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Scruffy writers, ageing thespians and crooked aristocrats

08 February, 2019

‘Before the war Randolph Avenue was called Portsdown Road, W9’

• AS an amiable old W9 curmudgeon, may I raise a pedantic voice on your Diary piece on Randy Avenue, (Pub with a ‘randy’ history, February 1)?

Before the war Randolph Avenue was called Portsdown Road, W9. I spent hours of innocent pleasure in The Warrington from the late 1960s right through to the mid 1980s.

In the early days the wine-soaked sages at the bar were scruffy writers, ageing thespians and crooked aristocrats. Their story, which may have been apocryphal, was that during the war Portsdown Road had become famous for its “houses of ill repute” stretching all the way from Blomfield Road in Little Venice North to Carlton Vale.

After the war, to spare the blushes of the residents and especially the estate landlords, it was agreed that “raffish” Portsdown Road had to go and be replaced by “respectable” Randolph Avenue.

I recall that the apse in the back bar fitting was painted as a large scallop sea shell before being covered by Colin Beswick’s great mural. The sea shell motif is reflected on the capitals of the structural columns in the main bar interior. Apologies for this pedantry.

Please withhold my name and address as on the rare occasions that I wander down Sutherland Avenue these days I find myself back in The Warrington and I prefer to be as invisible as possible.

Address supplied, W9


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