‘ ‘ PADDY’ ’,
The Halfway House, Lillie Road, Fulham, S.W.6
In our wanderings among the pubs of Greater London (and a
little beyond) it is impossible not to notice that the inn and the
tavern enrich and support what has come to be known as the
English way of life.
We take note of how the plays of Shakespeare are enacted in
the courtyard of an inn in the centre of the City of London. There
are many other links to show the rich humanity of the English pub.
There is, for example, the case of The Halfway House.
Years ago this pub was an old coaching inn within the boundaries
of the Manor of Fulham. One would like to have seen Lillie Road
in that happier age, for the march of time has laid heavy hands
on this thoroughfare. Did the lily ever bloom near Lillie Bridge?
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The Halfway House
You can still see the stables of the days when it was a coaching
inn, a half-way house for the change over of horses for coaches
and, later, for buses.
Not far of, is the Church of St, Augustine which was a victim
of the blitz. But the work of the Vicar of Fulham goes on. On the
ﬁrst Sunday evening of the Church of England’s Mission to London
the vicar walked into the saloon bar. As he stepped on a soap box
his ﬁrst words were: “You won’t come to my church so I come to
The Halfway House.”
And these words, in a small way, were a great departure from
the past. It was as if he were saying “Fulham is my parish” just as
Wesley had said much the same thing before.
Before the Vicar had been in the house many minutes, he asked
the regulars to continue their smoking and drinking. And so he
gave’His Message to the tinkling, and not unmusical, accompani-
ment of the cash register.
Abide With Me
Very soon the ﬁfty regulars had increased to a “congregation”
of two hundred souls. The Vicar offered prayer.
The frequenters of the London pub can sing with as much
grace and sweetness as any body of men and women. So when the-
Vicar asked if his new friends would like to sing a hymn, the two
hundred rose to their feet, and soon the wonderful words and
music of Abide With Me were heard in these unusual surroundings.
and “put nigh” was considerable. The cries are said to be for ever
commemorated in the names of Fulham and Putney.
Certainly, there are neighbouring churches at Putney Bridge
to lend support to the strange story. Let us be content with thinking
that if the story is not true, it ought to be. Now the story has a
Slow as the building was, it was destined to have still further
interruption. On one occasion, the Putney sister is said to have
made an awkward throw which broke the hammer. But there was
hope for the pious, for a kindly blacksmith volunteered his services
to mend the hammer. In commemoration of his services the place
of repair has for ever after been known as . . . yes, you’ve guessed
Does not Coleridge say:
One wonders, as these men and women sang of their faith in
salvation, whether any eye strayed to the stained glass windows of
the pub, which must have taken on a new significance that night.
And in this assembly and mission the human soul is not the only
. . . He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast
He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all. . . .
One of those present in that memorable service was Paddy, a
cheerful cross-bred fox-terrier. Paddy has a zest for life and during
opening hours he enjoys every minute, meeting his pals, playing
the old and ever-new games that dogs love, chasing that which
can never be caught, or so it seems to a human.
Paddy the Fox Terrier Cross
Mine Host at The Halfway is on the slight side, and Paddy
acts as chucker-out; all he needs to do at ten o’clock is to shout
“Paddy”, and our dog jumps to his duty.
There is an interesting tradition of how Fulham came to get
its name. You do not hear much of it now, but down to within living
memory the story was almost an article of faith, at least with many
of the village folk.
Once upon a time (according to the legend) two weird sisters
of gigantic stature, who lived on opposite banks of the Thames,
undertook to build the towers of two churches which stood near
their respective homes. Unfortunately, they possessed but one
hammer between them. As there was no bridge across that part
of the river, they were obliged to throw the hammer from one bank
to the other, as required.
It will be seen, therefore, that the two
sisters had strength to match their size. As one sister wanted the
use of the hammer, she would stand by the river and shout across
the water :
“Sister, full home.”
With a dexterous cast, the other sister would deliver the hammer,
as required—”full home”. And when she wanted it returned to
her, she would shout across the river :
Now, since the hammer was required for every stone that was
laid, it can easily be seen that the amount of shouting “full home”
and put nigh was considerable
Hammersmith and it’s name
The cries are said to be forever commemorrated in the names
of Fulham and Putney.
Certainly,they are neighbouring Churches at Putney Bridge to lend support
to this strange story.Let us be content with thinking that if the story is not true,
it ought to be.Now this Story has a sequel.
Slow as the Building was ,it was destined to have still further interruption.
On one occasion, the Putney sister is said to have made an awkward throw which broke the hammer.
But there was hope for the pious,for a kindly blacksmith volunteered his services
to mend the hammer. In commemorationof his services the place of repair has forever
been know as…. yes ,you’ve guessed it – Hammersmith