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A plan to save the Honor Oak pub?
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Sparkles


Posts: 54
Joined: Oct 2012
Post: #1
03-10-2013 11:44 AM

I've just received a link to this... http://www.thehopeandhonor.com/

Copied and pasted from the site: "If you are interested in finding out more about what is happening with the bid to make the Honor Oak a community run, co-operative pub please leave your email below."

I'll certainly be leaving my email address and fingers crossed we can join forces and finally get ourselves a great local in HOP!

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Southlonder


Posts: 119
Joined: Aug 2009
Post: #2
03-10-2013 12:23 PM

I would be more inclined to support a similar project for the Old Bank if i'm honest, sorry. Given that corner is what I would consider to be the grottiest part of SE23, are you sure this is a viable concern? Why did the previous owners fail?

Something on the HOP parade would serve more people, and be more likely to receive enough footfall IMHO

This post was last modified: 03-10-2013 12:25 PM by Southlonder.

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Bcm


Posts: 187
Joined: May 2010
Post: #3
03-10-2013 12:45 PM

Well if it's in the "grottiest part of SE23" let's just let it all go to the dogs shall we? Whilst we are at its lets pull the funding for the gentrification of other "grotty" places like Elephant and Castle and plough it into Kensington and Chelsea. Smile

In all seriousness though, this is a terffic idea. It will help to improve this part of the town and bring it up to the level of HOP and London / Dartmouth Roads which are in a pretty good place right now. Personally I'd be very happy to donate any and all web hosting / IT skills needed plus some money to such an idea. Don't get me wrong, the Old Bank is a hugely important site but with the position it is in and the arrival of a large chain to boost footfall I think it's time will come soon.

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Cellar Door


Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #4
03-10-2013 01:55 PM

Southlonder Wrote:
I would be more inclined to support a similar project for the Old Bank if i'm honest, sorry.

Iíd support both. With a wee bit of my spare shekels. And with my transferable skills.

Southlonder, are you inspired to lead/co-lead (is that a word?) on a similar project with the Old Bank?

Southlonder Wrote:
Why did the previous owners fail?

Good question. Iíve got a sense that over the last little while the balance of comments posted on various threads had tended towards the disappointed.

For example, Nellienoodleís comment on the Ex Honor Oak Pub thread sums up the general consensus that Iíve been sensing.

Nellienoodle Wrote:
I know the old manager had a hard time of it, but it didnt offer what we need - I got fed up of my husband moaning about the c**p beer and being served a "latte" (nescafe mixed with milk and served with a straw)




Anyway, thank you very much Sparkles for your OP and the link.

Iíve also left my details.

This is something very innovative. There appears to be some hope still left in the old Honor Oak.

I observe on this part of the The Hope and Honor link that Sparkles gave us that there is some experienceÖ

The Hope and Honor Website Wrote:
London's first co-operative pub is located in Nunhead. It is called The Ivy House. The Ivy House is a Community Benefit Society, which is a kind of Industrial and Provident Society. It is a co-operative, where each member has the same vote regardless of the size of their investment.

In the case of The Ivy House, they knew that a property developer was drawing up plans to gut the pub and turn it into flats. Instead of letting someone destroy a historic pub, the community got together to block the move, raised the money needed, and saved the pub from being wiped out.




By-the-by, by the strangest of coincidences I happen to be sitting at a workstation in an organisation in the great big, evil heart of The City. This organisation, amongst many other things, orientates people, with too much time on their hands, for this kind of innovative thingy. It is part of what I think I do now that Iím retired.

I think that my word-du-jour is:

Serendipity!

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Saskia


Posts: 26
Joined: Jul 2013
Post: #5
03-10-2013 02:03 PM

this is a great idea, thanks for sharing the link

Southlondoner, given that this pub is a mere 5/10 minutes walk from HOP, go on, support both!

am sure it would be viable, this is a popular area, just look at the number of houses selling in days close by (not to mention the price of them)

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Sparkles


Posts: 54
Joined: Oct 2012
Post: #6
03-10-2013 02:22 PM

Great to hear so much enthusiasm for the campaign - and of course we should support The Old Bank site too. As far as I'm concerned the more great pubs in the area, the better!

