A historic pub interior of national importance
Listed Status: Not listed42 Merrow Street
Re-built in 1955 by Watneys this is a two-storey building of brick with a roundel on the corner depicting the head of Queen Elizabeth I. It has three / four rooms with the two main bars having separate entrances and, unusually these days, it is not possible to move between the two.
The Saloon Bar on the right has an entrance in Lytham Street and there is a now disused door to the left which was to the off sales and while the counter survives the partition that separated it has long since disappeared. There is a massive Bass mirror on the wall here. The bar counter is the original with its distinct 1950s style vertically panelled front and black melamine inlaid top. On the right hand side of the counter frontage there is what looks like a cupboard. These are seen in some Victorian and inter-war pubs in London and are believed to be there to allow access to the beer engines so this looks like a rare post-war example? Around the base of the counter are red and black tiles which look modern; the pot shelf is definitely modern. The original mirrored bar back fittings with an illuminated top panel with the wording "Welcome to this Watney House" remains but the lower shelving has been lost to fridges. There is an original wood surround and tiled fireplace but the hearth is modern and the tiles painted red.
To the rear on the right is a further small room separated from the Saloon Bar by a two part sliding screen with glazed panels that is now usually in the open position. There is a bar counter that is more like a large hatch and behind the servery here is a dumb waiter. There is an original wood surround and tiled fireplace but the hearth is modern and the tiles painted red. The gents’ off the saloon bar retains the original tiles but has new urinals; the ladies’ has the original tiles.
From the entrance on Merrow Street is a two-part Public Bar which also retains what looks like a 1950s bar counter although less ornate than the saloon bar one and has a black melamine inlaid top. Around the base of the counter are red and black tiles which look modern; the pot shelf is definitely modern. The bar back fitting is the original one with the wording "Welcome to this Watney House" at the top but here it is not illuminated; three mirror backed arches part may be from the 1950s however the main shelf with its black melamine inlaid top definitely is. Half of the lower shelves remain, the rest lost to a fridge; the pot shelf is definitely modern. There is another original wood surround and tiled fireplace with the tiles painted red and a modern hearth which is blocked-up.
A wide gap on the left (no sign it ever had a sliding screen) leads to a small area with a wood laminate floor. The small curved counter here is the same as the main public bar one but whereas the other sections of counter (saloon bar and public bar) have tiles in front of them here there is an exposed wooden base. Either the tiles are modern additions or in the far left area the tiling was removed recently? There is another original wood surround and tiled fireplace with the tiles painted red and a modern hearth which is blocked-up. With no sign of a exterior door it is likely that this area was always like this. The gents’ has lost its original urinals but retains original tiling as does the ladies’. There is no obvious original fixed seating.