Friday, 2 April 2010

Hell's bells, it's 'The HG Wells'


It barely seems five minutes since I was blogging about The Drill public house being refurbished and re-opening under new management.

Long-standing blog readers will recall that The Drill got on the wrong side of Worcester Park (quite literally) by declaring on its website that it was in Cheam.

The people of Worcester Park were understandably distraught at this snub but thankfully civil uprising was averted - after an impassioned e-mail from yours truly The Drill promptly changed their website and declared allegiance to Worcester Park.

Two years (and yet another change of management) on, The Drill public house is no more. It has closed down and will be re-opening with new mangement under the new name: 'The H G Wells' on 28th April.

The new name is, of course, a nod to the fact that the author H.G. Wells was a one-time resident of Worcester Park (living for a time in The Avenue).

Full marks to the new owners for opting for a name with a link to the local area in an age when so many historical (and meaningful) local pub names are being lost forever in favour of the meaningless and generic.

Not only did H G Wells live in Worcester Park, it also had the honour of featuring in one of this short stories - The Argonauts Of The Air - which you can read here.

22 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Jeff said...

Didn't they change the name of the Drill once before only to change it back again? Surely the point is that names of pubs are themselves part of local history and changing them cuts a tie with the past.

Anyway, H G Wells never went drinking up the Drill that's for sure, the old Huntsman was his local boozer. It was whilst staggering back from there one Saturday night after a skinful that he had an attack of the DTs and imagined Martians were invading The Avenue which provided him with the idea for his next book and a good beating from Mrs H G.

In fact HG Wells couldn't stand that end of WP, which he called 'Limboland' (North Cheam to be exact which isn't quite Sutton but doesn't feel like WP proper as all will agree) and refused to go further than the bend at the top of Central Road.

Maybe the the new bar where the Huntsman was should complain?

Worcester Park said...

Jeff - I've heard that King Midas was pretty scathing of Worcester Park too and would be pretty upset about having a pub named after him.

Cubinoid said...

Ah, I passed it today on the 213. Shame really - The Drill used to be my local - we went for the live music, which was getting better and better - but just when they go and build a whacking great stage there, it changes hands.

Still, pleased to see it is tipping the hat to HG Wells...I wonder how much of a theme will pervade the interior decoration, or menu?

Anonymous said...

The fact that the new owners never kicked out some of the local idiots thug/locals was presumably their problem. We went in there on a couple of occasions and were quizzed "are you lot old bill" Hopefully the new landlord/s will be strong enough to not let them intimidate customers that are not recognised.

Bertie the Platypus said...

Does this pub have a website? I want to go to the grand opening tomorrow and i'm really excited that a place has been named after my favourite author

Anonymous said...

Open now and looking very good!! Will try it soon.

Anonymous said...

Tried the 'HG Wells' today and I have to say brign back The Drill. Food is mediocre(to be nice) and service was dreadful and chaotic. They tried to over charge us by 30% and didnt even have the grace to apologise when this was pointed out.

Anonymous said...

We went to the HG Wells on Monday for lunch and were very impressed with both the food and the service. I went to the old Drill a few times and have to say this is a huge improvement on that run-down dive. We'll definitely be going back.

Nichu said...

We went there the other week and were impressed by the food and the prices. It did seem quiet though, for a Friday evening. A shame really - I think people prefer to get tanked up at home these days.

Anonymous said...

I went to the HG Wells a few weekends ago. The staff were fantastic and patient with my elderly grandparents. The service was impressive -having worked in customer service for a number of years I am always impressed when the staff actually care. Good food, nice pub, will go back.

Anonymous said...

I used to work in that pub some 28 years ago when it was called the Worcester Park, there was a large function suite at the back, it burnt down and they turned it into a nightclub. Ian Duncan

The Parkerilla said...

Anonymous you're confusing The Drill (now the H G Wells) near the North Cheam traffic lights with the Worcester Park outside Worcester Park station.

DT's said...

I used to drink in there in the 80's. It was a great, lively pub. Packed friday nights and with a great crowd. Xmas and new years eve were the busiest nights. You got there early and enjoyed an evening of good drink and friends. Terry and Julie ran it then. Great host's. I moved away several years back and 'popped' in for a bevvie. The place was dead. It's like the life had been sucked out of it. Lets hope the new name brings a new generation of people who appreciate a good pub when they see one

Gemma said...

Seriously... you must pop in for a drink and some food. The decor is gorgeous and classy. They have really turned it around. The garden is nicely furnished with plenty of umbrellas but still enough room if you have children. The bar area is lovely for drinks if you want to stand but the rest of the areas are dedicated to tables where you can sit and enjoy drinks or delicious food. We've tried several dishes now and have been very impressed! Tuesday steak night is particularly good. There are some plaques with information on H.G. Wells too. What a great name! Quirky, eclectic and intelligent!

Anonymous said...

Seems that the pub's website says it's so-named because HG Wells "was born nearby". But he was born in Bromley, not Worcester Park.

Gholdich said...

Service good ,but would not recommended food ,spent most of the night vomiting after having eaten there

Flipflop said...

You can get food poisoning(if that's what it was) anywhere, doesn't mean the foods no good! 

I've eaten there o a number of occasions and never been ill....

Axlrocky said...

believe he did grow up in the local area - think pubs are allowed a little artistic licence!

Paul B said...

I eat
there with my family and have always found the food good and staff very
attentive and friendly. Regarding a comment below - having been in the food
trade before restaurants are an easy target for tummy bugs being blamed on
food. If it was the food there would have been a number of complaints.

Dr. Who said...

It's commonly known in the NHS as "alcoholic poisoning".

sharon s said...

i am so unhappy with my vist today,the salad was not fresh and there was a dog yes a dog sitting inside the dining area at the table and no 1 member of staff asked them to remove it

Eve Burke said...

I feel really embarrassed that I invited a good friend for lunch at the HG Wells. One good point was the bar staff who were very friendly. However the food was dire. My burger came out without the topping requested. My son's food came out with a side salad instead of chips and pepper all over his egg - he is 3!. My friends chips tasted and looked liked they had been cooked many times without actually being cooked in the middle. We were told we could have vinegar but to give it back as they had no more. Ordered ice cream and jelly but they had no jelly. The manager never acknowledged our complaint at all and just avoided all eye contact. 2/3 of the women s toilets had no paper. The baby changing unit flipped up but when pulled back down had a dirty nappy in it. I n the garden there was shards of glass everywhere along with dirty forks and leafs that have been there since last autumn. Such a shame because the food use to be lovely and the bar staff are lovely - shame the manager had no balls to come and speak to us!

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