Queen’s Head, Limehouse, London   2 comments

In one of the stranger freeholder/tenant arrangements, The Queen’s Head was owned — according to my sources at the time of planning today’s run — by Unity Welfare Foundation, an Islāmic educational and charitable trust, who bought it from the Tower Hamlets Council as an investment property.  More up to date info has the property purchased from them by a real estate developer which puts the liquor licensee’s bid to keep the Queen’s Head open at even greater peril.  Either way, I thought that I should tick this one-off the list sooner rather than later (Young’s & Co’s lease expires in 2019 at which time the house will probably become flats if this campaign fails).


As I trotted up, I noticed that the sign featured the Queen Mum, not Elizabeths 2 or 1, Victoria, or Mary.  Inside, I ordered my beer from the friendly staff then noticed the plaque next to my tap:



“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother visited The Queens Head, Flamborough Street, York Square, Stepney on Thursday, 16th July 1987.  Her Majesty was pleased to draw a pint of bitter beer from this pump to the approbation of all present.”

While probably dangerous to let Betty that close to unprotected bottles of gin, this was an even cooler feature of the bar than the odd fight for survival.



I headed to the back bar for a look around and found a catered event.  Having crashed a wake more than once, I returned to the front bar and sat at a table next to a fellow reading an e-book while his boy sipped a cola and worked on his homework; this is grand, exactly the sort of community centre a local should be.  A loud cheer rose from the back room and I nudged the novel reader; “funeral?” I asked, nodding toward the ruckus.  He smirked a bit, shook his head, and went back to reading.

The music on the bar sound system was a mixture of 60’s through 80’s pop and one kid, who wasn’t drinking at all, was singing — badly — along and seemed disappointed no one else would join in.   His table mate had been at a newspaper the duration of my visit and finally finished, interrupting his buddy’s Dusty Springfield impression (Son of a Preacher Man) so they could leave.  I noticed the jacket on the back of the vocalist’s chair and tried tapping the window to catch their attention as they passed on the pavement.  Spotting my literary neighbour heading out for a smoke, I called over, “he’s left his jacket;”  he then grabbed it and ran after them.  There’s my good deed for the day.

EXCEPT, the guy sitting on the bar stool behind the chair then ran out behind him, retrieving his jacket which had been draped on our entertainer’s seat.  I apologized when I returned my glass and they had a friendly laugh about it.  Sheepishly, I added, “bloody foreigners come in here and screw everything up, eh?”  A more genuine laugh, this time, and an invitation to visit again.  I need to make it soon (here’s the map).




Posted May 7, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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2 responses to “Queen’s Head, Limehouse, London

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  1. Pingback: London A to Z Runs : M | The Endless British Pub Crawl continues...

  2. Pingback: 2017: Year in Review | The Endless British Pub Crawl continues...

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