And Now The Old Loyal Britons…

Good heavens I feel so bloomin’ samey – all I seem to blog about these days is pubs dying. Apparently there’s an application to demolish The Old Loyal Britons and replace it with – guess what – a six-storey block of flats (plus basement) and a restaurant.

Now I know it’s not the prettiest pub ever, but it has loads of potential and keen management up for making a go of it. It’s not been open long in its most recent incarnation. Do we have to have dreary identikit newbuilds everywhere? Surely the reason Greenwich is what it is is the variety in architecture.

It’s Ref. 14/1636/F on the council website. Remember – if the council get more than 8 objections they HAVE to consider it…

Please can I write about something else now…


the attachments to this post:

Old Loyal Britons
Old Loyal Britons


17 Comments to “And Now The Old Loyal Britons…”

  1. Alexander says:

    I’ve been to The Old Loyal Britons a few times since it reopened and although it may have had potential I never really felt that it was ever going to fill that potential.

    The location, in the middle of a grubby estate just outside the reach of the main hub of Greenwich, meant it only ever seemed to get a handful of (often rowdy) locals from the flats nearby.

    It also seemed to have more than it’s fair share of issues with not having a food license, and then an alcohol license which required food to be served.

    The staff were always good, but on the whole it just seemed to have too much working against it. I felt it needed a lot of investment (of the cash kind) but I couldn’t see it getting it.

  2. Neil says:

    I think the question of whether it’s being run well, badly or indifferently at the moment is irrelevant; once it’s gone, it’s gone. Another pub – another social space – lost.

  3. Richard says:

    @Neil

    Peoples’ tastes and preferences move on. Lots of pubs have and will continue to close as will lots of retailers. I am not sure why it upsets so many people. They just dont attract customers anymore as people choose to go elsewhere to spend their leisure time. I guess people would rather frequent Nandos, Pizza Express etc. And to be honest who can blame them. Your average boozer is a pretty grim affair.

  4. Scott says:

    I had a few pints in there once and got the impression from the bloke running it that the whole reason for it’s existence was to profit from it being redeveloped.

  5. Hi everyone, firstly thanks to all our visitors and feedback over the last 8 months.
    We only ever had a short lease which was miss-sold to us on a number of points that has taken some number of months to sort out legally, hence the need to serve food at one point for a week. That is all behind us and we have been going from strength to strength over the last 4 months proving the need for a community based public house with Greenwich town center.
    We have always been clear in both our goals and indeed what we intend to do, that being to serve local produce including some of London’s best local beers in an environment that is free from pumped in music, video games and TV (granted we are showing the world cup via a projector) resulting in a pub that relies on the ancient art (and almost lost) of conversation. While this is not going to be to everyone’s taste we find that it works very well for us and our regulars.

    To answer @Alexander, many thanks for your past custom, not sure its fair to call the local estate grubby, many of the residents take much pride in where they live. But each and every one of us have a right to voice our thoughts. We don’t seem to attract “rowdy” locals Wetherspoons happy seem to have that one covered very well. Perhaps debate which is a natural product of conversation is being confused.

    As a little side note I can’t seem to find the planning app on the Greenwich website, can anyone point us in the right direction?

  6. David Carson says:

    I am sure I recall somewhere reading that building has history; a fire station originally? I stand to be corrected but if there’s a fair chance of the pub continuing, then that’s enough to strongly object, quite apart from the fact that the building is interesting. A tad shabby maybe, but interesting. Certainly better than the identikit legoland being created around here.

  7. David Carson says:

    Look what Lewisham have by way of planning policy; I will try and find out if Greenwich has the same. Whatever, the spirit of the policy should be cited. Write to Councillor Pennycook. I will be. Let’s stop this one in its tracks rather than mourn after the event. This policy by the way was cited to decline a plannning application to convert the nearby and closed Sydney Arms:
    … The aim of this policy is to prevent the loss of public houses or pubs unless robust evidence
    is provided to justify the loss and the proposed change of use has been adequately assessed
    as suitable. In recent years, the loss of many local pubs across the borough has been cause
    for concern. Lewisham’s pubs are an important community resource. Pubs can provide a
    central focus to an area or enhance the vitality of a residential neighbourhood. Pubs can be
    hubs for generating social interactions and can provide important space for community
    groups to meet. Some pubs are housed in buildings of cultural, architectural and historic
    value, which means their use as pubs may preserve important assets for citizens.

