Stockwell Station opened as the southern terminus of the City and South London Railway on 18th December 1890. At street level, the station has been rebuilt twice – first in the 1920s ahead of the Modern extension of the line and more recently at the start of the 1970s when the Victoria Line service started here in 1971. This again means the buildings are pretty unspectacular.
The station is also associated with the tragic killing of unarmed and totally innocent Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes, shot by Police Officers the day after the failed 21st July 2005 bombing attempt on the Underground Network after a case of mistaken identity. There is a shrine to De Menezes outside the station.
When the Victoria Line was being upgraded about five years back and was shut most Sundays, I would get the replacement bus here to Brixton at the crack of dawn to get to the Ritzy where I worked at the time. What immediately grabbed my attention and something I’ve always liked since is the former deep level air raid shelter that now has a very colourful mural painted on it, commemorating those who lost their lives in war.
The Pub: Queens Head, 144 Stockwell Road, SW9 9TQ
Exiting Stockwell Station, you don’t really get the feeling there are any pubs in the immediate vicinity. We weren’t 100% sure ourselves on where to go in this instance, so we began heading up Stockwell Road in the direction of Brixton. It took a few minutes but we eventually stumbled on the The Queens Head. From the exterior, you already get the feel this more of ‘Queens Head’ in the style of the Sex Pistols, rather than a traditional regal pub.
The interior itself continues on this punk/alternative scene. With the candles in old wine bottles and comfy yet slightly weathered sofas, I have to say it felt rather similar to a pub I might find in my home city of Brighton. With Doombar on tap, all was well on the ale front. There is also an old piano in one corner of the pub. Initially I thought it may just be a relic of a bygone era but after doing some post-visit research, The Queens Head hosts regular open mic/spoken word events so I assume the piano plays an active role in that.
There is also a pleasant enough beer garden out the back which would no doubt come in handy if we luck out in 2014 Summerwise like we did last year. The pub was fairly quiet on our midweek early evening visit but had a welcoming vibe. It’s not too far from Brixton tube either, so if you’re in the area and fancy going a little bit further from the Dogstar and co for your pints, I strongly recommend popping in here. The open mic nights also sound pretty lively so maybe time your visit around then!