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #7
03-10-2013 05:40 PM

Yes, fab news that, if approved, would probably keep it as a pub at least.

I agree, no reason why the same couldn't be done with Old Bank. Am not so sure that the landlord would sell it though.

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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #8
03-10-2013 06:39 PM

Thanks for sharing this link Sparkles, just added my email address. I think it would be great for the community.

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Anotherjohn


Posts: 347
Joined: May 2005
Post: #9
03-10-2013 07:38 PM

It's lovely to see so many good people making such a big effort to try build a good and strong community around here - and I've got my fingers crossed for the success of this project.

However, I just don't get it being called the Honor Oak. As someone who grew up in Honor Oak I think this pub is a little to far out to bear that name. What's wrong with it reverting back to its former name, The St. Germains, if this thing gets off the ground? This would leave the name, The Honor Oak, to be rightfully reserved for any pub that opens in the old bank premises (I would just hate the pretentiousness of it being called The Old Bank - even though I accept the relevance).

Another thing that I can't get my head around is how under-used Honor Oak's real community pub is. The General Napier used to be the beating heart of Honor Oak but I went in there a couple of times in April and May this year and, inspite of the guv'nors best efforts, it was bearly alive. Okay, I admit it didn't have the ambience that many newcomers to the area would like, but I believe if enough people went in there and got chatting to the landlord he'd be receptive to any suggestions for changes and improvements.

Sorry to go on like this - I'll have to change my username to Victor Meldrew!

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lillam


Posts: 129
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #10
03-10-2013 08:01 PM

Wonderful news.

I wonder how things are going at the Ivy House, which became co-operatively run recently.

I'm sure Forest Hill Society will do their homework and look at the figures before wading in.

It is true that its location isn't as good as Old Bank (which is ideal).

I have a pet interest in co-ops and the co-op movement, and so often the co-op model is applied to a business that has closed or failed, so the co-op is having to go against the odds.

If a co-op also fails to make it work it can sully the co-operative model more widely (this happened on a bigger scale with Tony Benn's drive for co-ops in the 70s). That said a co-op pub won't have a pub chain extracting all the profits and squeezing the business dry.

If the FHS + others are up for having a co-op run pub it might not be such a bad idea to pass on St.Germains and go for the Old Bank - better it succeeds from the start.

I know that goes against the initial motivation of the project, but nonetheless.....

Very interested to see what happens next.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #11
03-10-2013 08:41 PM

The Ivy House seems to be going great. I was very impressed with what they have achieved so far and it struck me as a model co-operative business.

"The Honor Oak" is just the name of the pub (or was) and is I think sufficiently far away from the "Old Bank" for both to succeed as either co-op or private ventures. In either case it is surely required that the site is for sale for a co-op to take it on - much more likely with the Honor Oak currently.

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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #12
03-10-2013 09:40 PM

I'm sure The Forest Hill Society will get behind this project, they are pretty good. I also agree with Anotherjohn that going with the original St Germains (as I remember it being great) rather than The Honor Oak (as I remember it being bad) would be a good thing too. I personally feel this project would work better than The Bank, as The Bank is based in HOP only, and St Germains/Honor Oak is more HOP, FH, and possibly Brockley and Crofton Park. So more people to get involved in the project and make it work well.

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oryx


Posts: 202
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #13
03-10-2013 09:47 PM

We went to the Ivy House last Friday and it was great - so good to think it was saved from being turned into flats.

I agree with anotherjohn that the General Napier is indeed a very nice cosy pub - haven't been in for a while, must pay it a visit.

