Newbury Park

Newbury Park first opened on 14th December 1947 and was initially the terminus of this branch of the Central Line until the completion of the route back to Woodford the following year. It first opened as a rail station on 1st May 1903 on the Great Eastern Railway before being transferred over to the Central Line along with its neighbouring stations in 1947.

The station is an interesting mix of buildings from different architectural styles and time periods. The shelters at platform level are Edwardian and date back to its initial period as a a rail station. The original station buildings here were demolished when the A12 was widened in the 1950s. Plans for a new ticket office when the tube started operating here were the victim of post-war cutbacks – here are plans for ‘what might have been’, designed by Oliver Hill. Thankfully his impressive modernist bus station did survive and opened in 1949. It received a ‘Festival of Britain’ design award in 1951 and is very much of that area. It was Grade II listed in 1981.

The Pub: The Avenue 902-910 Eastern Avenue, IG2 7HZ

Coming out of the station, we were immediately greeted by the busy A12 in our way which didn’t seem like a good omen to me on the pub front. The only place round here, The Avenue, is accessed by using the subway underneath the station and then walking East along Eastern Avenue until you come across the pub a couple minutes down the road.

It’s a large building, some of which is now an Indian restaurant but don’t let that deter you as there is still a pub here. Inside its pretty sparsely decorated with little to brighten up the place. The plain walls look a little weathered and tatty in places. There a couple of pool tables in the side area, alongside some fruit machines. They have a sports licence and the TVs were playing Soccer Saturday here.  Posters above the bar advertised an ‘Open Mic’ night on certain Saturdays.

There were no ales on tap so it was Kronenberg all round. Food is available which I think must come from the restaurant next door as its all cheap kormas and naan bread. It seemed to be quite a locals pub with a small group of punters here who seemed to know each other – that said we didn’t get the eyes following us around the room as we entered. There were some pretty drunk people playing pool who were pretty loud but that only seemed to be towards each other and they left soon after we arrived.

The Avenue has clearly seen better days and seems a little tired in places. I think given its location adjacent to the A12, its always going to be an uphill struggle to get something good going there. While it isn’t the worst place I’ve been to for the blog, I wouldn’t recommend visiting even if you live nearby.

(The pub has no website)

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