Whitton Station opened on 6 July 1930, the same day as North Sheen a few stops up the line closer to London, at the same time as the lines running through here were first electrified.
Like Twickenham, Whitton was given a major rebuild ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup – it all looks very functional and at platform level, has a slightly unfinished look to it. Where are the walls for the platform shelters – in its current form I can’t imagine it offers great protection from the elements. Prior to this, the station had a rather utilitarian look with steel platform canopies, a far cry from the decorative styles seen at the Victorian stations on the route although still more interesting than what’s here now.
The Prince Albert, 66 Hounslow Road, TW2 7EX
Whitton is much quieter than the previous stop Twickenham, but there are still lots of cafes and independent shops on its high street, including a couple that looked like those useful shops that sell odds and ends but you never really find in London these days, you know, somewhere where you could get new keys cut for £1 or something.
The Prince Albert is several minutes walk north of the station, past the high street and on the residential Hounslow Road. It has a glowing green sign which makes it easy to spot. The sign also says it is ‘McCarthy’s freehouse’, and with a name like that it should come as no surprise it is an Irish pub. The interior is full of Guinness flags and there is a picture of the Toucan, the brewery’s old mascot, above the bar.
Inside, it’s a very traditional pub and some respects feels like someones front room, complete with carpet and gas fireplaces. There are several trophies above the bar which I assume are from the pub’s darts or football team.It was very busy when we visited so we ended up standing near the bar. Unlike many of the Irish pubs I came across in North London, they did ale here, three were available in the shape of Doombar, London Pride and Redhead from the local Twickenham Brewery. They don’t do any food so its nuts or mini cheddars if you’re feeling peckish here.
Talking of Twickenham, there is again plenty of Rugby memorabilia here – something of a staple for pubs in this area – as well as a large painting on one of the walls of an Irish Rugby player beating several English ones to score a try. The other wall has another big painting, this time of the pub in full swing. The painting didn’t look too old so I imagine at least a couple of the regulars in it were also in the pub on our visit. On the ceiling, I spotted an Irish and Scottish flag(for the Six Nations I assume), as well as other European countries flags like Slovakia which I assume have been left over from Euro 2016.
As I said, it was very busy on our visit. There are plenty of TV screens as well as two large projectors, here so lots of people were in to watch the football, one projector was showing the BT Sport game and the other covering the Sky game. As in often the way in London, there was a very loud cheer when Man Utd scored in their respective game. While it is clearly a pub which has a lot of regulars, we still felt welcome.
I enjoyed our drink at The Prince Albert. It’s great to see traditional pubs like this still doing well in suburbia. If you like a good old fashioned boozer, you’ll be well served here – and they do a few ales too, what more could you want?
(The pub has no website)