Friday, March 09, 2012

A London Pub & Jumble Sale Crawl

Post-Hopathon shenanigans in London

Following the Guinness World Record attempts at the Ripping Yarns Hopathon on Hampstead Heath we headed to the first stop on what would become a bit of a Pub & Jumble Sale Crawl!

The first stop after a ramble through Hampstead Heath was The Freemasons Arms pub on Downshire Hill. This pub is the home of the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club.

The Freemasons Arms pub in Hampstead

The club meets every Tuesday and Saturday evening, but we were too early to watch the Pros in action. Unfortunately we found out that bookings to play are only taken in advance – you can’t just turn up to play. The alley is available for hire on weekday evenings and weekends when the pub is open.

This way to the Skittle Alley

The Skittle Alley at The Freemasons Arms

The club is known as the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club and The Freemasons Arms was home to the only known pitch for the extinct game of Lawn Billiards! However, the pub extended its beer garden in the 1970’s and the Lawn Billiards court was covered. You can view the game in action in a film from 1933 at British Pathé.

The Beer Garden that was once home to the game of Lawn Billiards

While wandering through Hampstead on our way to Kentish Town we spotted a stall on the street with a huge banner advertising the NomNom Gluten & Egg Free Bakery! I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get some Gluten Free cakes.

Walking through Gospel Oak Brad ‘Frugal’ Shepherd spotted a line of people outside the school there – it was a queue for a jumble sale. Not one to pass up a chance to look for a bargain we decided to head to the nearest pub to wait the 15 minutes until the 2pm opening time. 45 minutes later we left the Old Oak pub refreshed and ready for the next stage of the crawl.

The only notable purchase was of a pre-decimal 'A-Z Atlas of London' by Alan ‘Stormin’ Norman, who also bought a chocolate fairy cake.

The A-Z Atlas of London (circa 1900)

After arriving in Kentish Town we spent some time in a couple of pubs including the Assembly House and the George IV before heading towards Camden to show Alan and Chris ‘Stretch’ Jones the random Crazy Golf course in Clarence Way.

Alan 'Stormin' Norman refuels with the meal of champions

En route Brad pointed out his favourite off-license – Drinkers Paradise on Prince of Wales Road. He had lied and said that they stocked Gluten Free Beer and was laughing about it until we actually spotted a bottle of Glebe Farm Gluten Free Ale in the window!

Drinkers Paradise - just call for details...

Brad, me and a bottle of Gluten Free beer at Drinkers Paradise

Alan also made his second wise purchase of the day and picked up a bottle of Monty Python themed Holy Grail ale!

Alan and the Holy Grail

The day out of shenanigans that began with me riding a fake camel before the Ripping Yarns Hopathon ended at the Clarence Way Crazy Golf Course in Camden. Talks of the 2012 London Invitational Minigolf Tournament taking place there are underway...

The Clarence Way Crazy Golf course by night

The Minigolfers at the Crazy Golf course in Camden


Lemony said...

Brilliant afternoon out.

Love the Pathe Lawn Billiards film. That is awesome

Nic Farra said...

Lawn Billiards is no longer extinct! and the Bramshill Troco Association (on Facebook) play the game. Check 'em out, Dodger!

Richard Gottfried said...

Hello Nic,

Many thanks for your comment and the information :-)

Great to hear that Lawn Billiards exists again. A shame it'd be a bit of a journey to play a game though!

I look forward to following the action from The Woolston Lawn Billiards & Bat-and-Trap Society!



Richard Gottfried said...

We got to play London Skittles last night, what a great game.

Check out the blog London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club