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Well, Everybody Knows Down Ladbroke Grove...



Well, everybody knows down Ladbroke Grove

You have to leap across the street.

You can lose your life under a taxi cab

You gotta have eyes in your feet.



Various occurrences produce the stimuli for the outpouring of these pieces of drivel. They range from the simple, such as passing a boarded-up boozer, to the rather more complex and convoluted. This is certainly one of the latter.


A few days ago The Who were playing at the County Ground in Derby. Or at least what remains of The Who were playing at the County Ground in Derby. That got me thinking about their music, and the items of twelve-inch vinyl that I have stashed away somewhere in the spare – sorry, I meant the bikes' – bedroom.


Firstly it was some of their early stuff from their compilation Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy. Then it was tracks from what I consider to be their best album, Who's Next. From there it was on to songs from my sister's one-time neighbour's first solo album, the eponymous Daltry. (Yes, he really was my sister's neighbour when she lived in Burwash. Their back gardens bordered each other. OK, in reality her back garden bordered one of Roger Daltry's fields, but he was still their next-door neighbour and could occasionally be spotted sinking a pint and throwing a few arrows in the now bygone Kicking Donkey. But that's one for later.)


Daltry. Side One, Track One. Co-written – and also later recorded – by Leo Sayer. One Man Band's opening line: Well, everybody knows down Ladbroke Grove...


I wasn't to know when I was playing the album in the sixth form common room in 1973 that Ladbrook Grove would become a regular and familiar name in my life a couple of years later, as I counted down the stops on the then Metropolitan Line. Baker Street, Edgware Road, Paddington... Ladbroke Grove, Latimer Road, Shepherds Bush. (It was simply called Shepherds Bush, not Shepherds Bush Market, in those days and Wood Lane station wouldn't be built for another thirty years.) Next stop, Goldhawk Road, was where I'd alight to stay with the inamorata of the time.


The bygone boozers that I'd pass from Goldhawk Road station to her place of abode we've already met in this earlier post, but I've now started wondering what other pubs had disappeared from Ladbroke Grove in the intervening years. Other pubs? Yes, other pubs, for we've already met the Victoria/Narrow Boat here.


This Ordnance Survey map from 1913 shows a pub just south of where Ladbroke Grove crosses the main line running to Paddington.


This pub, at 355 Ladbroke Grove, was a Truman's house – the Admiral Blake.


Admiral Blake Cowshed Ladbroke Grove w10
The Admiral Blake in 1935.

Appearing on the scene around 1870, quite why it had to be named after a seventeenth century mariner I don't know. I'm sure that there must've been a more contemporary candidate who could've leant his or her moniker to the pub. Anyway, an early licensee was John Sibthorpe...


Admiral Blake
Extract from the 1871 census.

...who enjoyed the trade of drovers whose cattle were being driven to the capital's markets. The nearby Admiral Mews contained a number of cattle sheds which provided accommodation for the beasts whilst the drovers took advantage of that offered by the Admiral Blake. The pub soon gained the nickname of the Cowshed and even took on this title officially in the early part of the twenty-first century.


Admiral Blake Cowshed Ladbroke Grove.
The Cowshed in June 2008. © Google 2023

I don't suppose that it was a sudden fall off in drover numbers that lead to the decline of the pub, but a few months after Mr. Google caught the above image the pub was shut and boarded up. And so it remained until it was demolished in August 2012. On the site which it once occupied now stands a block of flats. At least there's been a bit of a nod towards its past. 355 Ladbroke Grove is no longer a Truman's house but is Admiral Blake House.


Admiral Blake Cowshed Ladbroke Grove
Admiral Blake House, on the site of the former Admiral Blake and Cowshed, in August 2021. © Google 2023


The Ordnance Survey map extract is reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland and is reused under this licence.



If you've read this far, then thank you. Possibly, like me, you may have some sort of interest in bygone boozers. Clicking here will take you to a searchable/sortable index which you can use to see if I've already featured any lost locals from your locality. You can also subscribe to ensure that you don't miss any future posts. Simply click here to return to the home page (opens in a new tab), follow the 'Subscribe' link and complete the form to receive an email notification of any future post. Or you could simply follow the link at the top of this page.


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Those Truman houses were handsome pubs.

J'aime
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