Harold and May Chambers started out well, but circumstances changed. They weathered the depression and war years and at last found solid footing again in an affluent suburb of London. My other grandparents’ story is decidedly different. I am not even sure that my two sets of grandparents ever met. It wasn’t that they lived far apart as they had London in common. The distance in miles wasn’t the barrier, the distance in background might have been.
My other grandparents ran a pub in the East End of London and had for decades. They weathered a lot of history where they were, situated just above the St Katherine Docks. Unfortunately, I only know part of their story, information I have been able to uncover in my research. My grandfather died before I was born, I don’t know if I ever met my grandmother and I never set foot in the pub.
Because they had been there so long, I suspect that they lived and served customers well before there were many modern conveniences. One of my father’s memories was of being sent to stir a pot of stew that was being kept on the window sill. Was this the family’s supper or pub fare for the customers? Whichever it was, where the stew was kept is probable evidence of lack of refrigeration.
It must have been a challenge to run an active pub. I hope that my research will show me what a publican’s life was like and will give a better understanding of my grandparent’s lives. So what was it like to run a pub and serve customers before today’s modern conveniences? Read on to find out.