The Gregorian Pub Jamaica Rd

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Tuesday 16 February 2016 12.21am
Debrajoan wrote:
Ladywriter1968 wrote:
Those pubs you mention yeah have been in most at some time or another. I dont go out drinking much despite how it may sound on here. LOL... but when do occasionally its nice to be able to go some where in evening with local friends and have a choice. We used to go to The Greg before it changed. We have been to The Boatman, Mick Yarrow is a very good pianist in there. Years ago I used to go go The Wantz Social Club in Dagenham which no one here probably heard of when I used to live in Essex but that was a private club with live music. Don Harvey used to play there. Brilliant musician...I have a feeling that some now that go to The Boatman may have been to The Wantz years ago. The Old Bank is ok to pop into and its clean toilets are very clean and nice.



There were times when I didn't want to go to Dagenham, I felt that it was at the edge of our known world when I was a kid.

A rather astute observation there I'd say.
I remember going to the Lyceum, Wellington Street, off the Strand one Sunday evening about a million years ago.
My friend Terry Saul put the bite on some teenaged princess, and asked her where she was from, when she said "Dagenham", Terry said "I went there once, it was shut."
Tuesday 16 February 2016 7.08am
At some point in the past, "old" pubs would have been built first, making then new pubs. I bet at the time, there was griping from some people about them, saying they weren't as good as the existing places, the drink was pricier, they weren't as much fun, the "locals" were being priced out, etc.

I find when I don't like a particular pub, I can always go somewhere else.

Things change, prices change, beer changes (gets better). London always develops, adapts, innovates, right? So pubs are just a small part of that. I'd rather pay 90p extra for something that doesn't taste like watery alcoholic lemonade. And if I have four or five pints over the course of an evening, I'll spend only a fiver more than i would have otherwise. Skip the chipper on the way home and then it all evens out in the end. How is anyone "priced out" ? If it's making that huge of a deal to your finances then maybe it's time to look at your alcohol consumption per week, not a bad thing to cut down.

Are people nostalgic for gin dens in East end tenement basements I wonder.
Tuesday 16 February 2016 7.48am
kevinruairi wrote:
At some point in the past, "old" pubs would have been built first, making then new pubs. I bet at the time, there was griping from some people about them, saying they weren't as good as the existing places, the drink was pricier, they weren't as much fun, the "locals" were being priced out, etc.
I find when I don't like a particular pub, I can always go somewhere else.

Things change, prices change, beer changes (gets better). London always develops, adapts, innovates, right? So pubs are just a small part of that. I'd rather pay 90p extra for something that doesn't taste like watery alcoholic lemonade. And if I have four or five pints over the course of an evening, I'll spend only a fiver more than i would have otherwise. Skip the chipper on the way home and then it all evens out in the end. How is anyone "priced out" ? If it's making that huge of a deal to your finances then maybe it's time to look at your alcohol consumption per week, not a bad thing to cut down.

Are people nostalgic for gin dens in East end tenement basements I wonder.


Substitute gin for vodka and I could see myself sliding down this slippery slope!

Gin Craze
It can hardly be overstated just how serious the effects of cheap alcohol and in particular, Gin, had on the East End of London. London was hit by what social historians call ‘The Gin Craze’ during the Eighteenth Century, and it was to spawn so many of the social problems we associate with the over-crowded, slum-ridden East End.

Gin was originally created in Holland, and only became a popular drink in England when Dutch-born William of Orange took the English throne in 1688. Distillation had been widespread throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, but it was fairly uncommon in England, compared to beer and ale production. However, in 1689, Parliament banned imports of French wines and spirits and at the same time it lifted the restrictions on spirit production in Britain. As a result, anyone who could pay the required duties could set up a distillery business. Distillers became not only producers, but also sellers and the cost of gin fell below the cost of beer and ale. Gin rapidly became the favourite alcoholic drink among the ‘inferior classes’.

For a few pennies, the poor of East London found a way of escaping from the cold, hunger and grinding poverty of their lives, by drinking their woes away. It was estimated that the average Londoner drank a staggering 112 pints of Gin a year – that is a pint of raw spirit every three days. It was estimated that by 1750, over 7 million gallons of Gin was being drunk a year compared to around 3 million gallons of ale…

Gin sellers would roam the streets pushing carts filled with cheap gin, and seedy gin shops would advertise: “Drunk for one penny, dead drunk for two, clean straw for nothing.” The straw was used to lie on while sleeping off a hangover.

Women, in particular, seemed to favour gin and often purchased it from Chemists as a medicinal drink. It was often mixed with warm water to ‘soothe the nerves’ and became known as Mother’s Ruin.

