Lawrence Lord

A couple of weeks ago I had some visitors who, being Dickens fans, expressed a strong desire to see the Trafalgar Tavern and experience the famous Whitebait Dinners. In the event, they asked the timely question of what a whitebait actually is and, grossed-out by my answer (aw, c’mon, they were Americans…) decided on the fish and chips instead, but I digress.

Something happened that I swear has never, ever happened to me before in there – we got a window seat. And because I had never even got near a window seat before, I had never seen this battered, curious little plaque, tucked just inside the balustrade balcony outside:

In case you can’t read it (and I had to squint), it says:

Lawrence Lord

Bon Viveur, Raconteur,
Bar stool philospher
Lifetime Guest of the Year
16 – 5 – 26 – 1 – 5 – 01

Now. It doesn’t take much working out that Lawrence Lord was clearly the Trafalgar Tavern’s best regular ever, but who was he? He only died ten years ago, but I can find no trace of him and, without this (very) discreet plaque I wouldn’t have even heard of him.

I don’t know if the Trafalgar Tavern really gets ‘regulars’ these days, given its popularity with tourists (maybe someone can tell me?) but back in 2001 it was a different place. I certainly remember going to hear music upstairs (there were weekly gigs in the 90s) and it had a much more ‘local’ feel than it does now (that’s not necessarily a dig, btw, places change). From the pub I remember, I could well imagine a loyal clientele that would have been going so long that they (in this case literally) eventually became part of the furniture.

I know nothing about Lawrence Lord and this seems a sad thing. It also seems that there could be someone here who did know him, who could to tell us about a man who was clearly so important to the little area at the end of Park Row that his mates gave him a plaque. Even now, that is a rare thing indeed. I should like to think that, ten years on, we could raise a glass to a genuine Greenwich bon viveur, raconteur and bar stool philosopher…

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Laurence Lord
Laurence Lord

6 Comments to “Lawrence Lord”

  1. Benedict says:

    I remember that little sign/plaque well and was always intrigued by it. Nice to think that the landlord thought him worthy enough of a memorial.
    We always got window seats there, btw, perhaps your spectral presence cannot be detected by humble waiting staff…..?

  2. Mazer says:

    Not that hard to get a window seat except in the summer TGP. Although I much prefer the warmth of the Cutty Sark further along naturally. Always seems a bit impersonal in there- like going into a bar in central London. Great spot to sit outside for the river, although Cutty Sark is always nicer for us locals

  3. Darryl says:

    The Prince of Orange (now the Belushis/St Christophers Inn thing) used to have a plaque up for an old regular who died in the mid-90s – his name escapes me, though.

  4. Christine says:

    Lawrence as far as I’m aware lived in the Trinity Hospital near the Tarfalgar and was such a regular I believe his ashes were fired into the thames from the roof of the pub!
    I do remember seeing him out and about in a few of Greenwich’s hostelries, including the Trafalgar and the Rose and Crown.
    He was a very debonair guy sporting a very sharp beard and rocking a slightly Victorian look as I re-call.
    Lawrence is fondly remembered as a Greenwich local and patron of it’s lovely pubs.

  5. neat says:

    We used to see a trio there on Wednesday or was it Thursday nights back in ’93. I remember the giant bass. It was a great night out.

  6. lizzie says:

    Whenever we come up to London for a day we have a drink at The Trafalgar. It was a favourite pub when we were at College not far away, as was The Hare and Billet on the heath. Sadly we do not remember Laurence Lord but always try to get the table in the window so that we can read the plaque. We have told all our Wiltshire friends about him and raise a toast to him when we meet up. And so he lives on. How fantastic!