Bromley-by-Bow Station first began life as simply ‘Bromley’, served by the Metropolitan District Railway from 1902 onwards, having opened as an overground rail station in 1858. British Rail services stopped in 1962 and the station is now served by both the District and Hammersmith and City Lines. It was renamed Bromley-by-Bow in 1967, to avoid confusion with Bromley in South London.
Sadly the station itself is a rather drab, 1970s building after the original was destroyed by a fire. Some historic elements do remain at the platform level, such as the decorative supports for the platform canopies. The area around the station feels rather overshadowed by the busy A12 trunk road, heading in the direction of the Blackwall Tunnel and looms large over the nearby houses. There is definitely an industrial feel to the surroundings, with an old gasworks and abandoned factory buildings on the other side of the A12.
The Pub: The Blue Anchor, 67 Bromley High Street, E3 3EN
To find the Blue Anchor, when leaving the station you need to take the steps down to St Leonards Street, then head along that road until you reach Bromley High Street where you will find the pub. The route to the Blue Anchor serves as a sad reminder of the fragility of pubs existence outside of Central London, with a couple of derelict ones evident in the short journey from the tube to the pub.
The Blue Anchor has a relatively modest, well maintained exterior. The interior feels as if it has been recently decorated and the paintwork on the walls looks relatively fresh. Initially when we arrived on a Saturday lunchtime, we were pretty much the only people in there but it soon started to fill up.
Usually Trumans, an ale brewed in East London, is available but it was off on our visit so we had to go for Kronenberg. Above the bar there are a number of classic quips related to drinking and life in general, including the charming line from Rodney Dangerfield – ‘if arseholes could fly, this would be an airport!.’
With football on one screen and the races on another, it still feels like a traditional boozer. There is also a dart board and pool table too. Just before we left, I heard what must have been one of the best quotes so far on my journey. One of the locals said to another ‘Yeah but this ain’t Germany, this is Bromley-by-Bow!.’ I am not 100% sure of the context, but I think it could have been football related.
This is a decent boozer in an area that sadly feels as if it has lost a number of its pubs in recent years. If I lived round here, it would do me fine as a local.
(The pub has no website.)