The effects were devastating. Gin was blamed for misery, rising crime, prostitution, madness, high death rates and falling birth rates. The Vice-Chamberlain of the time, Lord Hervey, commented that, “Drunkenness of the common people was universal, the whole town of London swarmed with drunken people from morning till night.”

In one notorious case, a woman named Judith Dufour collected her two-year-old child from the workhouse, strangled him, dumped the body in a ditch and sold the child’s new set of clothes for 1s and 4d to buy gin.


As for, if I don't like one pub I can go to another, that's an option that is fading through the rear view mirror, as more and more close down.
Tuesday 16 February 2016 9.48am
Sandgrown Dave wrote:
Gavin Smith wrote:
... John Smith's is popular amongst working class men and that it doesn't feature on the bar menu for the Greg. What I find objectionable, at the risk of repetition, is the way certain (significant) sections of the community have been excluded by the "yuppyfication".
I am by some definitions at least a working class man and I wouldn't say that the presence of Theakston's and the absence of John Smith's is evidence of yuppiefication, just someone with more of a clue choosing the beers. I see no astronomically priced hipster "craft beers" on the list.
Anyway getting away from the specifics of the beer offerings, my point is just that it doesn't look to me like the prices - for beer anyway - are at a level that would exclude ordinary folk on cost grounds. (I stand to be corrected of course, as I said I don't know what the other places mentioned here are charging and it would be good if someone could enlighten us.)
I wonder are people really being excluded, or is it just that some have fixed ideas about what a pub should be and they much prefer Millwall flags on the wall to "... a charming mix of shabby chic furnishings, cosy banquette seating, vintage wallpapers, chandler lighting and quirky trinkets"?
On the other hand some posters have bemoaned a lack of atmosphere and disengaged service, which would drive away people from all sections of the community in equal measure, I would have thought.

I'd agree with that. It is just my opinion, but the one time I visited the St James before it re-opened, the atmosphere was nothing but threatening. I've heard this from other people too, and not just people who are 'new' to the area.

The Greg always seemed more welcoming, and does seem to have retained a bit of a mix of clientele even if it is no longer everyone's cup of tea.

As Dave says, I'm not sure anyone has been excluded (if you weren't a born and bred Millwall fan, you were certainly excluded from the St James in the past) - just some people who used to drink in these pubs no longer like the atmosphere/service/décor and so they choose to go elsewhere. Just as the management of the pubs have chosen to go a different way with their product.
Tuesday 16 February 2016 11.39am
Guy's street wrote:
(if you weren't a born and bred Millwall fan, you were certainly excluded from the St James in the past) - just some people who used to drink in these pubs no longer like the atmosphere/service/décor and so they choose to go elsewhere. Just as the management of the pubs have chosen to go a different way with their product.

Another sweeping generalisation here. Are you really Beetroot masquerading as Guy's Street? I am not a Millwall fan, certainly not beyond the fact that they are a local team, but I don't think I would be excluded from the SJT, the Blue Anchor or elsewhere. Is your bald assertion based on personal experience? Were you personally excluded from the pub? Thought not.
Tuesday 16 February 2016 12.34pm
Gavin Smith wrote:
Guy's street wrote:
(if you weren't a born and bred Millwall fan, you were certainly excluded from the St James in the past) - just some people who used to drink in these pubs no longer like the atmosphere/service/décor and so they choose to go elsewhere. Just as the management of the pubs have chosen to go a different way with their product.

Another sweeping generalisation here. Are you really Beetroot masquerading as Guy's Street? I am not a Millwall fan, certainly not beyond the fact that they are a local team, but I don't think I would be excluded from the SJT, the Blue Anchor or elsewhere. Is your bald assertion based on personal experience? Were you personally excluded from the pub? Thought not.

Says the person who wrote earlier in this discussion that the Gregorian and SJT were 'excluding the rest of the community'. Is that based on personal experience?

As pointed out by others, their price point is certainly not wildly out of keeping with London prices - and price seems to be the only reason anyone is giving to back-up this supposed exclusion.