  8. David Carson says:

    Feel free to make the same representations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    To: ‘aidan.smith@royalgreenwich.gov.uk’; ‘mayor@royalgreenwich.gov.uk’; ‘maureen.o’mara@royalgreenwich.gov.uk’

    Dear all –
    If the Swan is lost, let’s not lose another. The Old Loyal Britons now has the axe over it head (demolition applied for to erect yet more Legoland flats); yet this is an open and viable public house. It’s also a building of some note being a former fire station. Lewisham have a very prudent policy and I wonder if Greenwich has or would adopt similar? This policy by the way was cited to decline a planning application to convert the nearby and closed Sydney Arms:
    “… The aim of this policy is to prevent the loss of public houses or pubs unless robust evidence is provided to justify the loss and the proposed change of use has been adequately assessed as suitable. In recent years, the loss of many local pubs across the borough has been cause for concern. Lewisham’s pubs are an important community resource. Pubs can provide a central focus to an area or enhance the vitality of a residential neighbourhood. Pubs can be hubs for generating social interactions and can provide important space for community groups to meet. Some pubs are housed in buildings of cultural, architectural and historic value, which means their use as pubs may preserve important assets for citizens.”

    Well-run, real-ale pubs in Hackney are enjoying a renaissance. Recently derelict pubs are being reopened. This may follow in Greenwich. I think the Old Loyal Britons deserves a chance – and it’s still open.

    Yours sincerely,

  9. Maria says:

    Have you considered getting 21 locals together to form a community group to make an application to Greenwich Council for Asset of Community Value?. CAMRA might give you some support. That would stop it being sold off? 3 pubs in Plumstead have been protected thus far.

  10. Richard says:

    Yes to pubs that no one uses and no to homes that people do need? The future is surely the conversion of retail units and pubs into homes? Society has moved on, we shop online and socialize at different places. The Sydney Arms by the way is now a block of flats.

  11. Phil Moore says:

    Richard – no-one is opposing homes… New Capital Quay, the Movement, Knights Tower – these are all new homes, which is great!

    Our goal is to make sure that there remains any point to living in the area! Greenwich is famous for its community, character, heritage, social spaces and events.

    As is often the case, there is a balance to be struck, and at the moment only one side is properly represented.

  12. David Carson says:

    It’s not over for the Sydney until it’s over; they didn’t get a change of use for the pub (on the ground floor). Lewisham Council denied it on the grounds of the policy I cited. The Westcombe Park-based developer is now appealing that decision; appeal lodged last week.

  13. Richard says:

    @Phil – if there were a demand for pubs (speaking generally) then they would survive. Tastes change, people would rather go to Nandos, Byron etc which is why we have lots of these outlets and less pubs. Decent pubs will continue to do well and we have a several in Greenwich. That said drinking in pubs is expensive so they will probably exist where people can afford to frequent them.

  14. Paul says:

    Richard, who is saying there is no demand for the pub? The licensee wants to keep it, doesn’t he?

    Have all the identikit, cheaply-erected, cashcow buildings and chainstores you want. But not in Greenwich, which is a World Heritage Site and tourist destination precisely because it has few of these things.

  15. Fred says:

    My mum lived in this area as a child in the 1920′s. She did quite a few sketches of the area and has this named as “Tunkies”(not sure of the spelling).

    It was a pub then and I’m pretty sure she said it was a bit rough then as lots of merchant seamen would row to the bank of the Thames and find the nearest pub.

  16. Mark Green says:

    So I go to the Greenwich Council planning application site, but can’t find any info. Where am I going wrong?
    I’ve tried the 4/1636/F reference a la Phantom, but no joy.

  17. Paul says:

    The application is now up there, even tho’ it didn’t appear on the weekly list for some reason.