Russell Square station first opened its doors on 15th December 1906 on the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway. At platform level, it retains its original tiling. When the GNPBR opened, each station was given its own unique tile colour and patterning.
Unlike the major Central London Piccadilly Line stations, Russell Square has not seen its lifts replaced by escalators. On our visit to the station, one of these lifts was being repaired and so there were queues for the two operational lifts. There is a staircase to street level but the TfL posters warn passengers that it is the equivalent to a 15-storey building and to only use them in an emergency!
At street level, the station offers a fine example of the typical Leslie Green design. Old style Underground signage can also be found beneath two of the arches, as well as traditional street lamps. Russell Square Station is also associated with the tragedy of the 7/7 bombings, with 26 people killed on a train travelling between Kings Cross and the station. There is a memorial to the victims within the ticket hall area.
The Pub: The Lamb, 94 Lamb’s Conduit Street, WC1
To reach The Lamb, head along Bernard Street, turning down onto Grenville Street to reach Guildford Street. From there, head west until you reach Guildford Place which leads you to Lamb’s Conduit Street where you will find the pub.
The Lamb marks a welcome return to a Youngs pub for me on the crawl, its been too long! It is a grade II listed building which first opened in 1729. The green tiled exterior gives you a hint of the historic nature of the pub, with the frosted glass with the lamb in the centre another nice touch. I particularly liked the old style street light that is hanging adjacent to the pub’s sign.
The interior is also suitably traditional with the old wooden bar in the centre of the main room. Some ‘Snob screens’ still remain at the bar, which would have allowed the class conscious Victorians to shield themselves from the bar staff. The walls are decorated old pictures of the local area alongside photographs of music hall stars who performed at the nearby and long since demolished Holborn Empire. The green leather backed seats and old style lamps help to create a warm, cosy atmosphere. Another item of interest in the pub comes in the shape of a Polyphon, the gramophones predecessor. For a small donation to charity, you can hear it in action!
As a Youngs pub, the Lamb obviously has a solid selection of ales, with Adnams Southwolds, Directors Bitter and London Fields Brewery alongside the obvious Youngs Best and Special. The menu is proper pub grub with bangers and mash, gammon steak, ‘the Lamb Burger’ and steak and ale pie all jumping out at me.
As an added bonus, there is a small but perfectly formed patio garden at the back of the pub – a rarity in Central London. The Lamb is a charming pub in the heart of Bloomsbury and is most definitely worth a visit!