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Home > London > E1 > Black Boy

Black Boy

Picture source: Charlie Goodwin


The Black Boy was situated at 169 Mile End Road. This pub was present as the Black Boy by 1750 and in 1809 had its own brewhouse, owned by Pickard & Maitland of Wapping.  It was demolished in 1900 and rebuilt in 1904 by architect W Husband at the time of the construction of Stepney Green station by the Whitechapel and Bow Railway Co.  It was owned by Courage Brewery and by 1941 had been renamed the Farmers Arms, reverting to the Black Boy name by the 1950s. The 1980s saw actress Anita Dobson (Angie Watts in BBC’s Eastenders) working here as a barmaid.  In 1985 the pub was renamed Fifth Avenue, becoming more of a club than a pub, until closure came in 1996.  The premises now house two fast food outlets.
 
During the 1970s I worked for the East London Advertiser. One particular Friday we carried a story about a fight at the Black Boy pub. It was late at night and a passing police car saw the two men fighting on the pavement outside the pub. The two men saw the police, they stopped fighting and ran into the pub. The two policemen then made a grave error. They ran into the pub after the two men whereupon the lights were turned out and the police were beaten up and then unceremoniously thrown out into the street. The article in the ELA about this event began, “After a fight at the notorious Black Boy pub two policemen were badly beaten by the customers.”

That morning the pub governor called me at the paper to complain about the article. I asked if it was true or if perhaps there was some error in the reporting.
“No, it's true. That's exactly what happened”, he said.
“Then what is it that you object to?”, I asked.
“Well, you said that the pub is notorious, that's not true what you say about the pub!”.
Bill Spring (September 2018)

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Other Photos

Picture source: Stephen Harris