We’re forever blowing bubbles! Yes, it’s Upton Park, West Ham’s home ground and tube station too. The station first opened in June 1902 on the Metropolitan District Line. It is now served by both the District and Hammersmith and City Lines. The station building itself is a pleasing brick structure, similar to that at Plaistow.
As I said much earlier on in the blog, the District Line rules the roost when it comes to stations with ‘Park’ in the title. That incidentally sounds like a good pointless question. However the urban area around Upton Park is light years apart from the suburban greenery of say Chiswick and Ravenscourt Parks. But that sums up the variety of destinations you get on the tube, and is part of why doing this blog is so enjoyable!
The Pub: The Boleyn Tavern, 1 Barking Road, E6 1PW
To reach this pub, we had to, much like Elijah Wood in that awful US Film, head down ‘Green Street.’ However I haven’t been kicked out of Harvard so I managed to resist the allure of the West Ham casuals….
The Boleyn Tavern is a few minutes away from the Boleyn Ground, more commonly referred to as Upton Park. On the roundabout opposite the pub, there is a statue of the core of West Ham players that made up England’s 1966 World Cup Winning team. With it’s ornate exterior, you can tell this is a pub of real historical interest.
The interior is equally impressive. The most interesting part of the pub is the back room. The curved ceiling almost feels like an ornate theatre, topped with stained glass windows. It’s certainly the most lavish pool room I’ve seen in any pub! The interior rooms are divided with wood panelling and cut class reminiscent of places like The Argyll Arms. In short, this is certainly not what you’d expect from a pub so close to Upton Park. It does really feel like it could do with some TLC mind you and notices around the pub about drug use not being tolerated give you an idea of what it could be like on a Saturday night.
Another plus in the pub’s favour, it does ale! After three unsuccessful tries in East London, we finally got a pint of ale. They only had London Pride but still. Unsurprisingly given it is right next door to the ground, it has a few TVs showing live sports and football.
I think for the impressive interior alone, this pub is well worth a visit. Whatever you do, just make sure the Hammers aren’t playing at home! I do wonder what will happen when West Ham move out and the ground is redeveloped into a housing and retail complex. Perhaps the pub and the area around it will be gentrified. Only time will tell!
(The pub has no website)