Hornchurch Station, like the several stops I have just visited, opened on 11th June 1902 on the Metropolitan District Railway.
As with Dagenham East, Hornchurch Station was rebuilt in 1932 when the District Line services were reinstated after a near 30 year absence. Again, I’m not particularly overwhelmed by it architecturally but there is a dry cleaners based in the station building, so at least it has some practical merit.
The Pub: The Railway Hotel, Station Lane, RM12 6SB
You’ll have no trouble finding the appropriately named ‘Railway Hotel’ from Hornchurch tube, as its just a minute or two down Station Lane. The pub is situated in a rather large building. The upper floors are part of a small hotel chain known as ‘Innkeepers Lodge’, which isn’t directed connected to the operation of the pub.
The interior feels fairly new – the leather backed seats and wallpaper all seems relatively fresh. It is certainly the first pub we have found for a number of stations that feels like it is towards the gastropub ideal. Another welcome rarity in Eastern parts is the availability of ale. Three decent ales were available on tap on our visit – Adnams Broadside, Greene King IPA and the excellently named Emerald Tiger.
It’s part of the Ember Inns chain of pubs so has a fairly extensive ‘pub grub’ type menu, plus pizzas, curries and the like. I was feeling peckish so opted for the Lasagna, which was hearty enough to prepare me for a few more pubs on the journey. It was only after I visited I discovered its chequered recent history, with tragically one fatality and 33 struck down with food poisoning on Christmas Day 2012. I assume these problems are now in the past as there were plenty of people eating here on our visit.
This is the second Ember pub I’ve visited on the crawl so far, following on from The Gate in the leafy suburbs of Northwood on the edge of the Metropolitan Line. The Railway is a decent enough place for a pint of ale. Don’t expect anything earth-shattering though. I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit this one.