What’s in a name?

Two intrepid London pub enthusiasts are seeking to chronicle the stories behind London’s most interesting pub names. Authors James Potts and Sam Cullen started work on the project earlier this year and are hoping to publish in 2022.

James and Sam began by drawing up an initial ‘long list’ of hundreds of pubs ranging from historic inns at the heart of the City to the new generation of micropubs popping up across the suburbs. They have since been contacting landlords and trawling through archives to uncover the stories behind the pubs’ names. However, many fascinating stories aren’t written down anywhere so they have asked if an appeal for information could be put out to readers of London Drinker and London pub enthusiasts generally to let them know of any pubs which have either unique names or ones with interesting stories behind them. In many cases, these categories may well overlap!

Commenting on the project, James and Sam said, “We thought this project would be right up the street of readers of London Drinker and we can’t wait to hear your suggestions!”

The book covers the entirety of Greater London so any pub within its boundaries can be included and James and Sam are keen to include as broad a geographic profile of the city as possible, taking in all 32 boroughs and, of course, the City of London itself.

The book will not include pubs where the origin of the name is particularly obvious, for example, those named after the roads on which they stand or pubs called the Railway which are located by any of London’s hundreds of railway stations. That said, pubs with a seemingly generic name which actually has a local story behind it (such as the Phoenix in Denmark Hill, which took its name from the fact it is housed in the old station building rebuilt after a fire in 1981) will be included.If anyone has any pubs that they would like to nominate please contact either James or Sam direct at either jamespotta@hotmail.co.uk or sam.cullen.87@gmail.com.