A historic pub interior of national importance
Listed Status: II*Dagenham Road / Rainham Road South
For quality and completeness, the interior of this 1937 – built pub takes some beating. The elegant Walnut Room has art-deco mirrors in the bar back, a distinctively decorated walnut bar counter and impressive Tuscan columns. The Oak Room is plainer and in 'Brewers’ Tudor' style; the half-dozen glass and metal light fittings are the most remarkable survival but there are many other original features too. Finally the former Music Room has stained glass and more columns. Well worth the trek to deepest Dagenham.
For quality and completeness this is the finest 1930s pub in this book and, indeed, one of the best anywhere. It was built in 1937 for G A Smith & Sons, wine merchants and off-sales proprietors, whose name is still in evidence, notably on the former off-licence (now a scrap metal dealer's). The architecture makes considerable play of panels of brick alternating with render, and hipped roofs with pantile coverings. The left-hand projection (explained inside) makes the building decidedly asymmetrical. There are two separate bars known as the Oak Room (right) and the Walnut Room (centre) plus the left-hand projection which was called the Music Room – hence the stained glass depicting a variety of instruments and framed by wooden Tuscan columns. The room size can be varied by a folding glazed screen. There is another such screen to the elegant Walnut Room, named for the wood used for the counter (note its distinctive circular decoration) and the high-level screen above. Don’t miss the Art Deco-style mirrors in the bar-back with their wavy decoration. More columns frame the front area.
The Oak Room (so-called for obvious reasons) is plainer and played public bar to the Walnut’s saloon. Here the style is ‘brewers’ Tudor’. So we have beams cased in to imitate sturdy timbers, exposed joists, Tudor arches in the servery area and much wall panelling. The counter and bar-back fittings are original but perhaps the most remarkable survivors are the half dozen glass and metal light fittings. In all, this is a truly remarkable survivor which will repay the trek out to see it. Grade II* listed in 2010 following an application by CAMRA.