Search

A toast to the working class Hackney pub – there’s not many left

PUBLISHED: 16:18 28 July 2016 | UPDATED: 16:19 28 July 2016

The Prince Edward pub is 150 years old (Picture: Dieter Perry)

The Prince Edward pub is 150 years old (Picture: Dieter Perry)

Dieter Perry

Not interested in paying upwards of £4.50 for a pint? Fed up of fancy sausage rolls and scotch eggs? Sam Gelder tells the 150-year story of one of Hackney’s last “proper” pubs.

The Prince Edward when it opened in 1866 The Prince Edward when it opened in 1866

Pipe-smoking blokes sporting moustaches and bowler hats while sipping on a locally-brewed stout. It may sound like your average weekend in Hackney, but it’s actually a snapshot of a time long before the borough became a hipster haven.

Back in 1866 a pub named The Prince Edward opened in Wick Road, Homerton.

And it’s still there 150 years later, proudly serving food and drink in an area largely starved of community pubs.

In fact, The Prince Edward boasts of being one of two traditional boozers left in the south of Hackney that caters for an older, local clientele and doesn’t charge an arm and a leg for a pint.

The pub is known as one of the last traditional working class boozers in the area (Picture: Dieter Perry) The pub is known as one of the last traditional working class boozers in the area (Picture: Dieter Perry)

To celebrate, the pub held a party earlier this month, where regulars were joined by people passing through the doors for the first time.

Josh Clarke, who runs the Hackney Irish Social Club at the pub, said it was a “proper special day”.

He wrote on the pub’s Facebook page: “Local affordable boozers are important – without them huge numbers of people would lose an important social outlet. Find yours and support it!”

It’s not all been plain sailing for the pub, though. In recent years, it has been threatened with demolition and nearly went the way of many drinking holes in becoming luxury flats.

A map from 1870 shows the pub at the corner of Wick Road and Church Road, now Barnabas Road. (Picture: Sean Gubbins) A map from 1870 shows the pub at the corner of Wick Road and Church Road, now Barnabas Road. (Picture: Sean Gubbins)

But it was saved with the help of Hackney Council, which recognised its place in the borough and awarded it a special status as an Asset of Community Value. The rare title offers a layer of protection from any change of use and is owned by just two other pubs – The Duke of Wellington in Nile Street, Hoxton and The Chesham Arms, also in Homerton.

The Prince is renowned for its Caribbean, soul and Irish music nights and a warm atmosphere towards anyone who passes through its doors.

It is home to the Hackney Irish Social Club and punters can be found playing pool and dominoes of an evening.

There is actually some confusion about when it first opened its doors.

According to pubhistory.com, a renowned database for boozers across the UK, the first licensee was Thomas Gooding, a silk dealer from Middlesex who threw his launch party in 1861.

But given the trade and the amount of alcohol involved, we’ll let whoever is wrong off a couple of years.

From 1896 until 1944, the Cuthbert family owned the pub and it was known as Cuthbert’s.

It was then taken over by Bill Hobbs.

Bill ran the pub until 1963, when Joanne Croke’s parents John and Margaret Birrane became the licensees.

“They ran it until March 1990,” said Joanne.

“Until then it had been a mix of East End regulars and Irish clientele. When they left, they were the longest serving publicans in Hackney at the particular point in time.”

The current owners, who did not want to comment for the piece, made a few changes to the interior of the pub, but retained the traditional Irish designs. Time will tell whether they are still there in another 150 years.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

The 20-year-old got a late call-up to play and didn’t let O’s down with a strong display on the whole despite some nervy moments

Whilst this is not a play loaded with a huge depth, it successfully captures a Machiavellian culture and as a piece of thumpingly entertaining satire, offers a sound, sound deal

James Kermack talks about his new Hackney-based feature film, Hi-Lo Joe, and its intimate portrayal of mental illness

England international was not part of the match day squad at the Emirates, but has travelled with team to Borussia Dortmund

16:00

Clapton assistant manager Wayne Seal disappointed to lose another goalkeeper to injury and fall to a second consecutive defeat as they lost 3-2 to FC Romania.

12:04

Arsenal have announced a link-up with a rising success story in women’s youth football.

The 36-year-old discussed what it felt like to manage the O’s and paid tribute to former boss Steve Davis after the 1-1 draw with Dover Athletic

16:35

A phone snatch victim was threatened with a gun outside a shop in Kingsland High Street after confronting the thug who stole it.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists