Some of you won't recognise the picture above, probably taken in the thirties from the eastern corner of Langton Street, looking south south-west across the World's End towards the power station. The road running from left to right is the King's Road. The World's End pub is just off picture to the left; the bus is standing roughly in front of what is now the World's End Pharmacy.
I like to think of the young lady with the long hair, third from the left, walking towards us as Beckett's Celia:
"She had turned out of Edith Grove into Cremorne Road, intending to refresh herself with a smell of the Reach and then return by Lots Road, when chancing to glance to her right she saw, motionless in the mouth of Stadium Street, considering alternately the sky and a sheet of paper, a man. Murphy"
Samuel Beckett, Murphy (1938)

Monday, February 1, 2010

The original World's End Tavern

This was the original incarnation of the World's End Tavern. It's highly likely that this is the hostelry referred to in the following dialogue from William Congreve's Love for Love (1747):

MRS FRAIL Pooh, here's a clutter: why should it reflect upon you? I don't doubt but you have thought yourself happy in a hackney coach before now. If I had gone to Knight's Bridge, or to Chelsea, or to Spring Garden, or Barn Elms with a man alone, something might have been said.
MRS FORESIGHT Why, was I ever in any of those places? What do you mean, sister?
MRS FRAIL Was I? What do you mean?
MRS FORESIGHT You have been at a worse place.
MRS FRAIL I at a worse place, and with a man!
MRS FORESIGHT I suppose you would not go alone to the World's End.
MRS FRAIL The World's End! What, do you mean to banter me?
MRS FORESIGHT Poor innocent! You don't know that there's a place called the World's End? I'll swear you can keep your countenance purely: you'd make an admirable player.
MRS FRAIL I'll swear you have a great deal of confidence, and in my mind too much for the stage.
MRS FORESIGHT Very well, that will appear who has most; you never were at the World's End?

The World's End Tavern around 1790.

The 1836 map below, given the shape of the building as drawn above, with a large extension in front on the right-hand side, would appear to suggest that the pub faced west and not directly onto the King's Road, which is not surprising as the latter remained the King's private road until 1830.

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