Wednesday, 16 May 2018

What we lost ...... what we have gained ....... from a Crown to a Bucket

This isn’t a nostalgic rant, nor a lament for another lost traditional Eltham pub.

The Crown, 1977
It could be but what is the point in that?  Pubs are closing at an ever faster rate across the country and I suppose that old phrase “use them or lose them” is as true as ever.

I don’t know exactly why the Crown closed.  I went in there a few times over the years before I left Well Hall and it struck me as a well run place, and then it closed.

And now as Larissa’s picture shows it is back in business.

I wish it well as I do any enterprise which seeks to maintain a tradition of selling beer from a site which was offering happiness and cheer from the mid 19th century and probably much earlier.

The present building stands on the site of the older one which has a rich past and so having written about the place I rather would have liked to have a drink there.

In 1840 it was being run by John Blundell who was still there the following year, but seems to have retired by 1843 when the place was in the hands of John Martin who seems very much a young man with a determination to go places.

At the age of 19 he is there in the 1837 land tax records,renting a stable from a James Wright and land from a Mrs Dobson, and by 1843 is in the Crown renting the building and the yard.

The Rusty Bucket, 2018
And as he began his long partnership with the Crown I wonder what its former landlord did with his retirement, which sadly was not long for John Martin died at the age of 51 in 1844.

Not so John Martin who was to serve pints for another three decades.

Leaving me only to reflect on the new name which is the Rusty Bucket which breaks that long link with the Crown. 

But which does offer a range of beers and ciders, which are streets away from the stuff offered up by the big breweries in the late 1960s and 70s.

The Rusty Bucket can be found on twitter where its describes itself offering 
"craft beer, cask ale, gin, cider and wine" is "kid friendly till 6pm", and "doggo friendly all the time".

Location; Eltham

Pictures; the Crown in 1977, from the collection of Jean Gammons and the Rusty Bucket, 2018 courtesy of Larissa Hamment


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