B U N C H – Dandie Dinmont
The Six Bells, King’s Road,, Chelsea, S.W.3
THE area. round the Chelsea Palace, the Town Hall and what
was once the choices of the Chelsea Board of Guardians has many
titles to fame. Over a quick one, let us mention but two of many
the little town’s high canine population and The Six Bells.
The Six Bells is not just another pub. There is, we have long
considered, no such thing as just another pub.
This famous pub has for many long years been a favourite port
of call for writers, artists, musicians and composers.
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The population, however, is by no means conﬁned to the arts.
In the early ’thirties the Chelsea Board of Guardians used to meet
across the road. These meetings took place just after 3 o’clock
closing time . . . so there’s no harm in guessing.
Not the least colourful sight in this tavern is that of a bemedalled
old warrior telling a young guardsman in battle dress of battles
The Six Bells
The Six Bells is also by way of being an art gallery, and in a
lively way of business. On the walls you can see the work of young
artists”signed, named and priced. But there’s no charge for (and
much pleasure) in looking. Adjoining the saloon bar is Whistler’s
Lounge. Here the young artist, having sold a picture, can relax
and think of the subject for his next, which may turn out to be a
near masterpiece. In any case, he will always have a soft spot in
his heart for The Six Bells. All of which Qrves to remind us that the
London pub joins hands with art as well as with history and
This old pub has a long and honoured history stretching
long before 1830, when the King’s Road, which was formerly reserved
for the use of the reigning monarch on his way to Hampton Court,
was opened to ordinary traffic. But there is nothing out of the way
in the history of this house with its wholly genial sitting of ghosts
of another day when you keep in mind the age of some of London’s
pubs. What helps to make The Six Bells, as much as anything, is
B U N C H – A Dandie Dinmont
Bunch is part and parcel of The Six Bells. He is alleged to be a
Sealyham. But that, I very much fear, is but a half truth. He has
the ﬁgure of a Dandie Dinmont and the cheerful personality of a
very willing horse. He is such a sturdy little chap that we mustn’t
be snobbish about his family tree. “
What is beyond dispute is that he is one of the fastest tail waggers
in the business. His tail miles-per-hour has not been computed,
but it must be an almost incredible ﬁgure. Some of the human
wags have been heard to declare that Bunch has discovered what
has baffled scientists”the secret of perpetual motion.
Bunch has the perpetual dual control rudder and chassis. Sitting
on his hind legs, his body rigid, he can and does wag away hour
But I ﬁnd it difficult to believe though the story is said to
be authenticated that Bunch, whether he means to or not, in
this way dusts and polishes the counter in his capacity of champion
But it could be true, and might explain his tremendous
popularity with the barmaids.