Gants Hill is another of the tube’s architectural delights from Charles Holden. Here you will find a spacious barrel vaulted underground concourse linking the two platforms which the well travelled reader may notice looks similar to those on the Moscow Metro. This is no coincidence because Holden himself advised in the construction of the Soviet Metro system. A particularly nice touch is the seating incorporated between the lamps. Sadly I don’t think there are any tales of Stalin or indeed any other Soviet politicians visiting the Hainault loop themselves. There are no buildings above ground here but the ones below make up for it!
The station opened on 14th December 1947. In its semi completed state it was used as an air raid shelter during the Second World War which had halted its construction.
The Pub: The Valentine, 27-37 Perth Road, IG2 6BX.
Gants Hill station is under a roundabout, to get to the pub make sure you take an exit which is signposted for Perth Road. Once you get on this street you quickly come across The Valentine as its a large building that stands out from its neighbours.
Inside, its big interior is certainly put to good use when it comes to TV screens – the pub advertises itself as a ‘Premier Sports Bar’ and there were loads of screens on during our visit as well as a few large projecters. The majority were showing Soccer Saturday so it really did feel like Jeff Stelling was all around us. I don’t think I’ve seen this many screens in a pub, excluding obvious places like the Sports Cafe, outside of the US.
It was starting to get dark when we got here and the place was given some extra illumination in the shape of bright lights strewn from the ceiling. There was quite an open space around the big projector screen and I think this must become their dancefloor when they have DJs at the weekends. Posters on the walls also advertised regular Karaoke sessions too as well as a pub quiz. It was starting to fill up on our visit but there was still a fair amount of free seats left.
There were no ales on tap so it was lager all round. Food came in the shape of Chicago Town Pizza for £6.50, a bit more than in the supermarkets but at least they admit that’s where they come from unlike another pub I visited on the trail! The Valentine also had a back garden but it was far too cold for venturing outside.
If you want to watch sports, and probably any sport at that, then The Valentine is your place. Even if you aren’t, it seemed alright to me! I quite liked the novelty of all the screens, especially when Chris Kamara popped up..