Debden first opened on the Central Line on 25th September 1949. It had previously been a rail station called Chigwell Lane(Chigwell Road for its first few months) which had initially opened in 1865 and was renamed upon transferring to the Underground.
The footbridge between the platforms seems to date from the Victorian era but both the ticket office and platform canopies look more modern and non-descript.
The Pub: The Black Deer, Poundfield Road, IG30 3JN
It’s about 15 minutes from the tube to the pub here so bear with me. On leaving the station, exit onto Barrington Green, then crossing over the main road Chigwell Lane and turning onto Colson Road. Follow Colson Road as it curves up until reaching Bushfields where you turn off. Finally turn up Deepdene Road and then turn left onto Poundfield Road where you’ll find The Black Deer on the junction with Barfields! Simple?!
In amongst all the housing of the Debden Estate, constructed by the London County Council between 1947 and 1952, I was pleased to find a pub at all. There aren’t any shops/takeaways around it either so it’s really on its own here. Inside it felt a bit like a social club with a main room with the bar in. There were no ales on tap so we went for Kronenberg which is only £3 on ‘Manic Mondays’. There are glowing red lights along the bottom of the bar. The Black Deer also had some speakers near their Pool Table for their events here which include Bingo and Quiz nights.
There were pictures of old Spurs teams from the 1960s on the wall, as well as some more recent late 1990s players including David Ginola, Les Ferdinand and Ruel Fox. For a bonus point, what connects all three of them… Talking of quizzes, The Black Deer also had a quiz machine which we won a couple of quid on. They also have Sky/BT Sports too. As there were no games on, the TV was on silent and the radio station Absolute 80s was playing which went down well with an 80s fan like me!
Although it was billed as ‘Manic Monday’, the pub was very quiet and at one point we were the only people in it. As well as the main room, there is also a side room with another pool table, a little retro games machine and table football. The regular ball from Table Football was missing so somebody had improvised and put in a bouncy ball which was rather large and made it almost unplayable as it was nearly the same size as the footballers! There is a patio out the front as well as some more outside seating which can be accessed via the side room.
I really enjoyed visiting The Black Deer because it was so reassuring to see a pub in such a residential location still going as I imagine many have closed in recent years. It also was far more welcoming than the pubs I endured in other suburban locations like Stonebridge Park. I’d say it’s worth a visit because it’s so different from how most pubs in London are these days.
(The pub has no website)