The Wheatsheaf, Fulham Road, S.W.6
As we have visited so many of the interesting houses in West
London, it is impossible to miss the chance of admiring The Wheat-
sheafwhich is situated in a road which is everywhere known
(except locally) as the Fulham Road.
There seems no explanation
for this diverting custom, but it is one which novelists and such-
like people are apparently unable to free themselves.
There is nothing accidental about the name Skipper. For he
is undoubtedly the captain in his own house or he fancies he
is, which is more or less the same thing. To see him in this house
is to see a stern ﬁgure on his bridge, ready to bark orders on the
least provocation or at least ready to bark.
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He loves a car ride so long as he can sit in the front seat.
So far he has not taken the wheel, but I have little doubt that
it is a prospect that would delight and not daunt him.
Skipper is three years old. His mother, I am told on good
authority, was a thoroughbred golden cocker spaniel, who so far
forgot her aristocratic breeding as to have an unauthorized affair
with a bull terrier; Skipper was the result, and all who have met
this animal see much to praise in the mingling of the races.
Skipper has every reason to be full of pride in his home, for
The Wheatsheaf is an ancient tavem, inn, or pub. I well remember
calling there in the mid-’thirties, long before evening opening time,
and having a pleasant aftemoon tea. And if the scenery is not
perhaps our ideal, it has gone the way of far too much of London.
Nearby Parson’s Green, almost within living memory, must have
been an oasis; and readers of the Greville Memoirs will remember
the diarist spending a few weeks far from the cares of busy London,
in a pleasant villa not so very far from The Wheatsheaf.
The Wheatsheaf, like more than one other Fulham house, has
a slight connection with the Church. Built in I616, it was then
(as today) a roadside inn standing alongside Wheatsheaf Alley,
a few yards eastwards of the present building.
Diflicult to believe though it is, Fulham Road was once a
comparatively quiet thoroughfare; and The Wheatsheaf seems to
have been a resort much favoured by footpads and other spirits.