West Croydon station has a long and varied history. It was the first of the Croydon stations to open, way back in 1839. It was originally simply called Croydon but was renamed in 1851, after East Croydon had arrived on the scene in the 1840s. The station ticket office building dates from the 1930s and is incorporated into a parade of shops with a Portland Stone type exterior.
West Croydon now serves as a suburban transport hub. As well as Southern services running to both Victoria and London Bridge, it is also the southern terminus of the London Overground network, with trains going all the way up to Highbury and Islington. On top of that, the Croydon Tramlink also calls here, replacing a little used rail service which ran from this station over to Wimbledon.
The Old Fox and Hounds, 1 London Road, CR0 2RE
Croydon has picked up a bit of a negative reputation over the year, being associated with lots of grey, concrete buildings and ’60s office blocks. Of course like so many stereotypes, there is usually much more to a place than meets the eye. Truth be told, the pub here is right opposite the station so I didn’t do much exploring. Just make sure you head out of the main exit onto London Road and you’ll see the Old Fox and Hounds.
While its outside could do with a lick of paint, its interior is in decent condition. The walls are decorated with old sporting memorabilia, including photos of footballers from yesteryear wearing very long shorts and old tennis rackets. They also have some historic gaming machines on the wall, one of which I think is an Allwin, based on a similar device I encountered at Ye Olde Mitre up in High Barnet. It’s a pretty spacious place as it spans back a fair way. It also has a back garden too.
It’s a Greene King pub so the only ales on tap were their IPA and Abbott Ale. I don’t like either so I was on the lager. It’s only really the choice of ales that gives the game away its a Greene King venue. It has survived getting one of the generic makeovers which make so many of their Central London pubs such dull tourist traps. They don’t do any food so crisps are your lot here.
On our Wednesday evening visit, The Old Fox and Hounds had a steady crowd, with quite a few people popping over straight after work for a quick pint. A variety of entertainment was being offered up on the pub’s TVs, you could choose from At the Races, Sky Sports or BBC1. The sound was off as they had the radio on. It must have been Magic or Heart as it was belting out 80s classics like Papa Don’t Preach and Abracadabra. Inspiration surely for the Karaoke nights they hold on Fridays.
I liked The Old Fox and Hounds as a decent old school pub and ideally situated for the station. If you find yourself in need of a pint in West Croydon, it’s a solid option.
(The pub has no website)