Judy – The George Inn -Labrador

JUDY-KINGS-ARMS-IJUDY,
The George Inn, Fulham Road, S.W.6

 

THIS BOOKPLATE HAS BEEN SOLD

 

IT is always pleasant to meet three generations under one roof.
I’ve just had that pleasure at The George Inn where I was introduced
to three lovely black Labrador retrievers.
First, there was Patricia, the grandmother; Judy her daughter,
and our heroine of the day; and lastly Dinah, the daughter of
Judy. Dinah is only eight weeks of age, but is already learning
a thing or two in such knowledgeable company.

JUDY

This portrait of Judy was drawn when she was only six weeks
old. It doesn’t seem so very long ago, yet already she is the proud
mother of six”four daughters, including Dinah, and two sons.
She has brought up her family in the way she thinks they ought
to go; and mother, as we know very well, always knows best.

The landlord of The George has for years been a keen breeder
of these lovely gun dogs”the Labrador. His Majesty the King is
using one of Mine Host’s dogs for his favourite sport of shooting,
and moreover this is one of his favourite dogs. So that you can see
that the happy trio have something to live up to.

A Labrador can, of course, be very usefixl in an inn as well as
in the shoot, because of his “soft” jaw.
Judy is highly capable at dealing with the empty glasses, and
has never been known to break one. This, when. all is said and done,
cannot be said for that uncommonly useful body of women who
are known as barmaids or, in the supposedly higher social strata,
where they rejoice in the slightly comic description of dispensers.
“Can you dispense me a mild and bitter?”

The George

Let us return to The George before we become really rude. . . .
This interesting port of call is very near the old yet evergreen
Granville Theatre, at which the 14 bus will obligingly drop you.
The great thing, incidentally, about the Granville is that it really
looks like a theatre. It doesn’t look like a super cinema gone good
or bad, as the case may be. Here, now that variety is as good as dead
in the theatre, you will expect to see something very like melo-
drama, and you won’t be disappointed. The lover of the straight
play, too, is well and truly catered for.

If your tastes lie in football there is, not far out of Stamford
Bridge, where Chelsea’s fortunes are the hopes and despair of
their staunch followers as indeed they have been since the one
and only Andy Wilson used to kick a pretty ball. Th.is team has
one tremendous asset”-they get weekly advice on how to play from
one hundred and ten thousand voices, which should be a help to
somebody.

The George Inn has a long history of which its landlord is rightly
proud. Today it is of modern design and erection. But it marks
the site of an interesting little roadside inn, with a heavy pitched
roof and bay windows. It had extensive stabling extending as far
back as the Police Station.
The earliest known reference to The George occurs in the will of
Sir William Powell; the date is December 2nd in the year 1680.
This titled gentleman gave the inn to a couple named Thomas
and Dorothy Bishop, at that time in occupation of the inn.
The Fulham Bridge Commissioners sometimes held their
meetings in the house. The Church Registers record this little
item of news:

“1764” Samuel Latham, a poor man from George at
Walham Green.

What the Register does not record is whether Latham was
poor before or after his entry to the George. We would dearly like
to know. But on this point, the rest (as they say) is silence.
The present house was rebuilt in 1867, and was for some years
run by a gentleman who warms our old hearts.

He appears to have been a man of some initiative. For example, he also ran a half-
hourly service of buses between his house and the City. The chances
are that he very probably used his own buses in order to get to
the City, for he was also by way of being a clerk in the Bank of
England. The Bank did not altogether care for this particular form
of private enterprise, so one day he was summoned to the presence
of the Governors and coldly informed that he would either have
to give up his buses or retire from the Bank.

There does not appear to have been any objection to his ownership of The George.

Our landlord gave the only sensible answer. The buses paid him better,
so the Bank lost a servant who (whatever he might have been)
knew how to use his twenty-four hours in the day.
Another highly agreeable building near The George is the Central
Branch of Fulham Public Library. It is due to the chief librarian,
Mr. W. T. Creed, that I have been able to tell something of old
Fu1ham a rewarding subject.

Originally Westfield House

 

The Library was originally Westfield House. The earliest known
date of its existence is 1764. It was occupied through the years by
many well-known Fulham characters, including one by the name
of Joseph Wright Turnley. His distinction was that he served as
foreman in the Tichbome claimant case.

It was in 1887 that Westfield House became a public library.
The Library Commissioners carried out structural alterations, and.
spent a good deal of money to fit it for its exalted purpose. It is
now under the control of F ulham Borough Council, whose Library
Committee have always adopted a non-party and indeed progressive
and enlightened policy.

Let us return to The George which (it will not surprise you
to learn) is known sometimes as the “pub with the beautiful black
dogs”.
There is very little to say as yet of Dinah, but wait till she
grows up! Patricia, the grannie, is in her own way a remarkable
animal. She suffers considerably with ingrowing eyelashes, and to
give her some relief from this painful affliction, an operation was
decided on. After the operation, the vet turned to Patricia’s master
and commented on her perfection as a patient. He had never come
across a more intelligent or more ‘understanding dog.

And then the vet added something that must serve as the
highest possible praise of our servant the dog. Patricia, he said
was deficient in but one respect; she couldn’t speak.

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