Blue Anchor

Nuggets – bite size chunks of London


The Blue Anchor, Hammersmith

 
The Blue Anchor is a white­washed riverside pub on Lower Mall, decked out with nautical and rowing memor­abilia and graced by a pewter-topped bar. The estab­lishment was granted its first licence (as the Blew Anchor) in 1722, though it may have already been in existence for some time before that date. A sheep was roasted whole on the ice opposite the Blue Anchor when the Thames froze over in 1789.

It’s claimed that Gustav Holst, who taught music in nearby Brook Green, wrote his Hammersmith Suite at the pub, but there’s no particular evidence for this – especially as there’s no such compos­ition.

More verifiably, George Cole and Dennis Waterman – playing Arthur Daley and Terry McCann – sat outside the Blue Anchor in the end credits of Minder. And in the 1998 parallel lives rom-com Sliding Doors blonde Gwyneth Paltrow enjoyed a drink here with John Hannah while her brunette alter ego passed by.

Despite the antiquity of its name, the pub has been rebuilt too radically to justify desig­nation as a listed building – or even as a ‘building of merit’ – unlike most of its neigh­bours. The owners of “one of the oldest pubs in London” could knock it down tomorrow and Hammersmith & Fulham council wouldn’t bat an eyelid.
 
Blue Anchor exterior
 

Hidden London once observed this graffito above the urinal at The Dove on Upper Mall: “Godot – I’m in the Blue Anchor”