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Home > London > SW9 > Cowley Arms

Cowley Arms

Picture source: Ewan M

The Cowley Arms was situated at 20 Normandy Road. This pub was known as The Normandy at time of closure.
The landlord from 1940 to 1952 was A. Cecil Gray who had extensive connections to the music hall and theatre. Because of the great number of theatrical people who lived in the area he chose The Cowley for it to
become a social centre for his many friends and acquaintances in the business. It thrived greatly during the war despite the privations. It was machine gunned by a German night fighter but was otherwise undamaged.
I was born there in 1947. I went back in 1992 when it was still a thriving pub. I entered with some trepidation as I was the only white face in there at the time, but mentioned to the publican that I had been born there. This provoked an impromptu party and half an hour later I had a very large black lady bouncing up and down on my knee and jollity all around. It was a memorable evening.
The pub had changed its name by this time and I was told rightly or not, that this was because some murders associated with pub had given it a bad reputation.
John Carter (November 2012)

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