If being glared at on arrival and having 'Wacca Youth' (google it if you're not familiar) postcards shoved on our table wasn't a pretty clear signal we were not welcome within minutes of ordering our first drinks, then I've certainly never been made to feel less welcome in a pub. Perhaps that's not everyone's experience, but it was certainly ours - we weren't recognised faces and the regulars didn't like us being there.
Tuesday 16 February 2016 12.36pm
Guy's street wrote:
Sandgrown Dave wrote:
Gavin Smith wrote:
... John Smith's is popular amongst working class men and that it doesn't feature on the bar menu for the Greg. What I find objectionable, at the risk of repetition, is the way certain (significant) sections of the community have been excluded by the "yuppyfication".
I am by some definitions at least a working class man and I wouldn't say that the presence of Theakston's and the absence of John Smith's is evidence of yuppiefication, just someone with more of a clue choosing the beers. I see no astronomically priced hipster "craft beers" on the list.
Anyway getting away from the specifics of the beer offerings, my point is just that it doesn't look to me like the prices - for beer anyway - are at a level that would exclude ordinary folk on cost grounds. (I stand to be corrected of course, as I said I don't know what the other places mentioned here are charging and it would be good if someone could enlighten us.)
I wonder are people really being excluded, or is it just that some have fixed ideas about what a pub should be and they much prefer Millwall flags on the wall to "... a charming mix of shabby chic furnishings, cosy banquette seating, vintage wallpapers, chandler lighting and quirky trinkets"?
On the other hand some posters have bemoaned a lack of atmosphere and disengaged service, which would drive away people from all sections of the community in equal measure, I would have thought.


As Dave says, I'm not sure anyone has been excluded (if you weren't a born and bred Millwall fan, you were certainly excluded from the St James in the past) - just some people who used to drink in these pubs no longer like the atmosphere/service/décor and so they choose to go elsewhere. Just as the management of the pubs have chosen to go a different way with their product.


I have a friend who lives in Spa Road, her husband is a raving, season ticket holding Hammer.
He could regularly be seen in The St. James Tavern a few years back when he was in his 30s/40s, sporting a West Ham shirt with his name stencilled across the back.
To the best of my knowledge, although there has been 'bad blood' between Millwall and West Ham fans for years, he was always happy in there with the regulars, talking football, be it Premiership, Championship, or international.
I've seen guys with, 'No one likes us, we don't care', tattoos, buying him a drink.
Sounds like an anomaly, but maybe not all Millwall fans are nutters.
Tuesday 16 February 2016 12.49pm
Guy's Street wrote:
If being glared at on arrival and having 'Wacca Youth' (google it if you're not familiar) postcards shoved on our table wasn't a pretty clear signal we were not welcome within minutes of ordering our first drinks, then I've certainly never been made to feel less welcome in a pub.

I'm not at all familiar with the postcards you refer to. All I get up for "Wacca Youth" is the West Area Cricket Association (Australia). That doesn't seem a bad thing to have a postcard for. I think DebraJoan's post illustrates perfectly that the pub, albeit perhaps a bit rough around the edges - isn't that how pubs are supposed to be - was open to all.
Tuesday 16 February 2016 1.00pm
Guy's street wrote:
Gavin Smith wrote:
Guy's street wrote:
(if you weren't a born and bred Millwall fan, you were certainly excluded from the St James in the past) - just some people who used to drink in these pubs no longer like the atmosphere/service/décor and so they choose to go elsewhere. Just as the management of the pubs have chosen to go a different way with their product.

Another sweeping generalisation here. Are you really Beetroot masquerading as Guy's Street? I am not a Millwall fan, certainly not beyond the fact that they are a local team, but I don't think I would be excluded from the SJT, the Blue Anchor or elsewhere. Is your bald assertion based on personal experience? Were you personally excluded from the pub? Thought not.

Says the person who wrote earlier in this discussion that the Gregorian and SJT were 'excluding the rest of the community'. Is that based on personal experience?

As pointed out by others, their price point is certainly not wildly out of keeping with London prices - and price seems to be the only reason anyone is giving to back-up this supposed exclusion.

If being glared at on arrival and having 'Wacca Youth' (google it if you're not familiar) postcards shoved on our table wasn't a pretty clear signal we were not welcome within minutes of ordering our first drinks, then I've certainly never been made to feel less welcome in a pub. Perhaps that's not everyone's experience, but it was certainly ours - we weren't recognised faces and the regulars didn't like us being there.

Maybe I missed something, but on googling Wacca Youth, I was directed to a YouTube video of a guitarist called Ché Godfrey, and also the Women's Action Coalition Child Abuse.
I was asked, "Did you mean Waca Youth?", this gave me West Area Cricket Association, and World Airlines Club Association.
Presumably Wacca Youth means something, any explanation?
Tuesday 16 February 2016 2.32pm
Hhah - funnily enough I haven't googled it since the incident a few years ago and see that it is now a little harder to find. I may even have mis-remembered the exact name.

Anyway, it was a Millwall 'Firm', derived I think from the Millwall Bushwhackers. I just had another hunt and it is Wacker Youth.

So, open to all? I wouldn't say so. Open to someone from a similar background maybe - who knows why Mr West Ham was welcome and we weren't, but that was my experience.
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