Patricia – Heinz Cross

PATRICIA THE GOAT Patricia,
The Goat, Stabroad Street, W.1

 IT is difficult sometimes to decide which is more important
pubs or pups. Take the case of Patricia, for example.
On the Christmas Eve of 1942 a thin, small white puppy,
which appeared to be all tail and almost no body, was offered
to The Goat. The manageress, thinking that a puppy might be
more of a nuisance than a help in her busy house, politely but
firmly declined the honour.

 

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The Goat

Then Fate took a hand in the game.
On thefollowing day which (by an unerring essay in mathe-
matics) turned out to be Christmas Day, a gentleman appeared
at The Goat. Now this gentleman was no gentleman; neither was
he a regular.

One hopes he will never become so, for in the dark,
early hours after the austere festivities of that grim war year he
made an unheralded, irregular and unlawful appearance at The
Goat, with consequences that displeased the manageress.

Patricia – Heinz Cross

But the manageress is a wise woman. She knows the value of
experience and of second thoughts. Moreover, she has always
been of the opinion that she is fully entitled to choose her own
guests. And the Christmas Day intruder could not, by any kind
of definition, come within the meaning of the Act. . . .

Her second thoughts switched to the puppy. She wasted no time
and accepted the protection that Patricia might have to offer.
Clearly, she was thinking of the future, for Patricia was in no
position to do much in the way of protection at that time in her
young life. ‘

It was in these circumstances that Patricia entered into her
domain. After all, her new mistress argued, even a puppy can give
tongue right noisily should a stranger enter at unauthorized hours.
Seven years have elapsed since Patricia’s arrival. She is now
wearing a large outsize white fur coat, attached to which
seems, in retrospect, to be a very short tail. Doggy life is like that:
a dog’s life, to use an immortal phrase.

Patricia is a proud damsel

But Patricia does not worry. She is perfectly happy and reigns
with sovereign powers. For example,it is part of the “constitution”
of the house that no lady is allowed within the precincts of the

smoking room. Patricia has taken it upon herself to see that this
law is observed in the other spirit and the letter. Her watch and
ward in this respect can be most vocal should a lady even look into
the large mirror of the smoke room for reasons of personal vanity.
A fierce bark is what she gets.

Patricia is a proud damsel. Well she might be, for The Goat
is an ancient, historic tavem. It dates back to the pre-Revolution
times of 1686, being built on the site of the former Clarendon
House, home of the great Lord Chancellor, author of the classic
history. It was of this house that John Evelyn, the diarist, wrote:
V The best contrived, the most useful, graceful
and magnificent house in England.

The Goat – Public House

The lovely house was sold by the Chancellor’s successor to the
young Duke of Albemarle, who let it go to waste and then re-sold
to the highest bidder. The buyer was Sir Thomas Bond, whose
extensive building operations at that time included the street
which bears his name, Albemarle Street, Grafton Street and
Stafford Street.

One Matthew Tomlinson, in his will, dated I735, bequeathed:
“the freehold tavern known as The Goat and
the rent therefrom” to provide an annual sum
for clothing 4 poor men and 3 poor women of
the parish of St. George’s, together with 3 poor
men and 3 poor women of the parish of St.
Martin’s-in-the-Field; such persons to be
clothed on the day of the month on which
the testator died.

Tomlinson’s practical charity is still in the hands of trustees,
who carry out these simple wishes. In 1945, 15 men and 39 women
benefited.

Before the 1914-18 war, the smoking room (which Pat protects
so efficiently from female intruders) became a favourite rendezvous
for naval officers. When Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher was First
Sea Lord, he sometimes attended in mufti and talked to the junior
o,icers, many of whom did not recognize him.

This unofficial club had to end on the outbreak of war; but from it sprung The
Goat Club which has its premises in New Bond Street to this day.
Pat may not have a pedigree. But she has history all round her.

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