Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Anchor Bankside

Which was, of course, the brewery tap of Barclay Perkins. 

"Since the third and present pub was built on the site in the early 1700's The Anchor, Bankside, has been famous — famous because it was only 200 yards from Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, the Elizabethan bear pit and Clink prison, but more important, famous in its own rich: as a British pub.

The Anchor has now been given a new look and the opportunity to provide, more easily and in greater comfort, that for which it has for so long been famous — good English food and honest English ale in surrounding which are traditional but not folksey.

"Where in London can I get a superbly cooked English meal in surroundings which are 'England'?"

On an evening in March we invited the Press to find out for themselves. By the end or the evening, for which Anchor Hotels and Taverns should be justly proud our friends from Fleet Street had discovered that what we said was right, and so by now have many others, from Mr. W. L. Lee, Chief Architect of Courage (Eastern) Ltd.. recorded a broadcast to his native Australia, and Mr. H. Whitwell, Public Relations Manager, recorded one for America.

We can only suggest that readers come and see for themselves; our pictures will, we hope, whet the appetite."
"The Golden Cockerel Vol.2 No.5 Summer 1963" page 6.

You can just imagine the 17th century Good Beer Guide description: "Riverside pub, handy for the bear pit, theatre and prison." 

A superbly cooked English meal in early 1960's London. Quite a tricky enterprise, I fear.

But most importantly, look behind the bar. Those wooden barrels standing proudly. Were they really in use? The picture isn't quite detailed enough to tell. But I can't see any beer pumps. Bitter and Mild. That would be my guess for what's in the barrels, should they be real.


Oblivious said...

It does look like at lot of space to give up it they where just ornamental value

The Beer Nut said...

It's probably quite telling that my first thought was "Ooh, it looks like a Sam Smith's house".

Barm said...

Why would they be selling Mild and Bitter from pins? Doesn't make sense. And they shine as if varnished. I say ornamental.

Rod said...

It's a shame that this pub seems to have gone so badly downhill - the current review/punter feedback on could hardly be worse.

Oblivious said...

"Why would they be selling Mild and Bitter from pins? Doesn't make sense. And they shine as if varnished. I say ornamental."

High turnover of beer?

Also there is a drip tray under the left pin too

Martyn Cornell said...

I'd be dubious about either of the pins being mild, because it looks like the saloon bar, and in the early 1960s they probably still didn't serve mild in the posh bar of posh pubs. If it wasn't the fact that the extract from the mag looks like it was written in the late spring/early summer, I'd suggest the pins had old ale/winter brew in them. They certainly appear to be in genuine use: the l/h one looks to be tilted up, and the r/h one has what loks like a spile sticking out of the top.

Gary Gillman said...

It's fun to try to puzzle out some of the bottled drinks. Lower left, are those Schweppes, or is it Russian Stout? Next to them, half Champagnes maybe? (Must be the saloon bar then). Or is it Babycham? Lots of sherry bottles on the backbar, also a big bottle of Dewar's or Ballantine on the top, with other Scotch brands below. Some pale ales too I think to the right below. Wish I could reach over and pull one out. Was Russian Stout in the 60's better than, say, the superb Imperial Stout I had two nights ago in bottle just released by Amsterdam Brewing Company in Toronto...? We'll never know but the latter is a superb beer, one of the best of the style I've had in a long time. Ontario also makes another fine example in the form of Russian Gun, from Cambridge in the Province.

I wonder if any of the retired brewers from Courage who were involved with the stout have tried craft examples, and what they think. Perhaps they have tried the Kernel's versions (the London micro) of strong stout, of which I've had two, a 7.5% double stout (1890's recipe) and the stronger Imperial Stout. Both very good but I preferred the former which had a very true (period) taste I thought.


Barm said...

OK, they are in use. What's in them though?

This was a time when pubs were taking their standard draught beers in kilderkins and barrels. There would need to be a very good reason for them to be selling mild and bitter from pins and I just don't see what it could be.

If the photo was taken on the night they had the press along, it could have been free beer for the journos. But hang on, we're talking about journos, two pins wouldn't be enough for them.

Time for one of Ron's tables showing what strong beers Courage were brewing in 1962/63. Wasn't Russian Stout exclusively bottled?

Ron Pattinson said...

Which bar is it, though? You can see another through the door.

An earlier post showed the Mayor of Moscow in front of those same barrels.

Ron Pattinson said...

Barm, not seen Barclay Perkins 1960's records. Not sure they have them, except for Lager.

Ron Pattinson said...

They don't look like pins to me. Firkins, more like.