Hand & Heart

Cambridgeshire - Peterborough

A historic pub interior of national importance

Listed Status: Not listed

12 Highbury Street

Tel: (01733) 564653

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/301902744809

Real Ale: Yes

Real Cider: Yes

Nearby Station: Peterborough

Station Distance: 1300m

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

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

This pub, with a strong real ale offering, is quite a rare beast – a small unspoilt urban community local dating from the inter-war period, in this case 1938 (another example is the Vine, Wednesfield). The corridor (on the left) retains the original off-sales-cum-drinking lobby with a bell-push and glazed screen to the servery. At the front on the right is the basic public bar, which retains the original bar counter (with distinctive Moderne-style frontage), bar-back and fixed seating. Note the Second World War memorial on the wall by the door, one of just 60 such memorials in pubs. At the back of the pub is a smoke room with original seating and a hatch to the servery. The fireplace is a Victorian-style replacement, sadly inappropriate for a 1930s pub.

Situated in a small terrace, the Hand & Heart is a small, purpose-rebuilt public house dating from 1938. Of two storeys in plain brick, with a flat roof it was built for Warwick & Richardson’s Brewery of Newark and is essentially intact and unaltered.

Sadly the two original front windows advertising 'Warwick's' have been replaced with similar, but not exact, copies in recent years. The front door on the left leads to a small lobby and beyond an internal door in a full-height glazed screen is the modest drinking lobby around the Jug Bar (off sales), both areas with black and white tiled flooring. A couple of bar stools confirms that this increasingly rare facility is in use here at times and the bell push to attract attention remains on the left. The screen in the drinking lobby can still be raised and lowered for service and the lower central panel is hinged and was used for transactions when this doubled as the off-sales, but is now permanently sealed, apparently at the insistence of 'Health & Safety'!. Note the number '2', a former requirement of the licensing magistrates, on the screen in the drinking lobby.

A door on the right just short of the serving hatch leads to the public bar where the fabric and fittings from the Thirties scheme have survived very well. The bar counter has a distinctive Art Deco frontage; to the left there is a door to the servery for staff which has a hatch and shelf for service; and the mirrored bar back has succumbed to only modest changes to allow the inclusion of a fridge. Also preserved is the original fitted seating. The only item that has been lost is the fireplace which has been replaced by a brick one from the 1960/70s. Note the WWII memorial on the wall of the public bar – there are only 60 or so of these in pubs in the whole of the UK.

A door at the rear right corner of the drinking lobby still with 'Smoke Room' and '3' painted on it leads to a compact room. This retains its full set of original fitted seating and a baffle by the door. Service to the rear smoke room is via a hatch, which until the late 1990s had a door which could be opened and closed for service. The only other item that has been lost is the original fireplace which has been replaced by an inappropriate Victorian-style one. Other doors in the drinking lobby lead to an 'inside' ladies toilet still with 'Ladies' painted on it, and to a passageway to the 'outside' gents (the exterior passageway to the gents' is now covered over). The passageway to the gents' has its own street entrance on the far left of the building.

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