The Lord Wolseley

Transpontine found this amazing photo of the pub that used to sit directly opposite the Wickham Arms, Upper Brockley Road. Taken in approximately 1920, the pub closed in the 1990s and the building is now a handsome but sterile residential block. Sigh.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

What year did it close down? I only went there when it was a squat and they held squat parties there.

Brockley Nick said...

90s. Not sure which year.

NAT said...

I remember Tom the barman telling his customers on closing night that they'd 'have to go back into the community'

Anonymous said...

I love the charabanc they are all sitting in - have a feeling the pub may have been the meeting point and this is not the actual clientel

Great find from Transportine

Anonymous said...

Another point for residentialization and another loss for community.

Moira said...

It was a great pub - and the weekly lock-ins sometimes until 7am were fun too although for some reason my memory fails as to the details.

Anonymous said...

Clearly taken during Movember

M-Z said...

Shut in '97 or '98 I think. Its passing hastened the demise of the already doomed row of shops on Upper Brockley Road.

Tamsin said...

Isn't it splendid! And I hope they had a lovely day wherever they were going.

It actually looks like they were joined by the Prince of Wales - the not very tall young man standing in the centre of the group next to the chap with a boater and walrus moustache.

Anonymous said...

Those were the days when you tell a persons station in life by the hat they wore.

Not like these days when every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to wear a baseball cap on backwards.

Ex. Teacher said...

I remember in the 80s after parents' evenings at the then Samuel Pepys' school in Sprules Road. The senior teachers used to drink in the Wickham Arms and the plebs across the road in the Wolsey.

Dave said...

98 i believe, mind the shops had long gone by then ( i live in the nicest of them!) on Sunday nights there was often a band who played the whole of sgt pepper end to end! Just before it closed there was a gangster movie filmed, sqeezing the last blood from the stone.

aunty kate said...

I got a job as a barmaid there in 1981. I only lasted one night. They wanted me to tip the overpoured dregs into the next pint of whatever beer. It was all too mortifying and I never went back to what could have been a fulfilling and illustrious career.

Matt-Z said...

Members of the legendary Sgt Pepper tribute band are still performing in the area.

Transpontine said...

@anonymous 'have a feeling the pub may have been the meeting point and this is not the actual clientele'

The guy who posted the picture at Dead Pubs is the son of the ex-landlord and landlady who apparently are in the middle of the photo. So probably was some of the people from the pub in their holiday best.

(incidentally I have posted a picture of the building as it is now, if you're not familiar with it)

Anonymous said...

Pubs need to find a way to survive in the 21st Century what with competition from supermarkets, off licences, different lifestyles, TV, healthier living, the smoking ban, changed in the pub business i.e. pub co's and chains, etc, etc...

It's a shame The Lord Wolsey didnt make it but The Wickham can..

Anonymous said...

Or even The Lord Wolseley...

Anonymous said...

changes in the pub business I mean...

Anonymous said...

And really high beer taxes...

Anonymous said...

I guess the Wickham will close soon unless it finds a new owner prepared to invest.

Tamsin said...

I ask in genuine ignorance and without the time to research it (or indeed the ability to research anything as complicated as tax with any degree of confidence) is beer bottles or cans in supermarkets and off licences taxed at the same level as beer in kegs in pubs and other establishments?

M-Z said...

@Tamsin.

There's an argument for increasing tax on off-sales and freezing or decreasing it for on-sales. Supporting pubs, getting round the 'cheap booze in supermarkets' issue and so on. It needn't be so drastic as to price people out of home drinking, but it would perhaps give the pub trade a little fillip.

Anonymous said...

1920s Brockley... Those were days. Before the Labour administration screwed it all up and turned Brockley into a 'neighborhood of a lesser God'.

Tamsin said...

@ M-Z That's sort of what I was thinking. Two birds with one stone. I wonder if there is one of those government petitions on the matter - the ones where if there's 100,000 signatures the matter is (probably) raised in the House of Commons.

Tamsin said...

M-Z I've had a look at the government site and there is a petiton already along these lines here with only 11 signatures so far.

NAT said...

Now up to 13. Nice one Tamsin, it isn't often you can cast a ballot without having to think about it.

Hope it's early in the petitions life and that we can at least double the figure today.

terrencetrentderby said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brockley Dogging Society - Blog Police said...

Was that a poor attempt at irony or is terrence really a massive cock?

NAT said...

What did I miss?

Tressilliana said...

Pathetic racist comment, NAT.

Vance Pontiac said...

