Very occasionally I’ll go to a pub that I’ve been to before, or that isn’t in the Beer Guide. That counts as a major weakness when you’re doing the Guide pubs in your lifetime, like drinking at home or Beer Fests, but we’re all human.

I can’t resist Bass in a pub, however unlikely it is it’ll be any good.  I particularly enjoy it in East End pubs, though outside the Flowerpot in E17 I couldn’t name you a stockist.  So I wasn’t missing the chance to see if Bass’s reintroduction to the Henley Arms was due to a Landlord’s enthusiasm or it being the cheap beer on the pubco list.

North Woolwich in proper Docklands holds a weird appeal for me. There were easier ways to get to Charlton (report tomorrow), but DLR and the scary Thames underpass take in a diversity of London landscapes, and of course a free ferry trip with view along the Thames is not to be missed while it lasts. I do miss the Old Station Museum though.

I’d never been to a pub there before, but the Harvest Chinese takeaway is a favourite, though of course that has opening hours mirroring pubs now (4pm).

There’s been a bit of development in the area, and the little shopping complex revealed an excellent chocolate croissant in the Crusty Loaf. I enjoyed that while scaring locals by photographing the magnificent Truman‘s tiling at the long-departed Royal Oak.


WhatPub paints a grim picture of North Woolwich pub closures. All that’s left is my Bass destination pub and a keg strip club (not a typo) that I chickened out of doing for the sake of completism.  I can’t take photos with my eyes closed anyway.


The even more challenging Henley’s Arms looks like the loser in a 1950’s ugly estate pub contest with Cambridge’s Ship and  almost anywhere in Cumbernauld. The WhatPub description “not yet affected by gentrification” is a masterpiece in understatement. A contrast with yesterday’s Globe in Rye came to mind.

Henley Arms, North Woolwich

It was friendly inside, a place I’d be happy to leave Mrs RM while I went shopping in Beckton, mainly because they had Parliament TV on.

The Bass was a bargain £2.60, but unfortunately competitive pricing wasn’t enough to persuade the locals away from the Cloudwater Carling, and it was a bit tired. If this had been Wetherspoons, I’d have taken it back. It wasn’t Wetherspoons though.

The pub though, was fantastic. Old boys talking about calamities in Benidorm, extraordinary coincidences at the 1980 FA Cup Semi-Final Replay, and a lot of that word that sounds like “fracking”. The 1980 Final programme is just visible behind the bar.

West Ham leave the Boleyn Ground behind tomorrow, swapping Plaistow’s Black Lion for Stratford’s Tap East as the nearest Beer Guide pub to the ground. Now that’s what I call progress. 

Frackin’ ‘ell.


  1. I remember going to North Woolwich from Woolwich via the foot tunnel. There used to be a couple of guys operating the lifts. We used to take the ferry back and enjoy the views. The railway museum was very good and the volunteers were friendly. It might have survived if they charged an admission.
    I’m not familiar with the pubs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am very surprised that you have done a pub in North Woolwich,i have never been there probably because there are not enough pubs to do.
    The other pub in North Woolwich the strip pub called the Royal Standard as a review on Pubs Galore and i get my name talked about in the review.
    Another claim to fame or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an old post Alan ! I’d been walking in Woolwich when I saw they did Bass and popped in. An experience ! I admire you for going in the strip pub. What did Mrs Winfield say ?


      1. I did not go in the pub,the reviewer was just saying that i would if in the same situation and carried on and had a drink there.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What do the keg strip club do with the kegs after they’ve stripped them? I wouldn’t have thought there would be much to reveal and if they;re full it could get a bit messy.

    The ferry is superb, I still have two of them to red pen as only one was out on the Saturday prior to the annual defeat at the Valley when I did it. At some point I will walk under.


    1. What do you mark in red pen Tom ? A blog post would be appreciated.

      Am I right in thinking the ferry is at risk ? The underpass is delightfully scary, a bit like the one at Newport railway.


      1. I have a metaphorical red pen for the three ferries in use on the Woolwich crossing. I shall make a blog post when I next visit. I suggest badgering BRAPA to get his remaining Woolwich pub.

        There are on off proposals to build a variety of road tunnels and bridges. None have ever being followed through and I don’t think the money will ever be spent on any of them. If one were to be built, the ferry would be a gonner.


      2. I will meet you down there when Si goes to the Equitable Antic or whatever it’s called. I’ll pass a pint to you on the ferry,you pass it to Si in the strip club on the other side, and he can have some real pubbing to write about for a change.


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