Yet another local bites the dust!
The North Pole is/was a Victorian public house located on the corner of Latimer Rd and North Pole Rd W10. There has been a pub on this site since about 1839 when the Globe was built near the north west corner of the Hippodrome racecourse.
Later renamed the North Pole, the original single story building was replaced by the current three story building in 1892. Until the 1860's this area and was mostly given over to market gardens but the failure of the Hippodrome in 1842, which led to the expansion of the Ladbroke Estate, and also the construction of the West London Railway inevitably changed its character.
The Pole has had its ups and downs over the years. It was even relaunched as the New North Pole at one time after a particularly bad period. However, more recently it had settled down and become a decent and trouble free pub.
Sadly, the lease has now been taken over by Tesco who intend to open it as a Metro mini market. I was surprised to find out that no planning permission is required for change of use from a public house to a retail store, however they do need permission to change the signage. That application is now with the council and will no doubt be granted without too much trouble.
There is quite a lot of resistance locally to the change of use, with particular concern for the future of the established businesses in North Pole Rd.
Pubs are closing at an alarming rate these days, so why have I picked this one to write about? I can't claim to be a regular but in a strange sort of way the Pole has always been a part of my life. I was born less than two minutes walk away and grew up only two or three minutes further away than that, and whereas the character of North Pole Rd has changed in recent years, it is still the place that my Mum sent me to buy a pint of milk and a loaf of bread. It is also the where I had my schoolboy jobs as a paper boy in Ellingtons news agent (now long gone) and later in Bowen & Williams chemist shop (now My Pharmacy), both of which are directly opposite the North Pole pub.
As a shopping street, North Pole Road is not big and it's not glamorous, but it has served the immediate needs of the locals for well over a hundred years and in all of that time the North Pole pub has been at the heart of it. Now, it seems, that is about to end for ever.