Selhurst

When thinking of Selhurst, the first thing that springs to mind for many is Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace’s football ground. Don’t be fooled by the name though, both Thornton Heath and Norwood Junction stations are closer.

Selhurst first opened on 1 May 1865. Architecturally, the station building is in the same style as the last few stations I’ve visited. It has retained its wooden decorative canopy shelters mind you, unlike Thornton Heath.

Selhurst is a very important location for the railway south of the river – just opposite the station there is a massive depot which is home to many of the trains that serve this part of the world. The majority of the services here into the city go to Victoria but it also has a couple of trains an hour going into London Bridge.

Two Brewers, 221 Gloucester Road, CR0 2DW

The area right by the station is mainly residential with the rail depot opposite. The pub is just over five minutes walk south, located just off Selhurst Road on Gloucester Road.

The Two Brewers looks inviting enough from the outside with its decorative hanging baskets. Inside, it’s very much a traditional old school pub with leather backed seating and cut glass windows. It even has a fish tank towards the back, something you really don’t see often in pubs anymore.

It’s a Shepherd Neame pub and had three of their ales on tap, Master Brew, Spitfire and Whitstable Bay. They don’t do food although a plate full of sandwiches did arrive for the group of locals playing poker. Arriving here on a quiet Tuesday evening, it did feel a bit like we were drinking in somebody else’s front room. The TV was on in the background with the snooker on, but it was very much in the background. They have BT and Sky Sports too. They have a dart board too if you fancy a bit of bully.

There was plenty of Crystal Palace memorabilia on the walls and no doubt the place is totally different on matchdays where I’m sure its rammed with Palace fans.That said, as a Brighton fan I doubt I’d be too welcome in those circumstances so maybe slipping in undercover on a sleepy weeknight was better all round…

The Two Brewers is a no frills, traditional boozer. While it’s not a bad pub, it’s not really interesting enough to be worth a visit. Plus now Allardyce has left Palace, you don’t even have the chance of catching him here celebrating with a pint of wine.

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Thornton Heath

Thornton Heath first opened on 1 December 1862. According to Wikipedia, it may have originally been called Colliers Water Lane but no documentary evidence has been found to prove that.

The station is very similar to the last few I’ve visited, having four platforms but only two of which are in regular use. The ticket office building is also in keeping with the designs seen at Norbury and Streatham Common. While the original ornate support pillars for the platform canopies remain, the canopies themselves now have a dull, corrugated iron look, the original decorative wooden structure having been long since removed. There has been a modern addition in the shape of a footbridge linking the platforms and also lifts for step-free access.

The Railway Telegraph, 19 Brigstock Road, CR7 7JJ

We’re getting further out here so there wasn’t a massive selection of pubs to choose from. Luckily there is one pretty much right opposite the station, the appropriately named ‘Railway Telegraph.’

Inside it’s a traditional, no-frills boozer with wood paneling throughout and some frosted glass. The walls are painted white and decorated with various black and white photos of Thornton Heath in days gone by. I spotted one piece of Crystal Palace memorabilia too, not surprising given Selhurst Park isn’t far. They also have a dartboard too. There is a main area of seating around the bar with a quieter area towards the back of the pub. We sat in the latter area, partly due to the comfy sofas. However the table by the sofa was curious, it looked like a desk you’d have seen in schools years and years ago. The Railway Telegraph also has a nice little back garden.

It’s part of the Ram Pub Company, the smaller offshoot group from Youngs. The only ale available here was Youngs bitter on our Thursday evening visit.I was hoping to get some food here as the website says they serve till 8 on weeknights. However at the pub I was told they only do food at weekends. If you can get any grub here, they say that their curry is ‘special’ and that on match days at Selhurst Park, they do a Jerk Chicken BBQ.

They had snooker on TV here which was showing in Eurosport. The pub also has a Sky/BT Sports licence and must have had trouble in the past with people coming to watch the game and not buying anything, a sign on the wall warns that there is a £5 minimum spend for anyone wanting to watch the football! The pub wasn’t rammed while we were here but had a decent mixed clientele.

In an area not blessed with pubs, The Railway Telegraph is a decent option although I wouldn’t say it’s anything special. It would certainly do a job if you’re in the area.

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Norbury

Norbury first opened in 1878 on an existing section of railway which had been in operation since 1862. The station was rebuilt in 1903. The station building here is very similar to the one at Streatham Common, and the platform canopies have retained their original decorative roof.

Only two platforms are in regular service here, the other two are effectively abandoned. The one furthest from the main station building is looking quite green and rural. A platform shelter by the café on the island platforms has some nice photos of Norbury station in the early parts of the 20th Century.

The Moon Under Water, 1237 London Road, SW16 4AU

Norbury isn’t particularly blessed with pubs, so there wasn’t much to choose from here. Our only option was to walk 10 minutes down London Road, the main road running through here, to reach The Moon Under Water.

The eagle-eyed will have already guessed, but The Moon Under Water is a Wetherspoons. It is my first one on the Overground leg of my blog – not bad going after 47 stops so far! As a result, it has all their usual features, the standard ‘spoons decor and carpet. There are some old pictures of Norbury on the walls and a small back garden. It also has a picture of George Orwell on the wall. Orwell wrote an essay called ‘The Moon Under Water’ in 1946, describing what would be his ideal pub. Many ‘spoons have made a play on this name. I don’t know how many of his 10 points it fufills though…

As a spoons, it has their usual range of discount food. On the ale front, we were in luck as they were holding one of the regular Wetherspoons beer festivals that take place in their pubs. Supplementing usual offerings like Doombar and Ruddles Best included some more interesting ales like the excellently titled ‘Mild the Gap’, complete with a roundel on its pump art, and the Continential IPA. We gave the IPA a go – it was 6.5% so packed quite a punch.

I also had one of my cheapest rounds in London here ever. The prices were already low thanks to being an outer London ‘spoons where prices tend to be at least 50p cheaper, if not more, than central London venues. I also had some CAMRA vouchers which are sent out to all members(I finally got around to joining this year) which got me another 50p off. As a result, we got a round here for an incredibly £3.78. If only everywhere was that cheap…

The Moon Under Water is a fairly generic ‘spoons. That said, there is precious little else round here, so it’s really your only option for a drink. However that said, I will always have a little soft spot for this place, if only for my incredibly cheap drinks here!

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