Tooting Bec first opened as Trinity Road(Tooting Bec) on 13th September 1926 – it wasn’t until 1950 that it acquired its current name.
Like all stations on this stretch of the Northern Line, its another Charles Holden classic. It is also Grade II listed. What I found more rare for a suburban stop is that it has two station buildings, allowing access to the station from different sides of the road. I think I prefer the smaller of the two, which is very much wedged at the middle of the road junction and as a result significantly thinner than the main building opposite.
The Pub: The Wheatsheaf, 2 Upper Tooting Road, SW17 7PG
The Wheatsheaf is right opposite the main station building, simply cross over the road and you’re there. It really occupies a prime location for a pub.
Inside, you’ll find a big, spacious pub, compromised of two similarly sized rooms. Its only recently changed hands and been redone so everything still feels very fresh. The front room although having a ceiling painted in dark hues, still managed to feel light and airy thanks to the large windows backing out onto the street. The back room, now dedicated to dining following the revamp, has a lighter colour scheme, with a white ceiling and plenty of mirrors reflecting a view of the garden. It all feels pretty modern with some traditional aspects remaining like the impressive details flanking the door connecting the two bars. There is also a decent sized decked back garden, a small area of which is enclosed under a shelter.
The Wheatsheaf had a varied collection of ales on our visit, including Trumans Swift, Trinity Redemption and Northern Lights. As you might expect, it has an extensive food menu with more restaurant type dishes such as sea bream alongside pub classics like burgers and fish and chips. The prices are towards the higher end of the pub spectrum, varying between £12 to £16 for a main.
As I said earlier, The Wheatsheaf occupies an ideal location for a pub, right opposite a tube station. Its for that reason back in 2013 its future looked threatened with existing tenants Antic in trouble and rumours of Tesco keen to swoop in. Thankfully a concerted campaign, backed by local MP Sadiq Khan, secured the pub’s future with its listing as an Asset of Community Value. Now I’m no fantasist who believes every pub must be preserved, some will inevitably not survive changing times. But then, as now, The Wheatsheaf was a busy, thriving pub serving its local community well. It would have been perverse to see it lost due to business failings elsewhere.
The Wheatsheaf is a buzzing pub that seems in good health under new ownership. I’ve always found it to be a good place for a pint. Its an ideal spot for both onward travel or the last one of the evening. With its future now hopefully secure, long may that continue!