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Fellowship Inn

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Greater London South East - Catford

Two star - A pub interior of very special national historic interest

Listed Status: II

Randlesdown Road
Catford, Bellingham
SE6 3BT

Tel: (020) 7138 1084

Email: events@fellowshipinn.co.uk

Website http://fellowshipinn.co.uk

Real Ale: Yes

Lunchtime Meals: Yes

Evening Meals: Yes

Station: Yes

Nearby Station: Bellingham

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Bellingham) and Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

This is a rare virtually unaltered example of an "improved" public house, with separate public and saloon bars, an off-sales (now a cafe), a function room and even a cinema.

Built in 1923-4 by F.G. Newnham, the house architect of the brewery Barclay Perkins and Co, as part of the London County Council’s Bellingham Estate. Built of brick with tall brick chimneys it has two storeys plus attic and a basement in a half-timbered ‘Brewers' Tudor’ style.

On the  left-hand side is the public bar (shown on the original plan as Public Refreshment Room), retaining an entrance lobby screen, original dado of fielded panelling, a stone Tudor-arched fire surround, and original bar counter (but with a new top). The bar-back is largely modern. To the rear of the servery the original publicans office remains formed by full height screens with leaded glazing.

A leaded glazed partition wall separates the public bar from the saloon bar on the right – the doors within it are folded back. The saloon bar is shown on the original plan as ‘lounge and smoke room’ at the front and a dining room at the rear. This spacious room retains its entrance lobby screen with leaded glazing and original doors, an original stone Tudor-arched fire surround, two dumb waiters, and a parquet floor. The central servery bar counter is original but with a new top, and the bar back too is modern. Above the bar-back leaded light screening divides the servery between the saloon and public bars. Original fielded panelling to picture frame height remains on the walls.

Beyond the saloon bar the Function Room has been totally modernised but still retains its original bar (though the counter front looks new) with glazed screening to the left-hand side and bar back. Look for the illuminated fitting above labelled “Courage”, “Fellowship Inn Discotheque” installed in the 1960s.

Downstairs is the theatre/cinema now called the “Bellingham Picture Palace”. This has also been modernised but retains the wonderful art deco style. The small bar on the right-hand side remains, and the lower hall main entrance lobby retains its original doors, entrance screen and monochrome floor tiling. On the lower level on  Knapmill  Street is the timber shop front of the former off-sales; now converted into a café, it also acts as the ticket office for the cinema.

The Fellowship Inn is an ‘improved’ public house built in 1923-4 by F.G. Newnham, the house architect of the brewery Barclay Perkins and Co. It was built as part of the London County Council’s Bellingham Estate. Built of brick with tall brick chimneys it has two storeys plus attic and a basement in a half-timbered ‘Brewers' Tudor’ style.

After a wonderful restoration and sympathetic refurbishment to many parts of the building by the Phoenix Community Housing Trust in 2018/9,  the pub now has the public bar re-opened in addition to the saloon bar on the ground floor.

On the  left-hand side is the public bar (shown on the original plan as Public Refreshment Room), which retains a large entrance lobby screen, original dado of fielded panelling with modern wallpaper above, and a stone Tudor-arched fire surround, brick interior and wood surround fireplace. The bar counter is original but with a new counter top. The bar back has a new top with fridges below and new insertions above. The original glazed screen above remain. Some of the former cinema seats can be found here. To the rear of the servery on the public bar side the original publicans office remains formed by full height screens with leaded glazing and still retaining its door. Of the gents’ at the rear of the public bar only the original floor to ceiling glazed white bricks and terrazzo floor remain (the three large original urinals have been removed). The former passage at the rear with its dado of fielded panelling is now doubled in size.

A leaded glazed partition wall separates the public bar from the saloon bar on the right – the doors within it are folded back. The saloon bar is shown on the original plan as ‘lounge and smoke room’ at the front and a dining room at the rear. This spacious room retains its entrance lobby screen with leaded transoms and original doors, original stone Tudor-arched fire surround, two dumb waiters, (the folding screen to the rear hall has been removed) and a parquet floor throughout. The central servery bar counter is original but with a new top, and the bar back too is modern. A transom with leaded lights and carved Tudor rose decoration divide the servery. The pot shelf over the counter is modern work. Original fielded panelling to picture frame height on the walls remains. The ladies' are at the back of the room where the screen to the Function Room was and the gents' have been moved from the front  room to the rear room to where the Ladies were first located, both have original terrazzo floors but otherwise modernised. A distracting feature however are the  stainless-steel  heating pipes suspended from the ceiling in both rooms. 

Beyond the screen at the rear of the smoke room is what is now the Function Room shown on the original plan as lounge and recreation room. This  has been totally modernised with new floor and a glass atrium roof. It still retains its original bar (though the front counter looks new) with glazed screen to the  left-hand side and bar back both upper and lower. Look for the illuminated fitting above labelled “Courage”, “Fellowship Inn Discotheque” installed in the 1960s. Henry Cooper, the boxer, practised here in 1963 prior to his fight with Cassius Clay (later Muhammed Ali) and later it became a famous music venue in the 1960s hosting gigs by Fleetwood Mac and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers.

Downstairs (accessible now by a lift) is the old theatre/cinema now called the “Bellingham Picture Palace”. This has also been totally modernised retaining the  wonderful art deco style with a sloping floor and plush seats. The small bar on the right-hand side remains with its original rolling shutter in place. The lower hall main entrance lobby retains its original doors, entrance screen and monochrome floor tiling. There is an Admission Box in the foyer, which survives as does  the cloakroom fittings. There is also a smaller lobby in the north-east corner.

On the lower level on  Knapmill  Street is the timber shop front of the large off-sales (described as outdoor service and order office on the original plan), now converted into the “Milky Way Bar & Café”; it also acts as the ticket office for the new cinema. Currently only non-alcoholic drinks are available  here. Only the original serving counter remains.

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