|The Alford Arms
There aren't any! There weren't any when we were young
and it has not improved at all. When we were at school and too
young to drink our standards were low. If we could get
served all was OK. A pint of IPA in The Plough costs 1/10d
(8p). Pubs were not a place to pick up girls, nice girls
never went into a pub unaccompanied remember! As for eating,
well... the concept of eating in a pub was confined to a pasty,
pie or sausage roll preferably with brown sauce when you needed
something in your stomach to soak up the drink. In my view Hemel remains a drinking and eating desert.
The "nice" pubs are in the environs. The Alford
Arms (pictured), The Bridgewater Arms, The Green Dragon, The Brickmakers
Arms, The Crown and Sceptre are a few examples.
Some of the old drinking haunts have disappeared
or radically changed over the years. The Plough at
Leverstock Green is now a steak house. The Rising Sun in the
Old Town is now someone's house.
So what's this about no decent pubs in Hemel???
John Calvert comments
I seem to
remember many, particularly along the standard pub crawl... pint
per pub, starting at the Salmon in Apsley and finishing somewhere
up the old High Street, depending on your capacity, usually the
White Hart, although I think I once did the whole thing, to the
last one ( on the right The Rose?) of course couldn't read
anything by then.
I worked for a while at The Crabtree at Adeyfield, run by an
old couple, the Foresters, she, Maude, was a real soak, lived on
Brandy and milk, day and night, had some real laughs in there!
Also used to drink up your way at The Valiant Trooper in Aldbury,
the 3 Bells in Tring and others, although in my "youth" mostly "up
West" where we thought the action and "dolly birds" were! Great
These days I "live" on imported Ruddles County in cans, so
think yourself lucky, local stuff is like frozen Eurofizz, awful!
John lives in Melbourne AUS
The White Hart
there in the Old High Street suffering another refurbishment.
It was not particularly under age friendly in our time. The
landlords, the Vaisey's, were County Councilors and pillars of the
local society and had a teenage daughter, Gwyneth. Some of
you may remember Gwyneth.
In about 1665/66 it was cool to drink in the Old Town.
The 'fashionable pub' would rotate between The Bell, The Kings
Arms and The White Hart. They were the regular meeting
places on a Friday and Saturday night for the Party Going Set.
"Where's the party then? Can I have a lift? I recall one
night when 11 of us crammed into Eddie Manning's Mini Countryman
(his Mum's car) to go to a party somewhere in Felden.
Thursday nights at this time were Folk Nights in the Hart.
The back room would be filled with guys with their guitars.
Bob Dylan was all the rage. A couple of good guitarists,
Mick Sofflly and Donovan, a mate of his, were regulars there.
Apart from the music the event also attracted the girls.
Not exactly 'groupies' but attractive, educated middle class
lasses. I used to go and take a guitar with me even though I
could only play a couple of chords. It was great for your
credibility. Mick used to run the foam rubber stand on the market.
He lived, in sin, in Cupid Green somewhere. I recall a
couple of his parties. The first was at his house where he
had filled the bath with home brewed beer. One walked
through the bathroom dunking a glass in the bath for a drink.
Those guests that brought some booze with them just emptied it
into the half full bath. Can you imagine what it tasted like
towards the end of the evening? The second party I recall
was held in Mick's warehouse under what used to be the Bowling
Alley. He stored all his foam rubber sheets there.
There was no other party that night and so we all took our booze
back to Mick's warehouse, turned on some music and partied.
I have been told, by others, that the experience of sex on top of
a 2 metre pile of foam rubber has to be experienced to be
Do you all remember how there used to be licensing
hours? Some pubs opened at 5:30 and closed at 10:30 whilst
other opened at 6 and closed at 11. Many a last minute dash
took place from Kings Langley to the Hart to get in an extra half
hours drinking. As youngsters we did not spend enough to
warrant the courtesy of 'extended afters' at the Hart that I
learned to enjoy a few years later when I became part of the local
'professional set'. (Boring accountants, solicitors, bankers
Still it is
worth remembering that in the sixties we were paying about 8p
(1/10d) for a pint of bitter and lager hadn't been introduced yet.