Raynes Park

Raynes Park is a pretty distinctive station, although not for architectural reasons. What makes it stand out from the crowd is the very large gap between its two island platforms. This happened here as there are two fast lines which pass through the middle here but do not stop, causing the gap between the platforms to be much larger as a result.

The platforms are also not directly opposite each other as would usually be the case – one starts coming to an end as the other begins. This means it is a rather long, high footbridge that links platforms 1 and 2 with 3 and 4. The station first opened on 30 October 1871 and is a fairly busy commuter stop, served by 12 trains per hour Mondays to Saturdays.

The Cavern Freehouse, 100 Coombe Lane, SW20 0AY

Coming out of Raynes Park station on the north side, there is a parade of shops in 1930s buildings which all feels very suburban.On a Twitter recommendation, we decided to go to The Cavern which is a couple of minutes walk west on that same street, Coombe Road.

The Cavern is a live music pub, with particular homage paid to The Beatles as the name would suggest. Now Beatles themed or inspired bars are ten a penny in Liverpoot but in Zone 4 South West London its a much more surprising phenomena. However its not just the Fab Four who are celebrated on the walls of the pub – I spotted pictures of Rod Stewart, The Scorpions and Phil Collins to name just a few.

The Cavern has all the hallmarks of a small live music venue, with lots of bar stools, exposed brick work and of course the stage itself. It even has its own branded t-shirts. There is live music here most evenings except Mondays and Tuesdays. They also have a jukebox too but I didn’t have a chance to assess their 80s rock selection. The band hadn’t come on yet on the Friday evening we dropped in but the place was already filling up. The Cavern also a small seating area outside at the front of the pub.

The Cavern had three ales on tap, London Pride, Doombar and the local Common Pale Ale which seems a fixture in these parts. It made me wish bigger venues would have a few ales once in awhile rather than the usual expensive Tuborg in a plastic cap. They also have room for a pool table here at the back of the pub and a quiz machine too. There are also a couple of TV screens in The Cavern, showing BBC News which was probably the most un-rock and roll thing here.

I always like stumbling on somewhere a bit different and The Cavern certainly fits the bill. A live music venue packed with classic rock memorabilia is definitely not what I expected in Raynes Park. It’s definitely worth a visit!

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