Hainault first opened on the Central Line on the 31st May 1948, serving as the terminus of what was later to become the ‘loop’ when it was extended onto Woodford by the end of that same year. In its previous life as a rail station, it had opened in 1903 only to close five years later before re-opening in 1930.
The majority of the platform buildings such as the art-deco shelters appear to date from its latter period as a train station. The ticket office itself is a dull brick building underneath the bridge carrying the line.
The Pub: The Old Maypole, Fencepiece Road, IG6 2NG
The Old Maypole is another easy pub to find from the station, providing you stay on the right road! Head east onto the New North Road until reaching Fencepiece Road where The Old Maypole is located on the junction with Cleves Road.
The Old Maypole is based in a large, art deco looking building. It’s part of the ‘sizzling’ pub company, not to be confused with the similar ‘flaming grill’ pub company, but both generally seen towards the outer suburban stops of my journey. The bar is near the front entrance of the pub with expansive seating sections past it in either side of the building. One area felt more like a family area as it had one of those ‘grab machines’ where you could win a Minion toy like you might see in seaside funfairs. The decor is pretty generic and inoffensive as you might expect from a chain pub.
There were three ales available on tap, London Pride, Hobgoblin and Greene King IPA, the latter of which was an incredible £4.80 for two pints – I’m not sure if it’s a mid-week offer. Sizzling Pubs have fairly cheap food with Burgers and Fish and Chips available for under £7 – their lasagne is only £5.79! The Maypole also had a pool table as well as my favourite, a quiz machine. They also have a sports licence and plenty of TVs. Posters inside the pub advertised regular Karaoke evenings here if you’ll feeling brave. There is a fair amount of outside seating within the pub’s large front patio which has various plants and shrubs in it as well as another sheltered area which I assume is for smokers. In another sign of a suburban pub, it also has a sizeable car park.
The Old Maypole was solid enough although I found it lacked atmosphere a little which perhaps may have been due to its size. Not a bad place for a pint but if I were choosing between the two neighbouring chain pubs, I’d go for the ‘spoons at Fairlop.