Cutty Sark. A long way along the river (beyond the Trafalgar) but worth it. Sitting by an open first floor bay window looking out over the river and our son, who normally finds nothing much that he likes on restaurant/pub menus, was spoiled for choice.

Tamsin said...

On the matter of pubs - when and where is the Brockley Blog meeting up again in reality?

Richard said...

Definitely a worthy campaign and I'd love some nominations but instead I suggest you get behind a local that serves Stella - they'll be able to put out the (heavily Stella-branded) merchandise such as beer mats to get votes rolling in.

To say exposure in the Evening Standard would not help a local pub is madness, it would encourage so much new custom and really be something to shout about. The £5k for improvements and £1.5k for a staff night out is not to be sniffed at either!

Brockley Nick said...

Hi Tamsin

Good question. I'd really like the next meet-up to be a big one. The Talbot was more of a fact-finding mission than a social.

Jam Circus was great, but, back to the point of this thread, I think it would be great to try a new pub, perhaps one that people have never tried. My thought is that it should be the Ladywell Tavern, The Brockley Jack or The Wickham Arms, towards the end of August, when people are back from holidays. I was planning to put it to a vote, using the poll on the site.

tyrwhitt ali said...

End of August sounds like a sensible time. I like the idea of vote on location, especially if it gets me into a new pub! Still haven't got round to doing the pub quiz at the Wickham.

Tamsin said...

I fancy the Wickham Arms - never been there and it is close enough to walk (stagger) back for those on the Telegraph Hill side. (I kick myself for missing the Cosmic Sausages when they were there during the Brockley Max last year.)

Purely selfishly I would ask you to avoid the Bank Holiday weekend as I will be in Kentwell - incidentally brewing ale tudor style. (Although maybe it would be nice for my abandoned husband and son to have a boys' night out together...)

The Brockley Telegraph said...

Wickham arms gets my vote..

...if I turn up :o)

Hugh said...

Be honest. Did any really fit birds turn up at the last BC meeting?

fabhat said...

Hugh - there was a long distance racing pigeon, in home uniform. Does that count?

Hugh said...

The uniform swings it for me.

Brockley Nick said...

There were plenty of women in heels.

Anonymous said...

I don't fancy going if its going to be a load of frumpy organic seed-muching earth mothers :( But if there's some hot totty...

Headhunter said...

Hugh, you seem to have gone from a relatively straightforward lawyer type who cycles a lot when I first started looking at this blog, to being somewhat cynical and "totty"-crazed!

Not being rude and genuininely inquisitive but what happened? Or were you always cynical and totty crazed but just on your best behaviour in the early days?!

Anonymous said...

Only 'cos his move to Ealing went belly up.

Hugh said...

We blow with the wind. The internet is a stage - my stage.

Headhunter said...

You're obviously a new breed. The virtual actor, someone we never see but who can assume a new persona at the flick of a switch. Let's have another change, can you do a good "frumpy organic seed-muching earth mother"?

Tamsin said...

Do I recognise Hugh from way back, strolling "oh,so cool" through the thehill forums?

patrick1971 said...

Brockley Jack gets my vote, but only out of laziness as it's five mins walk from my house. But I suppose I can make the trek to the Wickham Arms if necessary...

Josef Fritzl said...

I think too many people are getting a little hung up on the names used on this blog.

Jeff Dahmer said...

I agree.

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure that it's a good idea to be endorsing the Stella brand. As a real ale drinker I can't help thinking that it's the big brands and breweries that are in some way responsible for the decline of the British pub.

I hate going to pubs that only have the large brands on offer, i.e. Stella, Guinness etc. which appeal to a certain demographic. Real ale has been in decline as a result of the muscle that the larger corporations can wield over the smaller breweries.

Pete said...

I went in the Jolly Farmer's in Ladywell for the first time yesterday afternoon with my wife and genuinely couldn't believe how nice it is. Great selection of beers including a couple of guest ales and very country village feel. Not like London at all.

Anonymous said...

Ah! The Jolly Farmers. A fine choice sir! Responsible for a few lost weekends for me back in its pre-Jordan days.

If the short, aggressive landlord has finally gone, then it means it's safe for me to go back.

spincat said...

Yes, he has gone, anon. It is a very good pub now but Blythe Hill Tavern is my local and gets my vote.

max said...

I also vote for the Jolly Farmers, it's the best pub I know.
IMHO the former landlord wasn't bad at all, a bit of a disciplinarian (I remember him expelling a client for asking around for a cigarette) but that made the pub always safe.

Lady said...

hugely entertaining! Love it.

I love the Dog & Bell actually - too far for a regular cider but great for sundays on the way to Greenwich the long way round (stopping to snoop at all the building/demolition going on at the river).

i'd be up for drinks. Vote for the Wickham (been once, sat outside) or the Jack (never been).

Pete said...

Sad news for those of us who like the Jolly Farmers. It's closing on the 10th September :-(

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