Wanstead first opened on 14th December 1947. It was an entirely new station, ending my run of those transferred across from suburban railway lines. Designed by Charles Holden, it has one of his large ‘totem’ like towers above the ticket hall, although this one is more bulky than those seen on the Piccadilly Line. I really liked the clock down at platform level – there is a little underground roundel marking each hour.
Wanstead is also the first station as the Central Line heads out on the Hainault loop – something which always puzzled me when looking at the tube map in Central London but a route I am now becoming very familiar with…
The Pub: The George, 155-159 High Street, E11 2RL
This is one of the easiest pubs to find on the blog – come out of the station and its right opposite you on the other side of the road!
Now The George seems to be a popular name round these parts as it was the name of my pub in South Woodford, two stops back. This George is a Wetherspoons, but one with a twist. I will generally come out to bat for ‘Spoons, they always have a solid range of ales and you know what you’re getting. One criticism that can be levelled at them is their interiors can be quite identikit. That is certainly not the case here.
The George is a large pub, dating back to 1903, with various alcoves and raised seating sections. It replaced a previous pub on the same site called ‘The George and Dragon’ and throughout the pub, there are numerous homages to this in the shape of a stained glass dragon on the ceiling with the top of its head and neck as a model hanging down. There is also a ‘dragon throne’ too. This isn’t the only George celebrated here, there are pictures of other Georges on the wall opposite the bar including George IV and George H.W Bush, although there was sadly no photo of Dubya anywhere.
The interior isn’t a total George fest, traditional cut glass windows remain at the front of the pub.As I said, ‘Spoons generally deliver on ale and The George was no exception with several ales available including Sambrooks Pale Ale, Doombar and ‘Dick’s Special One’ – a local Essex beer. Food is the standard ‘spoons fare, you know what to expect by now.
I liked The George. It’s a big pub in a grand old building. Plus there are dragons dotted around the place and a picture of George Bush Snr – just when you thought a Wetherspoons couldn’t get any better!