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Bcm


Posts: 187
Joined: May 2010
Post: #14
03-10-2013 11:19 PM

I think the General Napier struggles because the average client in the surrounding roads (this is a local's pub after all) expects more from a modern pub than Carling, Kronembourg Guiness or Fosters, three colours of wine and pork scratchings. Terraced houses on the same road are hitting £700,000 which means you'll need to be a banker or something to afford one. Those who prefer a traditional South London pub experience are also catered for by the Chandos which is just over the road. The market for this style of pub is limited in SE23.

I love the ambiance of the place and go there occasionally for a pint, but it's always just the one Guiness I'm afraid. Filling stuff.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
03-10-2013 11:27 PM

Spot on bcm. I love the interior of the Nap but the beer selection is uninspiring.

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Anotherjohn


Posts: 347
Joined: May 2005
Post: #16
04-10-2013 08:13 AM

Bcm & lacb - that's my point (maybe I didn't put it very well).

The Nap is ripe for change. The landlord wants/needs to make money and it ain't happening with its current offerings to its old clientelle. As you rightly say, the area has changed, as has its residents, and the pub's business model needs to adapt in order to give provide what most of the people now want. Perhaps the landlord doesn't have the confidence to make the right investment and maybe he needs the guidance of a concerted approach from a local residents association who might be able to persuade him that the new punters will spend their money on the right product.

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Anotherjohn


Posts: 347
Joined: May 2005
Post: #17
04-10-2013 08:27 AM

I'm sorry everyone, I have just realised that I have diverted attention away from the main point here, which is Sparkles opening post:-

I've just received a link to this... http://www.thehopeandhonor.com/

Copied and pasted from the site: "If you are interested in finding out more about what is happening with the bid to make the Honor Oak a community run, co-operative pub please leave your email below."

I'll certainly be leaving my email address and fingers crossed we can join forces and finally get ourselves a great local in HOP!

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Medley


Posts: 87
Joined: Nov 2011
Post: #18
04-10-2013 09:26 AM

I've sent my email in and hope I can help in some way. Think it's a great idea, and if done right I believe it should thrive. The Ivy House example and FHS involvement are encouraging.

The comments on the Nap are spot on - I moved to the area a year and a half ago and have never even been in. The Sky Sports banners, Carling labels - they're all big 'no entry' signs to me in effect. Likewise the Chandos.

So I don't think that sort of model really works in HOP/FH anymore - not profitably enough anyway. Instead you've got to have good quality and varied drink and food, have space/stuff that works for kids to at least some extent, and have great events to keep people coming back.

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rmurraywest


Posts: 42
Joined: Jan 2010
Post: #19
04-10-2013 09:56 AM

Thanks for sharing this, I've added my name to the list. The Honor Oak used to be good - and despite being off the main Honor Oak drag it sits right opposite the Jenner and is passed every day by vast numbers of school children from three popular local schools and their parents.

I'd argue it would (as it used to) pull in clientele from Honor Oak itself, as well as the streets off the South Circular on both sides (increasingly popular), and given that it has space for an event room would be able to work well in the day as a community hub as well (something it used to do rather well). Add in the baby massage classes and decent coffee to pull in clientele during the day, as well as decent food and drink at night and you would have a recipe for success, I would have thought.

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OakR


Posts: 213
Joined: Oct 2011
Post: #20
04-10-2013 10:14 AM

I quite liked the Honor Oak when it first opened, and was just generally pleased to have something open there. It looked nice and was good for some drinks in the evening.

With a young child it was great when they had rabbits in the outside space - we would go in especially for that and I remember they use to make a big effort to be children friendly. We felt that got lost with the management change. I know Bopping Bunnies moved out but the downstairs function room could be used for so much surely. Perhaps a little play are for children outside would bring plenty of parents in at the weekend.

With so many young families around it has to be ripe for all those sorts of activities during the day, and lunches etc especially at weekends when the likes of querce are often full, and we still await jam circus to re-open.

Good luck to all involved, I have also signed up for the updates.

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