This inter-war estate pub – which was recently added to the National Heritage List for England – is named for an 18th century British Navy admiral who is perhaps best remembered today for watering down his men’s ration rum to create what become known as ‘grog’ (apparently after his nickname).
Designed in the then-popular ‘Brewers’ Tudor-style, the pub was among several built by London’s Courage Brewery to serve the Beacontree Estate and the wood-panelled interior remains much as did when it first opened in 1939. The “almost intact” 1930s interior includes public and saloon bars, and publican’s offices behind the counter.
Admiral Edward Vernon had a long and distinguished naval career, first promoted to captain in 1706 and going on to serve as a vice-admiral during the War of Jenkin’s Ear between Britain and Spain (1739-48) – during which he famously captured the Spanish colonial possession of Porto Bello (after which the London district of Portobello is named). Promoted to the rank of admiral in 1745, he was appointed to command the North Sea Fleet during the Jacobite rebellion. Vernon, who also served as an MP, was cashiered out of the navy in 1746 in controversial circumstances after he published two pamphlets about his disagreements with the Admiralty.
Vernon’s nickname of “Old Grog” apparently came from his habit of wearing a grogram coat (grogram was coarse, loosely woven fabric of silk, silk and mohair, or silk and wool). In 1740 he ordered that his men’s rum be diluted with water and it duly became known as ‘grog’ after him.
The pub, which is located at 141 Broad Street, is Grade II heritage listed (the pub sign at the front is now empty – the name appears on the front facade). For more, see www.facebook.com/192074204220830.
• The third Story of London Festival kicked off at the start of the month with a programme of events aimed at celebrating the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Festival of Britain. This year’s festival is being coordinated by the Museum of London in partnership with the Southbank Centre. It also involves five London borough museums – that of Brent, Dagenham, Haringey, Redbridge and Wandsworth – which are hosting free displays and events around the theme of how they celebrated in 1951. The festival runs until the end of the month, so there’s still plenty of time to get involved. Among the highlights still to come is the Floral Bicycle Parade around the Southbank Centre on 28th August (‘decorating stations’ will be set up at the centre prior to the parade). For a full listing of what’s happening, see www.london.gov.uk/priorities/art-culture/storyoflondon.
• The City of London has released a new filmlovers’ walking tour of London which takes in locations featured in films and TV shows.Lights, camera, action starts on Millennium Bridge (destroyed in the opening sequence of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) and takes in 23 other locations including St Paul’s Cathedral (The Madness of King George and Great Expectations), Bank Junction (28 Days Later, National Treasure II), St Bart’s Hospital (Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason), Moorgate (Ocean’s 13and The Bourne Ultimatum) and Tower Bridge (Brannigan, The Mummy Returns, Thunderbirds, Tomb Raider, Sherlock Holmes) before finishing at Postman’s Park (Closer). The walk has been mapped out by the City’s film team which works with location managers and film directors when they’re working in the Square Mile. The leaflet can be picked up free-of-charge from the City of London Information Centre (opposite St Paul’s) or downloaded here.
• Interested in a snapshot of what London was like during a particular historical era? The Museum of London has launched a series of 16 “pocket histories”, each of which, in up to 1,000 words, tackles a particular aspect of the city’s history based around five objects or images. The subjects covered range from a look at the River Thames in prehistory to life in medieval London, from an examination of the history of Jack the Ripper and the East End, to a detailed look at the London’s plagues. While designed for a general audience, the histories are expected to be particularly useful to school students. They can be looked at online or downloaded as a PDF. Further subjects are expected to be added in the future. See www.museumoflondon.org.uk/pockethistories. The museum has also launched Picturebank, a collection of images which can be accessed online and viewed, printed or copied for educational use.
• On Now: Your 2012. The Museum of London Docklands is hosting a free exhibition featuring images capturing the construction work at the Olympic site in East London and the impact on the surrounding boroughs and the environment as well as archival images which show the history of the site. The free exhibition runs until 5th February. For more, see www.museumoflondon.org.uk/docklands/.