The covid-19 pandemic has been brutal. All pubs are currently closed to serving alcohol.
The pubwiki site is mostly about the pubs which have existed over the past two hundred years.
A major trend is where pubs proliferate, and you will find that many modern pubs were previously banks, or other commercial buildings, which have been re-invented as the modern pub; whilst the older, and smaller pubs close.
There was a time when the Watneys and Truman pubs were being sucked into the empire of the Grand Metropolitan
On the subject of beer sold by Watneys I should like to add a comment. Bitter and Best Bitter brewed at Mortlake was always good but took a lot of maintenance being supplied and sold from wooden barrels, Red Barrel, when it first appeared, was fantastic. The brew sold in later years was dreadful. The only thing that it had in common with the original was the name. *
Watneys (Red Barrel, which was later an appalling beer) and Trumans (slightly better beer) were purchased by the Grand Metropolitan chain. Apparently, Grand Metropolitan closed down the good breweries and sold even more appalling beer to the detriment of the brands.
The wiki states that Grand metropolitan bought the Truman, Hanbury & Buxton chain in 1972, and next Watney Manns; plus a host of other drinks related businesses including J & B Whiskey. The problem was in 1989, Lord Young decided to cut the brewers monopoly, by reducing their size to 2,000 but in essence to sell off half of all pubs over the number of 2,000 by the year of 1992. The wiki covers most of this detail, and I will not repeat it here, but this is a list of about 500 Grand Met pubs in 1991 just prior to selling off to Charringtons - these are in London and also the South East (Hertfordshire, Kent & Essex).
You can research a Pub, or any home, by researching using a surname in the BT telephone directories. These are available as part of the Ancestry basic search. If you need more detail, their other packages offer additional searches, e.g. the electoral rolls. I am not selling their services, but these are available, at a cost; or for free at a local library.
I have been working on an 1966 list of London pubs - here it is in a blog.
Stepping back in time again, we step back about 30 years to the 1940s and the World War, when great swathes of London and the South East were harangued by the war time bombing, and masses of London was demolished by the V1 and V2 rockets. About the same time, streets were being renamed to remove the repetition of road names. I list each and every pub and beer house in 1944, and this is a very useful guide in researching back further. This pub history site largely covers pubs and beer houses in 1944 and the two hundred years earlier - including their street name changes along the way.
One point I always make is NOT to exclude the beer retailers. many of these were, and continued to be off licences. Other beer retailers are now the well known pubs that we have known forever (apparently).
It is also important to not to discount hotels as pubs. Many areas, not quite so much in London, list a considerable number of Hotels. These are not listed in the publicans, or beer retailer sections, as they are Hotels. You often need to search a particular area in this case. As ever, a good example of this is Wincanton, in Somerset (one of many).
I have a massive interest in history of any old building, whether it be a
pub, a church, or any other landmark that is identifiable in history. I do love
London, and its history, and do want to understand where, and how, London
evolved through time, and what originally existed before the masses of modern
architecture was built. My recent site on London history continues to build as I
try and make sense of some of this.
My article on research of a pub will start to explain the differences between the different areas of London and the South East, and why some areas had lots of pubs, and some had none. I know that modern press is always going on about the numbers of pubs that have closed, as many are sold off for housing, and often in very desirable areas. The modern pub is getting bigger, e.g. the Wetherspoons, and relies on food to make a decent living. This is also matched by a change in where pubs proliferate, and you will also see find that many newer pubs were previously banks, or other commercial buildings, which have been re-invented as the modern pub; whilst the older, and smaller pubs close.
* Provided by Richard Perou