Opened in 1937, the “Waggon & Horses,” Southgate, N.14., was built for Messrs. Watney, Combe, Reid & Co., Ltd.
Headquartered in London at the Stag Brewery, Pimlico, S.W.1., Watney’s was among the largest brewing groups in Great Britain. Already a publicly traded company, on 1 July, 1935, it became one of the original constituents of the FT30, which is now the oldest continuous index in the UK.
The company’s new licensed premises in Southgate were a rebuild, rather than an entirely new site, with an earlier public house having previously stood on Chase Side.
With the opening of Southgate Tube station on 13 March, 1933, as part of the Piccadilly line extension to Cockfosters, however and the completion of the nearby North Circular Road, the surrounding area was heavily developed during the 1930’s and so Southgate became one of many new suburbs in London where Watney’s required larger, more suitable premises.
The North London building was designed by the group’s Chief Architect, A. W. Blomfield, F.R.I.B.A., (Alfred William Blomfield, 1879-1949), who also oversaw the design of “The Giraffe” in Kennington, S.E.17. Both buildings would likely now be described as Neo-Georgian in their external appearance.
Mr Albert Monk, of Lower Fore Street, Edmonton, was appointed as general contractor on the rebuild, with the new multi-red brick premises built around a steel frame, the structural steel for which came from Sanders and Forster, Ltd., whose Thames Works were located on Hertford Road, Barking.
Inside, the sizeable new building featured a central service area, from which staff could serve customers in any one of five main rooms, each of which was interconnected.
On the Chase Side elevation were entrance doors that opened directly in to a private bar, an off licence and a games room where meals were served, with the latter underscoring the efforts made by the brewery to broaden the appeal of its pubs.
On the Chase Way elevation were entrances to a saloon bar and a large restaurant, which opened on to a garden at the rear of the building. On the final side of the new licensed premises was an entrance to the public bar.
Each of the bar areas were finished with oak panelling to dado height, above which wallpapers from Frawley and Coyle, Ltd., were used. Bar fittings were supplied from the Dale End Works in Birmingham of Gaskell & Chambers, Ltd., who claimed to be “Britain’s biggest bar fitters.”
Along with accommodation for both the licensee and members of staff, the first floor housed the kitchen, with a pair of service lifts, manufactured by Aldous and Campbell, Ltd., transporting meals to a small service area adjacent to the main restaurant.
The building has long since ceased to serve in its original capacity as a public house, and is now a branch of the Turkish restaurant, Kervan Sofrasi.
The exterior has been altered, with the original bricks painted cream, the metal casements, from the Crittall Manufacturing Co., Ltd., replaced and an extension added to the rear and side of the building to allow for additional outside seating.
The internal layout has also been significantly altered and sadly, no evidence of the original interior survives.