Surely one of the most impressive buildings in this part of the borough, now the Golden Lion stands isolated and lonely looking out like a Victorian sentinel over the bland 20th Century light-industrial redevelopment.
Sadly property developers - the same lot that did for The Parr's Head - have their eyes and more worryingly their paws on it, and there's a real chance it could go the way of many other fine old boozers. English Heritage are considering listing, and you can't really see why they'd turn it down so fingers crossed
The pub is large and airy but not barn-like so agoraphobics should still be able to feel cosy. Although long since joined together the public bar room and the saloon bar room are still very much evident. In the public bar end a load of lager drinking Brits were playing pool, down at the saloon end the Irish contingent were busy downing the Guinness. Everyone seem very local and very friendly, including the barmaid and long-standing 'proper' landlady. Too few are these are left nowadays.
The bar itself is a wonderful wooden work of wonder. The two old tills are lovely, and one is more than just an ornament busily ker-chinging away with every sale.
There's no ale on, although they do have some handpumps and one still had a turned-round clip on. I asked whether they ever issue forth but the barmaid said they'd not had ale on for ages. Oh well, fair enough. A pint of Guinness for £3.60 isn't that bad.
A few of the Irish fellas who were engaged in much jolly pub banter amongst themselves and the barmaid & landlady suddenly sat down round a table, got out their banjos, pipes and the like and started twiddle-diddley-deeing away - and very very nice it was too. They were playing for a good 20 mins or so, and it seemed very impromptu. Take a look & listen on YouTube here. Super stuff. Every pub should have one!
The Golden Lion is a really super pub, and where else can boast an array of bakelite light switches like this? Pray to whomever you pray to that it stays open. The sad but not-unexpected news this week that it looks likely the Crown & Goose is going might hopefully be a Euston Arch-style last straw for pub redevelopment.
Signing up to the Facebook campaign can't hurt.
**Update** - plans have gone in to redevelop the Golden Lion into flats. A familiar but sorry tale.
The plans are here - read all about it, and tell Camden Council your views.
***Another updated*** Despite Camden chucking out the last application, the developers have appealed.
The details for it here - and you can leave a comment. So please do!