Beer in supermarkets is another one of those 'loss-leaders' but with the additional sinister intent of removing the competition (pubs). Similar to the infestation of our streets by Expresses and Locals etc., just to suppress alternatives. Wait till the number of outlets selling beer diminishes, then see how the supermarket price will rise.

Tamsin said...

@ NAT Well, one of them was me. A bit of a digression, but I don't know if you've ever signed one of the Avaaz petitions? They have the software set up to record on a rolling scroll each signature as it comes in with an identifying country flag. Fascinating to watch these flick over, makes you really feel connected to ordinary people in rest of the world. The good face of of globalisation.

Brockley Nick said...

I don't believe that the beer price differential is the key issue.

Instant coffee at home, made with your own kettle, costs pennies. Even decent fresh coffee made at home is relatively cheap. A cup of coffee at a coffee chain or independent cafe costs many times as much. Yet coffee shops are booming.

Why?

Because the value of your cup of coffee (or pint of beer) doesn't come from the volume of beer, it comes from other things:

1. Atmosphere
2. Service
3. Environment
4. Range
5. Quality

That's why people go to the pub. You will never be able to compete on price with stuff you can drink at home.

Unfortunately, too few pubs put enough effort in to these things. They focus on keeping their dwindling number of bar-flies happy and forget about the things that the much bigger number of customers want.

That is not to say that price is not important - but price is important relative to the value you get from your trip to the pub. A pint of bog standard lager in a crap pub is worth a lot less to me than the price of bog standard lager in a great pub. I would pay more to drink at home than to go to a crap pub.

Brockley Nick said...

Or to put it another way: The Wickham could add 10p to the price of a pint if they sorted the smell from the men's toilets out.

NAT said...

Tamsin, At the risk of sounding like a seial petitioner desperate for a fix, what is the Avaaz petition?

NAT said...

Conversely Nick if there were a greater margin in pub beer sales the licenced trade might attract a different type of manager.

Havn't met the new one at the Wickham but the other staff I have seem great.

Toilets still pong? Hadn't noticed TBH.

Brockley Nick said...

Agree that margins on sales in pubs are a problem. Think that's a different argument though.

Tamsin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tamsin said...

@ NAT These < people> . It was the petition for Tibet that I siged very late one night/early one morning and you could spot the time zones as the signatures flowed in at the rate of one or two a second - many more in Australia, the US and Canada, only a handful in Europe and Africa - but it did engender a moment of addional fellow feeling with someone else burning the later than midnight oil in Denmark, or wherever, over and above the sensation of being at one with scores of people world wide at that moment concerned about the same issue.

Vance said...

So the supermarkets are innocent bystanders? Or aggressive free marketeers unconcerned about the society they 'serve'?

Brockley Nick said...

@Vance - if that question is to me, then no, I am not making either of those claims. I am saying they (and off licenses, etc, etc) are largely irrelevant.

Cafe's don't sell coffee. Pubs don't sell booze. They sell experience.

Some pubs get that people's wants and preferences have changed in the last 40 years. They tend to be the ones that do very well. Others don't get that and tend not to do very well.

The fundamentals - community, excitement, atmosphere - haven't changed since George Orwell wrote the Moon Under Water, but we expect more than sticky floors, smelly toilets, warm lager, two types of wine, tacky decor, bad lighting, grumpy service and latent violence from a local pub these days.

Anonymous said...

I'm going down the pub.

Tom D. said...

The Lord Wolseley closed 9/4/99 (easter w/end!!) with a music experience provided by some of the many local musicians who used the place while I was there...followed by a 3 day party (just to use up the stock!!) In the approx 5 years I managed the place I met some of the best people ever...many of whom are still around, and had probably the best time in my life. I tried to keep it non racist, non judgemental, non sexist,a place where people could relax and be themselves. What happened in the Wolseley stayed in the Wolseley.. I hope!!! Many thanks to all concerned!! Tom D. (the last licensee of the LW.)

NAT said...

Thanks Tom. Its likes will not be seen again.

Tamsin said...

Still only 13 signatures on the differential tax petition. An inactive lot - regretting the demise of places like the Wolseley and doing very little about it.

NAT said...

C'mon everyone. 99,987 signatures needed to help keep pubs viable.

(Must be a one person project, CAMRA definitely not involved)

Tamsin said...

Now 99,986 - but I have e-mailed the link to CAMRA.

Sharon said...

This was my pub of childhood 72-84 i lived here:) i miss it sooo much:-( r.i.p uncle jim&auntie joan, the guv & landlady, just good memories:)

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